From the “Most Transparent Administration Ever,” a Request that the Press Not Do Its Job

No, seriously:

First lady Michelle Obama appeared with [Wisconsin Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mary] Burke later Monday in Milwaukee, praising her for starting a program to help students get to college, before recalling the challenges President Barack Obama faced when he took office. The crowd cheered as Mrs. Obama talked about restoring the economy and overhauling the health care system.

“She is smart, she is in this for the right reasons, she cares about people, she doesn’t care about politics,” Obamas aid of Burke, who has no kids and worked with the Boys and Girls Club of Dane County. “She has been such a passionate champion for our kids and families here in Wisconsin.”

Meg Kissinger, a reporter for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, posted on Facebook that she was told by a White House aide that she was not allowed to talk to people in the crowd.

“[A]ssigned to cover Michelle Obama’s speech today and was told by a Mary Burke aide and one for the White House that I could not speak to the people in the crowd. To say that I was creeped out is an understatement. This is what reporters do in America: we speak to people,” Kissinger posted. “At least that’s how I’ve been doing things — at all kinds of political events — since 1979.”

Kissinger wrote that reporters and photographers were cordoned off during the event.

“Reporters and photographers were cordoned off in a central area with chairs and tables. Several people in the crowd asked if they could have extra chairs reserved for the media — but reporters were initially forbidden from handing them over. Eventually, some of the Burke staff gave the extra chairs to attendees,” Kissinger reported.

The First Amendment to the Constitution contains an awful lot of pretty words, but its effectiveness depends on how serious we are about implementing and defending the ideas and ideals it espouses. Or, to put things in a Ben Franklinesque way, it’s only a republic if we can keep it.

Comments

  1. Can’t consider there is a subject that’s eclipsed daily Kardashian brunch reports. “Ermagerd, Ebola, we’re all gonna die!” The quantity of narrow minded people on earth is unbelievable.

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