One might have thought that with everything that has come out to the contrary in the last six years – to say nothing of the current scandal regarding Hillary Clinton’s secret emails – the Obama Administration would have let their claims on transparency die a quiet death. After all, if you can’t deliver on your campaign promises, at least admit it.
If yesterday’s White House press briefing is anything to go by, though, this administration is not just aiming for transparency, but they actually think they still deserve the title of the most transparent administration in history! When asked if they still consider themselves the champions of open government, Press Secretary Josh Earnest didn’t even have the dignity to hesitate.
“Yes,” he said. “And the reason for that is that there are large number of ways that reporters and the public have access to the administration and to decisions made at the administration.” He used the public availability of visitor access records and their efforts to make FOIA requests more efficient to back up his unbelievable claim.
There was no pause while the press corps laughed, but there must have been some serious eye-rolling once Earnest left the podium. President Barack Obama has failed in more ways than one can count, but there is maybe no promise he has delivered less than his vow to be more transparent than his predecessors. Many in the media – the liberal, fawning media, no less – have declared this no less than the most secretive administration we’ve ever seen in the White House.
According to a report just released by the Columbia Journalism Review, things are worse now than at any point in Obama’s tenure. The report’s author, Susan Milligan, insists that the current relationship between the media and the Obama administration is “more distant than it has been in a half-century.”
The fact that Obama plays his cards so close to the vest is bad enough. That his minions continue to propagate the lie that they are one of the most open and honest White Houses to ever grace Washington makes it that much worse. If this were a Republican president, this secrecy would be the top story at least once a week on all major newspapers and TV news programs.
When we have no access to what’s going on behind the White House doors, the soil is ripe for corruption to take root. We the people deserve to have a window into our government. It’s the only way we can take measures to ensure the survival of American liberty.