You surely know the drill by heart: Barack Obama promised to run the most transparent White House in history -- avoiding lobbyists, publicizing donations and televising health care debates on C-SPAN. You also certainly know that he's broken his pledge in every possible respect. But what's even more offensive to me is his arrogance and defiance in the process.
Exhibit A -- and this was so egregious it's the only proof you should need -- was press secretary Robert Gibbs' recent exchange with WorldNetDaily correspondent Les Kinsolving at a White House briefing. I watched the video of the exchange, and it was infuriating -- infuriating to see an arrogant, youngish smart aleck in a position of power taunting and ridiculing an elder member of the press corps, who was respectfully questioning him about Obama's striking inaccessibility.
I will quote portions from the transcript, but I implore you to watch the short video at this link. You simply can't get the full flavor of Gibbs' despicably supercilious, insulting and disrespectful attitude without watching it. There is no excuse for anyone to treat someone as Gibbs did Kinsolving, but there is infinitely less of an excuse given his position of representing the president of the United States, who owes the public and the press corps presumably representing it a profound duty of accountability -- a duty he would owe even if Obama didn't make his cynical promise of unparalleled openness.
Kinsolving asked Gibbs why President Obama has "held not a single White House press conference since last July," considering "President Franklin Roosevelt's 998 press conferences."
Gibbs retorted that Obama took eight questions from the White House press corps at the Nuclear Security Summit. "What would you call that?"
Unbowed, Kinsolving said: "That was not a press conference. It was a select few reporters. It was not a White House press conference."
Gibbs then argued with Kinsolving about what constitutes a press conference, and the discussion quickly degenerated into Gibbs' sarcastic Socratic drilling of Kinsolving about how many press members, "38 or 55," is the right number.
Can anyone imagine the indignation if a Republican president treated a member of the media with such contempt and derision?