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Obama signs bill to encourage press freedoms, then refuses press questions (Updated)

May 18, 2010 |  3:32 am

An amazing scene Monday in the Oval Office of the administration that's raising opacity to new densities. (See Related Items below.)

President Obama signed legislation to encourage press freedoms around the world.

The measure, dubbed the Daniel Pearl Freedom of Press Act for the Wall Street Journal reporter slain by kidnappers in 2002, is designed to send a "crisp, strong message" to other governments that they are being watched in their treatment of news media, Obama said.

The American president then refused to take any questions from the U.S. news media. See for yourself.

(UPDATE: Tuesday 1:30 p.m.: The White House must have been embarrassed by the president's ironic handling of the signing. As ABC's observant Jake Tapper points out, when the White House posted its own video copy of the ceremony, it clipped off the end of the press bill film clip, showing his refusal to answer press questions.)

Related items:

Obama's deficit commission has a deficit of transparency too

Joe Biden update: He meets on transparency, but the meeting is closed

Transparent Obama White House not so transparent

Top Secret: Obama rejecting more Freedom of Info requests than Bush

C-SPAN pleads for open healthcare negotiations -- unsuccessfully

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Video courtesy of C-SPAN

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