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Obama White House bars press from press award ceremony

The White House behind a fence

We are not making this up:

Barack Obama was elected commander in chief promising to run the most transparent presidential administration in American history.

This achievement and the overall promise of his historic administration caused the National Newspaper Publishers Assn. to name him "Newsmaker of the Year."

The president is to receive the award from the federation of black community newspapers in a White House ceremony this afternoon.

The Obama White House has closed the press award ceremony to the press.

From the president's official schedule: 

"Later in the afternoon, the President and the First Lady will attend a reception with the National Newspaper Publisher Association in the State Dining Room, where they will be presented the Newsmaker of the Year award. This event is closed press."

Maybe they'll let the newspaper people pass the award through the fence.

(UPDATE: The White House notes that while other press were barred from the publishers' event, the association's publishers themselves were admitted and the event treated as an exclusive interview and it expects the association to keep a record of what transpired during it.)

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Photo: Associated Press

Comments () | Archives (240)

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As bad as Obama is, he is 1000 times better than Bush. ANYTHING is better than Bush.


The press made him newsmaker of the year, perhaps they should give themselves the award.

There's only one thing the media likes to do more than build someone up -- that's tear them down. I suspect we'll see Obama as newsmaker of the year again next anum as the press begins to eat him alive.

Dear Press,

Are you awake yet?

Is the Reverend Wright going to be there?

Of course the award ceremony is closed to the press. Today is Saturday and the teleprompter has the day off. The White House is trying very hard to keep costs under control, especially in light of the trillions of dollars they are spending every day. How would it look to allow the teleprompter to charge overtime just to help out with an award ceremony. Good grief people, lighten up. The President is doing the best spending job of anyone in the history of mankind and he's only recently starting thinking about the fact that the printing press can only print at a certain rate so they have to start cutting back. The poor teleprompter is the first to feel the impact, probably because he made the President thank himself during a speech and the President did not like it much.

"All you idiots that voted for this dunce deserve what ever you get."

Posted by: Dave | March 20, 2009 at 09:14 AM

To be fair to many Obama voters, he is the first president elected by the so-called "mainstream" media (MSM).

MSM launch relentless campaign on his behalf and viciously attack anyone who threatened his success.

Remember MSM lowly attacks on Sara Palin? ABC's Charlie Gibbson, the archdog of the MSM's assault elite, went in person to Alaska in order to make a kill.

The day is comming when MSM will rule America, unless we cut them off from power and take away from them the powerful propaganda tools (press and TV) that they need to impose their will on us.

I'm going to twitter Gibbs and get right on it. Jake Tapper of ABC says that twitter is the new it and hes not happy with the comments hes getting on his blogs.

Twitter is now the holy Grail of the future not blogs or Youtube. Gibbs will open the door if enough American twitter him!!!!

Once again, in journalism, as in the Obama administration, there are no minimum standards!

Wait until gas is $10.00+ due to cap & trade hidden taxes, Interest & inflation off the scale due to irresponsible bail outs & political pay-offs, food & gas shortages due to limits on production & exploration which will place everyone in the 90% tax bracket will it not matter the color of the skin as we ALL will suffer the wrath of irresponsible leadership. According to the press, people voted for "CHANG WE CAN BELIEVE IN" and we are getting CHANGE FROM BAD TO HORRIBLE and it has only been 60 days since this administration took control of our government.AAHHH, It's good to be the KING.Let us all vote for change in 2010, If we can last that long as a country.

This comes after he skipped journalists Gridiron Dinner -- The first sitting President since Grover Cleveland in 1897 to decline the event. As a former journalist myself, I remember Ben Franklin's old adage, "Never argue with a man who buys his ink by the barrel." Eventually Obama is going to piss off so many in the media that he will no longer be their darling. It's coming. No news here. He's a jerk, plain and simple.

There is something wrong when a sitting president feels he must control access to himself the way Obama appears to be prone to this obsession. The behavior speaks to one and only one issue; He is one person with one group and another person to another group and the twain shall never see the difference if Obama has anything to say about it.

We were told that duplicity was suspect in the character of Obama when the true character of his spiritual leader Rev. Wright was revealed. The power of that circumstantial evidence was difficult to overcome, but overcome we did. Yet the question lingered, how could Obama sit through those hate filled sermons and not countenance the message. Most people either stand up and object to the tone and content of a message or they get up and leave the place where the message is preached. Obama simply sat through the sermons and then asked us to believe he never heard anything that was untoward coming from Rev. Wright.

