Obama's disappearing act with the press

Don't look now but the last time President Obama allowed questions from the press was on April 5 during the budget battle.

So far, the press doesn't seem to mind very much. They meekly accept the PR handouts offered by the White House press office and bombard press secretary Jay Carney with questions he couldn't possibly answer anyway.

But some in the 4th Estate are noticing.

President Obama today met King Abdullah of Jordan in the Oval Office -- statements, no questions. Still, it was better than last week's meeting with the NATO leader: No pool, no statements, no questions, no photos.

Yesterday, Obama met with flood victims and first responders in Memphis. That was a total lockout and the White House took up pool reporting duties, distributing details of the president's closed-door meetings that reporters had to take on faith, or not at all.

The president hasn't taken questions from the press since April 5, and then he only called on four reporters.

That was during the budget impasse, and since then we've seen the birth certificate, the end of Osama bin Laden, a deficit crisis looming, a big immigration reform push, the resignation of his Mideast peace envoy and more -- all without questions, all government-by-press-release.

It's a good way for the White House to control the message, something they are trying to do more as the campaign rumbles to life. But does it meet the standard for transparency and accountability? White House press secretary Jay Carney got a question about it today.

"I'm sure you'll have opportunities," Carney said, adding that Obama would be taking questions on next week's foreign trip.

Gee...what's the press worried about? They can ask a question of our president "next week." Let's hope that there's no news between now and then.

Anyone who still raises the issues of "transparency and accountability" has obviously been asleep since January 20, 2009. It's been a sham from the start and only fools believed that Obama would be different in the first place. In fact, this president - both by design and controlled circumstance - has had the least transparent, the most unaccountable presidency of the modern era.

I guess we'll have to wait until next week to get a response.