Scott Wheeler

The media fawning over Obama never ends. The latest tingly feeling they are getting is over his orders for openness. The day after inauguration the Associated Press ran an article with the headline “Advocates Praise Obama Move on Disclosure.” The lead was “Government watchdogs are cheering President Barack Obama's move to change how open records laws are interpreted as a sign of greater disclosure of agency information than during the Bush administration.” The praise from the so-called “mainstream media” never seems to end for Obama and the Democrats.

The article explains, “In the late 1970s, Carter's attorney general, Griffin Bell, issued guidance to err on the side of releasing information. Under Reagan, William French Smith came in and reversed that; he told them, ‘when in doubt withhold.’ Then under Clinton, Janet Reno reversed it again; she told agencies their presumption should be for release.” Is that so? I don’t remember the Clinton administration’s openness that way at all, in fact, I am still waiting for documents to come back from Freedom of Information Act requests that I filed as a journalist back in 1995, 1996, 1997 and 1998. The Clinton White House was sued multiple times for withholding information that had nothing to do with national security. At one point a federal judge held the Clinton’s in contempt of court for not producing information about their healthcare taskforce. I guess they didn’t get Reno’s memo about openness. Or perhaps they just didn’t want enemies of America to know how to sign up for free healthcare. Throughout the Clinton years, congressional oversight committee investigations were frequently frustrated by the Clinton’s failure to turn over information so those committees could fulfill their legal obligation to the constitution. And what about Reno herself? She steadfastly refused to release what became known as “the Freeh LaBella Memo” about the Department of Justice investigation of Clinton’s Chinese campaign fundraising scandal. I guess the reason I remember these things is because I reported on them at the time, as opposed to the Associated Press which was too busy digging for dirt on Republicans in congress who were requesting those Clinton documents.


Scott Wheeler

Scott Wheeler is executive director of the National Republican Trust PAC. Wheeler is a former television producer, international investigative journalist, and veteran of the U.S. Army infantry.