Then we saw this trait in Obama when he stroked the good people of Pennsylvania only to slam them when he spoke to his friends in San Francisco.

Still we voted for him in sufficient numbers to give him the confidence that he could continue the status quo.

Now we are left to wonder if we are seeing duplicity in the man as he sequesters himself from the main stream press so he can meet with journalists of one particular ethnicity.

At some point you have to ask yourself if a person is worthy of your trust. After a while it becomes self evident to the most innocent of minds that extending trust to an individual who is two faced is to make a fool of oneself.

Too bad we didn’t get to this point before the election. We are stuck with this for four years.

And that is what some folks refer to as Chump Change.

Love that change!

Do what I do. Log on to and click on the contact us link. They get a daily e-mail from me stating my disgust with this so-called president. Maybe if enough of us send them our thoughts they will shut that down also. Yes, my taxes are are paid.

So the L.A. Times is starting to report the truth about Barack Obama? Well, I'll be. You sat on a story and video with Obama cheering the Palestinians at a ceremony which, if released, might have made the difference between him being elected. Now, you start covering the news? Too little, too late. He is already destroying the country now with your help. I hope you hypocrites go out of business. You have absolutely zero credibility.

The only transparency present in this administration is the view through the teleprompter.

When will people see that Obama is a calculating ELITIST SOCIALIST.

Everything he is doing is just the beginning.

What I find confusing is that at pretty much every site I come to there are a majority of people just like here that are not happy with this man. Did people stay at home during the election?

This man is ignorant and so are the people who voted for him. If his lips are moving, he is lying. I just hope we will be able to last 4 years without he and the full demo party demolishing the country as we know it. I plan to become proactive. It is time for a sweep of the Congress. Let us put someone there than attorneys; someone with some common sense.

He's from Chicago.

He's narcissistic.

They probably will be serving caviar and $100 beef.


Get involved with politics, people - love this country. This too shall pass. And a lesson will have been learned.

The reason he doesnt want reporting is that Louis Farrakhan will be there. Our new El Comandante doesnt want to be seen with the anti semitic islamo fascists of Farrakhans group

HOW ironic...newsmaker of the YEAR and he imposes censorship on the ceremony!!!!

The press barred from a White House's just unbelievable that this could be happening in our country. I'm wondering if Bush ever barred the press from anything. What a sad day for us all as more and more people are waking up to the person they elected. We have to do all we can to keep our sights on 2012 and in the meantime, keep speaking up. Jenny

How dare all you right-wing haters attack this greatest of presidents. The press is now run by corporate (read neocon) elites like Faux Newes and of course they will stoop to nothing to attack Barrak and his wife and kids. Just like they did to Clinton - all the while hiding Bush's illegal incompetence.

Is my beloved LAT being taken over by extremeist Chrisian haters from the midwest? DO NOT ALLOW THE CORPORATE ELITE TO TAKE OVER OUR PAPER

Exactly 2 months after the inauguration and we are
already in need of glasnost and perestroika.
Hopefully,Gov. Palin will become the Margaret Thatcher of
the 21 st century and do away with the socialist spiritual
pestilence that is beeing dumped on us now.

We are descending into a monarchy. NYT reports Obama will regulate executive pay for industry in the Sunday edition. Bye bye capitalism. This could get VERY ugly the way things are going.

Excuse me! Barring the Press from the Press awards? Isn't that akin to barring actors from the Oscars or musicians from the Grammy's? Transparency? Yeah, you can see right through this empty suit of an individual! What a bozo!

Hey, don't accuse me of electing this man. I'm from Missouri. MO went for McCain by 617 flippin votes....

Sunday Weiss wrote: "Now as Americans we can stand head up and tall to one another as we resolved the wrongs of the past together."

I fear you have the situation and its consequences completely reversed.

If we are going to be able to stand together, as we should, then there is no reason to hide this or any ceremony for our president from the eyes of any group. But, this behavior smacks of elite separatism in the worse way.

Most Americans, me included, want to see a colored blind society. Obama was thought to have been the embodiment of this very ideal as first articulated by Dr. Martin Luther King. Unfortunately, When the president slams the door on the press, (of all people), he effectively slams the door on the progress toward the ideals Dr. King espoused. In dong so he generates further suspicion and foments more distrust between the races than we as a nation can afford or should have to deal with.

That an apology had to be made not withstanding, the fact that his handlers realized an apology was necessary after the blunder of referencing a lack of talent in bowling as being akin to the Special Olympics demonstrates sound judgment.

