Robert Gibbs Gets His Grade . . .

by Pejman Yousefzadeh on April 26, 2009

and it is less than stellar:

Robert Gibbs gave White House reporters a “strong A” Friday for their work over the first 100 days of the new administration.

Their report card on him is more mixed.

Although White House reporters praise some aspects of Obama’s press shop, there’s grumbling about Gibbs’ handling of the daily press briefings, where a handful of television correspondents dominate; griping about press management on the president’s European trip; and complaints about Gibbs’ tendency not to return e-mail messages.

And for a team that rode to Washington on a lot of talk about “transparency,” reporters said in interviews with POLITICO this week that the Obama White House has been awfully opaque.

“I guess it depends what your definition of the word ‘transparent’ is,” said Chuck Todd, chief White House correspondent for NBC News.

Adds Wall Street Journal White House reporter Jonathan Weisman: “I think by the press’ definition, they have not been transparent at all.”

There is some suggestion in the story that because all reporters complain that the respective White Houses they cover are not transparent, we should not take these complaints seriously. Really? Check through this page alone, and one will find a whole host of instances in which the White House has proved itself to be opaque beyond measure.

It cannot be emphasized enough that after eight years of complaining about the lack of transparency in the Bush Administration, and after Obama’s campaign, we were led to expect better than this from the Obama Administration. That we were disappointed should really come as no surprise, but I guess that some people are shocked. Were those people, perhaps, unaware that Barack Obama is not the Messiah, and that he is just another politician instead?

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