Friday, February 24, 2012

Does the White House Only Love Good Journalism When It's Not About Them?

The Atlantic Wire
Dashiell Bennett

In a briefly interesting moment in an otherwise ho-hum press briefing, the Obama administration was called out on its double standard of praising journalists who take down other governments, while simultaneously stifling them here at home.

Press Secretary Jay Carney opened his daily briefing yesterday by saying a few words about the sacrifices of journalists who have given their lives covering the civil war in Syria. When it came time for his question, ABC News' Jake Tapper saw an opening to question the White House's own approach to protecting journalists, albeit in a much less dangerous context. Tapper asked, why, if the administration is so supportive of good journalism, they keep suing whistle blowers for violating the Espionage Act?

As you might expect, Carney's answer was not very instructive, but Tapper pressed the point again by asking, "So the truth should come out abroad; it shouldn’t come out here?" A good question that hits directly at the hypocrisy found in most governments — the idea that openness is always a good thing, except when it isn't. It's not just a question of good journalism either, when revolutionaries occupying Egyptian squares are praised and supported while college kids in California get pepper-sprayed in the face. It certainly feels like a double standard that benefits the U.S. government at the expense of everyone else.

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No matter what Carney think of "aggressive journalism" it's a good bet that he's growing a little weary of seeing it come from Jake Tapper. Here's some of the phrases that seem to frequently appear in sentences featuring the name "Jake Tapper" and "Jay Carney"

* "Get Into It"

* "Grills"

* "Testy Exchange"

* "Vs."

* "Challenges"

* "Flummoxes"

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