White House Insulating Kagan From Press Corps

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Posted: May 14, 2010 5:03 PM
In the latest example of a pattern of opacity, the White House has cut off the press's access to Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan. Kagan has extensive ties to journalists, which only serves as a testament to this administration's determination to control the message on its major initiatives, including Kagan's nomination.

"Tell her we're deeply frustrated," one reporter told White House press secretary Robert Gibbs of the administration's refusal to grant Kagan a traditional interview with the press. Kagan did do a short interview with a White House staff member released only online, in what CBS White House correspondent Peter Maer called "Kagan 'in her own words' without anyone else's words."

Washington Examiner White House correspondent Julie Mason was harsher in her criticism. The White House interview [see here] "doesn't count toward the administration's 'accountability' totals," she wrote on the paper's Beltway Confidential blog. "It's just another campaign commercial, masquerading as openness."

The New York Times's Sheryl Gay Stolberg was also disappointed by the interview.
Not surprisingly, there were no questions about her views on abortion, or executive power, or affirmative action, or any of the other hot-button issues that conservatives and liberals alike would love to hear her address. Rather, the video is a bland, overly scripted take on a woman who, by all accounts, is warm, funny and engaging.

The White House's interview with Kagan -- and its simultaneous refusal to allow the press corps meaningful access to the Solicitor General -- is but the latest example of the the administration's concerted efforts to control the flow of information by circumventing traditional journalists.

Full story from Newsbusters