When the Obama Administration Goes After a Journalist for Reporting the Truth

Sally Zelikovsky
Bob Woodward isn't the first journalist to be thrown under the proverbial bus by the Obama Administration.  Back in April 2011, veteran San Francisco Chronicle journalist Carla Marinucci, was banned from the presidential press pool in San Francisco, a beat she'd been covering without incident for some time. 

Her sin?  Recording a group of leftwing hecklers who spontaneously sang a bizarre song (related to the Bradly Manning Wikileaks incident) in protest against Obama at a fundraiser in San Francisco -- a somewhat embarrassing moment for the president who was visibly caught off guard once he realized they weren't singing his praises.  Carla, a veritable Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen all in one, videotaped the song and posted it on her "Shaky Hands" blog at SFGate.  That video can be viewed here.

In a Pravda-like effort, the Politburo at 1600 Penn Ave sought to excise this stunt from popular view by banning Ms. Marinucci from the pool, demanding that the video not be posted and promising retaliation if its threats were made public.  In a series of exchanges reminiscent of the Woodward episode, "key people" at the White House denied removing Ms. Marinucci from the press pool or threatening the Chronicle with retaliation.  Inexperienced novice reporters might have been intimidated by such strong arm tactics -- further chilling the speech they supposedly covet -- but Ms. Marinucci and her editors, Phil Bronstein and Ward Bushee, were undaunted as they exposed the Administration a la Bob Woodward.

Marinucci's infraction (taking a video, which anyone with a cell phone could do) was supposedly a violation of some antiquated regulation on the use of technology in the press pool.  What makes this so sweet is that the entire affair unfolded on the heels of Obama's love fest at Facebook, where he explained that his motivation for joining forces with Facebook was that:

 "more and more people, especially young people, are getting their information through different media. And historically, part of what makes for a healthy democracy, what is good politics, is when you've got citizens who are informed, who are engaged."

That would be...as long as they are informed by a press controlled by a White House that dictates all the news that's fit to print. Sigh.  As Woodward exclaimed "Democracies die in the darkness." 

As the broken bodies of journalists abused by this Adminstration begin to pile up -- making the Nixon Administration look like boy scouts -- media types just might begin to report the news objectively and with greater regard for the truth than their personal, ideological predilections have, to date, allowed.  This is a change we can all hope for.  And, to honor the first fallen heros, we should call it "Marinucci-Woodward Journalistic Integrity."

Bob Woodward isn't the first journalist to be thrown under the proverbial bus by the Obama Administration.  Back in April 2011, veteran San Francisco Chronicle journalist Carla Marinucci, was banned from the presidential press pool in San Francisco, a beat she'd been covering without incident for some time. 

Her sin?  Recording a group of leftwing hecklers who spontaneously sang a bizarre song (related to the Bradly Manning Wikileaks incident) in protest against Obama at a fundraiser in San Francisco -- a somewhat embarrassing moment for the president who was visibly caught off guard once he realized they weren't singing his praises.  Carla, a veritable Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen all in one, videotaped the song and posted it on her "Shaky Hands" blog at SFGate.  That video can be viewed here.

In a Pravda-like effort, the Politburo at 1600 Penn Ave sought to excise this stunt from popular view by banning Ms. Marinucci from the pool, demanding that the video not be posted and promising retaliation if its threats were made public.  In a series of exchanges reminiscent of the Woodward episode, "key people" at the White House denied removing Ms. Marinucci from the press pool or threatening the Chronicle with retaliation.  Inexperienced novice reporters might have been intimidated by such strong arm tactics -- further chilling the speech they supposedly covet -- but Ms. Marinucci and her editors, Phil Bronstein and Ward Bushee, were undaunted as they exposed the Administration a la Bob Woodward.

Marinucci's infraction (taking a video, which anyone with a cell phone could do) was supposedly a violation of some antiquated regulation on the use of technology in the press pool.  What makes this so sweet is that the entire affair unfolded on the heels of Obama's love fest at Facebook, where he explained that his motivation for joining forces with Facebook was that:

 "more and more people, especially young people, are getting their information through different media. And historically, part of what makes for a healthy democracy, what is good politics, is when you've got citizens who are informed, who are engaged."

That would be...as long as they are informed by a press controlled by a White House that dictates all the news that's fit to print. Sigh.  As Woodward exclaimed "Democracies die in the darkness." 

As the broken bodies of journalists abused by this Adminstration begin to pile up -- making the Nixon Administration look like boy scouts -- media types just might begin to report the news objectively and with greater regard for the truth than their personal, ideological predilections have, to date, allowed.  This is a change we can all hope for.  And, to honor the first fallen heros, we should call it "Marinucci-Woodward Journalistic Integrity."