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Thursday, May 13, 2010
NewsBusters Promotes Bogus Claim Obama Hiding Kagan From Press
Topic: NewsBusters

Lachlan Markay asserts in a May 12 NewsBusters post: "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."

ONe of the examples Markay cites of this supposed insulating of Kagan from the media is the Washington Examiner's Julie Mason's criticism of a video of Kagan released by the White House. Markay highlighted Mason's claim that  the video "doesn't count toward the administration's 'accountability' totals," and that "It's just another campaign commercial, masquerading as openness."

But Markay ignored what Mason also wrote in that same article criticizing the video:

It's standard practice around the White House (going back administrations) for any big nominee pending confirmation to stay away from interviews and unscripted public utterances until the voting is over. It keeps things tidy and minimizes variables. No biggie.

Further, as Media matters noted, a CBS News article on how the video "rile[d] reporters" stated: "Still, it's worth noting that it seems to be unprecedented for the nominee to be heard from at all before the confirmation hearings, other than in the initial introduction and in brief photo ops with senators."

In other words, there's no evidence the Obama White House is doing anything different with Kagan than what previous White Houses have done with their Supreme Court nominees. That seems like an important fact Markay should have mentioned.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:40 AM EDT

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