In the history of mankind, many republics have risen, have flourished for a less or greater time, and then have fallen because their citizens lost the power of governing themselves and thereby of governing their state. TR


White House Holds Secret Meeting with Reporters

Updated 6:57 pm ET

The White House today held a secret meeting to try to influence journalists’ reporting on Benghazi.

It reportedly began at 12:45 pm ET and forced the regular, public briefing scheduled for 12:30 pm to be delayed until mid afternoon.

Let my try to explain what went on here and what I think about it. I’d be very interested to hear your thoughts on it too, since mine is very much an inside-the-Beltway perspective on this.

First of all, of course, yours truly was not invited. Only 14 news outlets were, presumably those judged by the White House to be the largest and most important.

The briefing was conducted on “deep background.” This means that reporters were allowed to use information they heard during the briefing, but not permitted to use actual quotes or say who briefed.

This is not particularly unusual in Washington. Reporters will go for this because, when people speak on deep background or just on background – in which case you still can’t name the speaker but you can use direct quotes – they tend to get better information for their readers and more frank discussion with their sources.

I know people hate this, but if sources only talked on the record, you wouldn’t know half of the interesting stuff you read in the press. What’s more, the cause of accountability would suffer because you couldn’t talk to anyone who wasn’t authorized to speak and feared retribution.

But the White House apparently also asked reporters to keep the meeting itself secret.

The White House should not hold large, secret meetings with reporters, and reporters should not agree to do them. The White House should not attempt to hide that it is trying to influence the press. And reporters should not be engaging in secret meetings at the White House. It’s just too contrary to the press’s mission of openness.

I realize these are judgements involving degree and not kind. Talking to someone on background creates a secret. But secret meetings at the White House to disseminate White House propaganda to the press – particularly a press corps already biased in favor of the White House – is, for me, going too far.

The secret of course got out and White House Press Secretary Jay Carney even addressed the meeting in his public briefing. Now, each of the reporters who were there should fess up so the public knows their reporting has been influenced by a “deep background” roundtable discussion in the bowels of the West Wing.

UPDATE: And one other point which Sportinlife brings up in the comment section. That White House officials are engaging in this very unusual procedure is strong evidence of something they would never admit publicly: They are getting nervous about this. And they may know privately that things are worse than they have so far let on.

120 thoughts on “White House Holds Secret Meeting with Reporters”

  1. Pingback: NWO Newz for 5-17-13 | Chapel of Chaos Blog

  2. Though carp have bsen put fish philosophy in a simple redquest rrgarding the door to the bedroom.
    Each item has been tested and they know what to use to get a very faar cast.
    For example, inn the long term scientists want to gain a better understanding
    off the seasonal and regional movements relative to spawning season.
    We put a line into the water, they plop, burp, pop, pop, chug,
    and cause a little bit of commotion and a little more time for patients.

  3. Any person with 9ine accounting a large muscular development.
    Have an inbox, filing box, and projects files to keep
    your main work area cleaned up by the end of the year accounts.
    Such stupendous advantages deserve at least one complaint but more could follow.

  4. I know this if off topic but I’m looking ito starting my owwn blog
    andd was curious what all is needed to get set
    up? I’massuming having a blog like yopurs would cost a pretty penny?
    I’m not very internet savvy so I’m nott 100% certain. Any tips or
    advice would be greatly appreciated. Cheers

  5. How an American Can Have Success Using The Word, "Ambrosial," in a Sentence. “She’s adorable,” is a popular phrase to say to a cute little girl or puppy. Using the word, “adorable” is an easy feat for most Americans. However, the word, “ambrosial” which is a synonym for adorable is not that commonly used. The definition of ambrosial is “exceptionally pleasing to taste or smell; especially delicious or fragrant.” This article will create five sentences using the word, ambrosial. This article will help an American have success using that word. It’s not hard to have success saying this word in a sentence. Watch. The woman has an amazing body and her smell is ambrosial. It can be done again. Watch. I only wear Calvin Klein cologne; the smell is ambrosial. It can be done again. Watch. I only eat Popeye’s Chicken; to me the taste is ambrosial. It can be done again. Watch. My wife asked me how it taste and I replied, I could only describe it as ambrosial. It can be done again. Watch. She was wearing a fragrance she never wore before and her smell was ambrosial. In conclusion, this article was written to help an American have success using that word in a sentence. It is a rare word that is seldom used. It is a beautiful word that should be used more often. It is a gem to the English language. It is a word that dates back to the 1500’s. It is an adjective. It can help a person seem intelligent and sophisticated. It could help a person win points on a date. It might trip up a smart 12yearold in the spelling bee.

Comments are closed.