Now, however, we are treated to a spectacle that will attempt to rend honest hearts from any doubt they may have given Mr. Obama. To comprehend this behavior we can not help but ask, "How in all good conscience could Obama exclude the press from covering this event sponsored by the Federation of Black Community Newspapers?".

Moreover, if this group seeks to honor the president of all Americans and if there is good judgment in the White House then Mr. Obama should know better than anyone else how steeped in the tradition of divisiveness it is to leave the rest of the country out of the festivities.

To say this is another faux pas that requires understanidng is to understate the severity of this behavior.

It's just starting. Wait until inflation, the Middle East policy and Reparations kick in.

I was also thinking this new national force Obama wants to start should have uniforms.

I was thinking long sleeve brown shirts with....

I thought "The One" had a 59% approval rating? I've read numerous comments in many articles over the past couple weeks about Obama...and the comments seem to be at least 10-1 AGAINST him. Last I checked, 10-1 against would equate to roughly a 9% approval rating. Where are the other 50%??? Or was the poll just among those who voted for him? Or maybe it was among the Democrats in Congress? Something ain't adding up...

When is the award for the Federation of White Newspapers?

Start your calendars today: Only 1326 days left until the next presidential election... 3 years, 7 months, and 16 days. I pray we'll still have the opportunity to vote Obama OUT... the most disasterous experiment in American history

Quick, somebody check his teleprompter maybe it was a typo...

to timmothyl, you are so right, is there a federation of white publishler, am I the only one in this country who sees what is happening to this country, who does obama think he is, he looks like he wants to be another castro or chavez , he wants to run our country like cuba, own the press, dictate what he wants out there, he is doing this slowly, he just does what he wants and to hell with what anyone thinks, then they will cry " racist", he will use that to the fullest or his adversaries will, we are already hearing it. talk about buyers remorse, I sure have it, this man scares me, and I am sick of the way he is fooling the country, and doesn't anyone see this man for what he is, he has to limit exporsure unless he has his teleprompters with him, when the going gets tough in washington , he heads out to campaign in other areas because he knows that they really don't know what is going on, and he cons them with his smooth words and lies, what other president went on leno and conned the country like he did???? it just did not look presidential at all, he is an empty suit, his advisors are running the country and they tell him what to read on those teleprompters, and now he is going on television again next week to again con the american people, frankly I am sick of this man!!!!! when is the press and media going to wake up and see that he is giving them a snow job????????

Sunday Weiss - you are sooo wrong - exclusion by race is wrong for any reason -


I'm grateful that some of them are waking up -- aren't you?


We've been lied to, all the followers who believed in him, WAKE UP and smell the SMOKE!!!

What do you get when you educate an idiot???
An educated IDIOT????
It looks like we have plenty of those in WASHINGTON.

The comments for this article are pure comedic gold. Gold, I tell you!

It seems that the only promise the President will keep from the campaign is that he will "spread the wealth".

Biden 09'

This is hillarious.

You know the teleprompter needs day off once in while and obviously he didn't do a good job on Leno with the battery operated portable, so there you go. Anyone who believed there would be transparency doesn't know the meaning. Just like the words no earmarks. When are you people gonna learn? Presidents have their own special dictionary and you made fun of strategery. Oh those were the days.

Would it make sense to force out representatives of newspapers in the group giving the award to make room for other press outlets? This is the first time this charge is made, but this event is obviously being covered by the press!

Perfect.... go Obama! I think it's great to keep out the press... after all they, especially The Times, did not support him.


I contributed $1400 to your campaign, thinking that you really meant what you said about being "open" and putting race behind us --- but your behavior doesn't match your rhetoric.

How come the white press can't attend one of your black press shindigs?

And how come Michelle's racist rants weren't publicized before your election?

Shame on you..... and Michelle.

Paul in California ---- a non-racist

Like Clinton, I can't find a person that voted for Obama. Must be a bunch of ignorant socialist

Another Democrat,


"Our idiot troops are still in afghanistan"



Yeah I see some real hard hitting news coming from him accepting this award. This function being closed to the press is a non issue you knee-jerk republican sheep.

You people are all crazy. Communist? Fascist? Racist? You have no idea what you're talking about.

It seems people will rather rage than engaged in thoughtful discussion.

I don't know why "the press" was barred but if I was reporting on a story like this, at least I'll attempt to find out why.

It smacks of desperation, folly, and ignorance when people start equating accepting an award from the black community as an extension of racism.

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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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