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No more FOIA for the WH

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Rusty Shackleford, Mar 16, 2015.

  1. Rusty Shackleford

    Rusty Shackleford Active Member

    Not interested in the politics of this, but how can any US government entity not have to follow FOIA? Isn't the point that all government entities are supposed to abide by requests for information? Was this discussed already and I just missed it?

    White House office to delete its FOIA regulations
  2. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    Whoever timed it for Sunshine Week ought to have their head put on a platter.

    And I will note, this is a bipartisan thing that started under Bush and continued under Obama. Which means in this case, they both suck.
    SFIND likes this.
  3. JayFarrar

    JayFarrar Well-Known Member

    Congress isn't subject to FOIA.

    So there's that.
  4. da man

    da man Well-Known Member

    Good thing this is the most transparent administration in history.
    SFIND likes this.
  5. TyWebb

    TyWebb Well-Known Member

    Is it sad that when I read the "WH" in this thread title, I thought it referred to Waffle House and was wondering if people were making FOIA requests to my favorite restaurant?

    Yeah, it is sad.
    Rusty Shackleford likes this.
  6. Batman

    Batman Well-Known Member

    Let's hear it for the most transparent administration in history.
  7. Liut

    Liut Well-Known Member

    My first thought when I saw "WH" was of Howard Hunt.
  8. da man

    da man Well-Known Member

    Administration sets record for withholding government files - Yahoo News

    "What we discovered reaffirmed what we have seen all too frequently in recent years," (AP CEO Gary) Pruitt wrote in a column published this week. "The systems created to give citizens information about their government are badly broken and getting worse all the time."

    Journalists and others who need information quickly to report breaking news fared worse than ever.

    Under the law, the U.S. is required to move urgent requests from journalists to the front of the line for a speedy answer if records will inform the public concerning an actual or alleged government activity. But the government now routinely denies such requests: Over six years, the number of requests granted speedy processing status fell from nearly half to fewer than 1 in 8.
  9. JRoyal

    JRoyal Well-Known Member

    I won't pretend this administration is any more transparent than any other. In fact, signs point to it being as bad or worse than its predecessors. But this isn't partisan. This is something that has been growing with every administration for decades, since at least Nixon and probably before that. It's sad, but it's true. All government officials, regardless of party, want to keep things quiet. Sometimes there are good reasons for this -- people who should be weighing in on issues but don't want to be frank with their advice unless their communications can be kept from the public. I can actually understand that argument to a degree. Other times, it's overreaching for sure. It's disheartening to see, but no matter who is in office, it just keeps getting worse.
  10. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    A very fair assessment.
  11. da man

    da man Well-Known Member

    That's true, but this administration has taken it to an entirely new level.

    Don't take my word for it -- ask the Committee to Protect Journalists: The Obama Administration and the Press - Committee to Protect Journalists

    From the story:

    “This is the most closed, control freak administration I’ve ever covered,” said David E. Sanger, veteran chief Washington correspondent of The New York Times.

    But his administration’s actions have too often contradicted Obama’s stated intentions. “Instead,” New York Times public editor Margaret Sullivan wrote earlier this year, “it’s turning out to be the administration of unprecedented secrecy and unprecedented attacks on a free press.”

    The administration’s war on leaks and other efforts to control information are the most aggressive I’ve seen since the Nixon administration, when I was one of the editors involved in The Washington Post’s investigation of Watergate. The 30 experienced Washington journalists at a variety of news organizations whom I interviewed for this report could not remember any precedent.

    “There’s no question that sources are looking over their shoulders,” Michael Oreskes, a senior managing editor of The Associated Press, told me months after the government, in an extensive leak investigation, secretly subpoenaed and seized records for telephone lines and switchboards used by more than 100 AP reporters in its Washington bureau and elsewhere. “Sources are more jittery and more standoffish, not just in national security reporting. A lot of skittishness is at the more routine level. The Obama administration has been extremely controlling and extremely resistant to journalistic intervention.”

    “There is no access to the daily business in the Oval Office, who the president meets with, who he gets advice from,” said ABC News White House correspondent Ann Compton, who has been covering presidents since Gerald Ford. She said many of Obama’s important meetings with major figures from outside the administration on issues like health care, immigration, or the economy are not even listed on Obama’s public schedule.

    “In the past,” Compton told me, “we would often be called into the Roosevelt Room at the beginning of meetings to hear the president’s opening remarks and see who’s in the meeting, and then we could talk to some of them outside on the driveway afterward. This president has wiped all that coverage off the map. He’s the least transparent of the seven presidents I’ve covered in terms of how he does his daily business.”

    There's a lot more. For example: The Espionage Act has been used to prosecute government employees or contractors for giving information to the media 11 times since it was enacted in 1917. Seven of those cases have occurred on Obama's watch.

    CNN's Tapper: Obama has used Espionage Act more than all previous administrations | PunditFact

    Obama’s Justice Department: Holder’s Leak Investigations Are Outrageous and Unprecedented

    President Obama’s War on Journalists

    The current administration's paranoia and secrecy is rivaled only by Nixon's.
    Joe Williams likes this.
  12. JRoyal

    JRoyal Well-Known Member

    I would say this administration is worse than Nixon's as far as openness, but like I said, this has been growing with each president for decades. And it happens at every level of government. And while each side will bluster about it, no one will really do anything because they might be the next one to hold the big chair, and they want their options open. This has become one of those things that pisses me off but I can't put a ton of anger behind because so many other people in this country only complain about it when the people on the other side are the ones hiding things. So much anger about this is disingenuous partisan crap. There are some of us who this issue really concerns, but a lot of people agree with the media when they attack the side they don't like and then call it a witch hunt when the media goes after their side.
    Donny in his element likes this.
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