The lapdog press

Matthew Hoy
By Matthew Hoy on July 3, 2009

If the President Bush had attempted to illegally fire an inspector general who was raising a ruckus over a deal cut with a campaign supporter who had spent hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars on his personal whims, the press would be going ape.

It's not, but that's exactly what the mainstream media has been doing when it comes to President Barack Obama, AmeriCorps IG Gerald Walpin and Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson.

The latest news out of Washington on this matter comes from the Washington Examiner's Byron York -- the only person who seems the least bit interested in the scandal.

A law passed last year and co-sponsored by then-Sen. Obama in an attempt to insulate inspectors general from partisan politics required 30 days notice to Congress and a reason for the firing -- neither of which President Obama bothered to follow originally. After beign called on the law, the White House lamely claimed that Walpin was confused at a meeting. Walpin has since been on Fox News Channel multiple times and has never appeared to be "confused."

Today, York reports that the most transparent administration ever appears to be claiming executive privilege on documents relating to the firing.

All in all, the “extensive review” appeared more of a sham review — an exercise designed to support a decision that had already been made.  Nor has the White House been open about it.  “Information provided to my staff by Mr. Eisen has been incomplete and misleading,” Republican Rep. Darrell Issa wrote in a July 1 letter to White House counsel Gregory Craig.

For its part, the White House is hinting broadly that it might invoke executive privilege to keep documents from Congress.  “Your questions seek information about the White House’s internal decision-making process,” Craig wrote to Sen. Charles Grassley on June 30.  “These questions implicate core executive branch confidentiality interests.”  At another point, Craig pledged to cooperate “to the fullest extent possible consistent with constitutional and statutory obligations.”

The law, again co-sponsored by Obama, requires a reason, but now President Obama is claiming that documentation supporting that decision is off-limits to Congress?

For the White House and the Congress, this is really standard, partisan politics. What's missing are the reports on the Big 3 networks and the story after follow-up story on the front page of The New York Times and The Washington Post. There's apparently a different standard for scandals when it comes to the Obama administration.


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July 2009



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