By: Â Â Erik Wemple
Originally Appeared in: Â The Washington Post
The Huffington Postâs Arianna Huffington is generally forthcoming about her enterprise and its journalism.
Except, that is, when sheâs invited to an off-the-record meeting in the White House with President Obama. âSince it was off the record, sheâs unable to discuss,â responded Huffington Post spokesman Rhoades Alderson when asked whether his boss could pick up the phone.
The denial prompted an appeal from the Erik Wemple Blog, noting that we merely wanted to ask Huffington boring journo-process questions about merelyÂ attendingÂ an off-the-record talk with the president of the United States. âUnderstood but still same answer,â came the response from Alderson
SameÂ kinda grossÂ answer, that is. Journalists make a profession of agitating for openness, for the sharing of information, for speaking with public officials and reporting back. In this case, though, attendees arenât doing a lot of reporting back. Most of MSNBCâs prime time lineup â Al Sharpton, Ed Schultz, Rachel Maddow, Lawrence OâDonnell â attended the Tuesday session, yet MSNBC wonât talk about it. Two individuals from the opinions section of The Washington Post â Jonathan Capehart and Greg Sargent â had seats at the table but wonât tell a dear colleague what went down. A spokeswoman for Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memo, another alleged attendee, gave this response: âSince the meeting was off the record, Josh is not available to speak about it.â Markos Moulitsas of Daily Kos fame also allegedly took part and also wonât talk: âSorry, but I donât discuss who I do and donât meet with. Thanks, markos,â he e-mailed to the Erik Wemple Blog.
Now thatâs compliance for you. The blackout from these âinfluential progressivesâ âÂ as the White House so boosterishly calls them â raises an historic prospect. Could this be the first White House meeting with journalists in which more information about the proceedings came from the White House than from the journalists? After all, the White House did at least issue this statement:
To Continue Reading: Â http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/erik-wemple/wp/2012/12/07/progressive-journos-hang-with-obama-anything-wrong-with-that/