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Not so transparent

Posted: July 17, 2014 4:24 p.m.
Updated: July 18, 2014 5:00 a.m.

President Obama, who promised the most transparent administration in history, has delivered perhaps the least transparent. Following the trend of other recent presidents, Obama has kept a tight lid on the press, rarely interacting with reporters in a spontaneous fashion and instead relying on the spin of his White House press directors. And it has gotten worse the longer Obama has been in office; one report last week indicated that the administration was denying access on a variety of subjects with increasing regularity. The Associated Press reported, “In category after category -- except for reducing numbers of old requests and a slight increase in how often it waived copying fees -- the government’s efforts to be more open about its activities last year were their worst since President Barack Obama took office.”

The word “spin” has become a household term now, reflecting the cable TV atmosphere in which we all reside. Commentators on both the left and right refuse to acknowledge the legitimacy of any position other than their own; the unfortunate thing is that politicians have taken to doing the same thing, cutting off serious debate in favor of putting their own slant on things. We had hoped for better with Obama; he has delivered worse.

This isn’t a view taken only by political opponents of the president. Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont, an unabashed liberal, has decried the administration’s hiding behind a cloak of secrecy. And in the end, it doesn’t matter whether it’s a Republican or a Democrat, a liberal or a conservative, a Bush or an Obama. Cowering behind a press secretary and so-called “national security” issues is a miserable way for a president to act.


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