Beat The Press: More Vile Threats And Harassment Of Reporters By The Obama Regime

Beat The Press: Reporters Reveal How The Obama Administration Threatens And Controls The Media – New York Post

As coverage of last week’s flare-up between Bob Woodward and the White House devolved into the granular parsing of words and implications and extrapolations and possible intent, the larger point was roundly missed: the increasing pressure that White House correspondents feel when dealing with the Obama administration – to follow their narrative, to be properly deferential (!), to react to push-back by politely sitting down and shutting up.

“The whole Woodward thing doesn’t surprise me at all,” says David Brody, chief political correspondent for CBN News. “I can tell you categorically that there’s always been, right from the get-go of this administration, an overzealous sensitivity to any push-back from any media outlet.”

A brief recap: After the Washington Post ran a Woodward op-ed in which he claimed that the administration was “moving the goalposts” on the eve of the potential sequester, the veteran journalist went on to assert that economic adviser Gene Sperling said, in an e-mail, “I think you will regret staking out this claim.”

While Woodward spent a lot of the week on cable news going back and forth on whether that was a threat, few reporters, if any, asked why a high-level administration official spent so much time – Sperling admittedly shouted at Woodward during a 30-minute phone call, followed by that e-mail – attempting to control an opinion expressed in a newspaper.

The answer, say former and current White House correspondents, is simple: This administration is more skilled and disciplined than any other in controlling the narrative, using social media to circumnavigate the press. On the flip side, our YouTube culture means even the slightest gaffe can be devastating, and so you have an army of aides and staffers helicoptering over reporters.

Finally, this week, reporters are pushing back. Even Jonathan Alter – who frequently appears on the Obama-friendly MSNBC – came forward to say he, too, had been treated horribly by the administration for writing something they didn’t like.


……………………………………..Jonathan Alter

“There is a kind of threatening tone that, from time to time – not all the time – comes out of these guys,” Alter said this week. During the 2008 campaign swing through Berlin, Alter said that future White House press secretary Robert Gibbs disinvited him from a dinner between Obama and the press corps over it.

“I was told ‘Don’t come,’ in a fairly abusive e-mail,” he said. “[It] made what Gene Sperling wrote [to Woodward] look like patty-cake.”

“I had a young reporter asking tough, important questions of an Obama Cabinet secretary,” says one DC veteran. “She was doing her job, and they were trying to bully her. In an e-mail, they called her the vilest names – bitch, c–t, a–hole.” He complained and was told the matter would be investigated: “They were hemming and hawing, saying, ‘We’ll look into it.’ Nothing happened.”

He wound up confronting the author of the e-mail directly. “I said, ‘From now on, every e-mail you send this reporter will be on the record, and you will be speaking on behalf of the president of the United States.’ That shut it down.”

Neil Munro, White House correspondent for the conservative Daily Caller, says that after he interrupted Obama during a June 2012 press conference on immigration – inadvertently, Munro insists – he felt the wrath of the administration. “The White House called and bitched us out vigorously,” he says. “I haven’t been called on since shortly after Osama bin Laden was killed.”

“I’ve seen reporters get abused – but it’s the job of the press to push back hard,” says Ron Fournier, a White House correspondent under Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. “The people you’re covering don’t feel like they should be challenged, and they have immense resources at their disposal to beat back.”

CBN’s Brody, who covered Obama during the 2008 campaign and was granted four one-on-ones, has emotional whiplash from his treatment by top aides. On the one hand, he’s sympathetic: “I think they believe in a rabid defense of this president, who has had so many critics, at all costs,” he says. On the other, they are often bullies and a favored tactic is to make a journalist feel dumb, unsophisticated, unworthy of the job or the briefing room or the returned call.

“The way they treated Woodward,” says Munro, “is the way they treat other reporters.”

One correspondent says that when he inquired about a staging choice for the president’s speech, he was steamrolled. “There was one specific White House aide calling me up, yelling and screaming,” he says. “It was condescending and abrasive: ‘Why is this a story? Why are you doing this? This is of no consequence. You’re making a mountain out of a molehill.’”

This went on for two days. “All I wanted,” says the reporter, “was an answer to a question. It’s not like I was looking to do a 12-page exposé to take down an aide. It was unnecessary vociferousness.” He eventually got his statement.

Another White House correspondent says that last week’s blowup over pool reporters’ access to the president’s golf game with Tiger Woods – which was none – is indicative of a larger problem. “Today’s a perfect example,” he says. “Jack Lew is sworn in” – as US Treasury secretary, on Thursday – “and they didn’t even allow a photographer in there. A reporter asked [press secretary] Jay Carney why, and his answer was, ‘It’s a family ceremony.’ No! This is a high-ranking government official whose salary is paid for by taxpayers. No.”

“This administration has tools to reach people on their own,” CBS White House correspondent Bill Plante said this week. “They don’t need us as much. And to the extent that they’re able to do that, they’re undercutting the First Amendment, which guarantees a free press through many voices. If they put out their own material, it’s state-run media.”

Meanwhile, the increasingly obsequious Steve Kroft at “60 Minutes” has had more access to the president than any other reporter, and his last sitdown – with Obama and outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton – was less a scrupulous exit interview than an infomercial for Hillary 2016. Kroft kicked off things by making it clear he had been summoned: “This is not an interview I ever expected to be doing,” Kroft said. “But I understand, Mr. President, this was your idea. Why did you want to do this together, a joint interview?”

“These are the two most influential foreign-policy officials in the United States,” wrote The Atlantic’s Conor Friedersdorf. “In the last four years, they’ve presided over hugely consequential policies all over the planet, much of it cloaked in secrecy.” He went on to excoriate Kroft’s soft-balling as “an embarrassing failure.”

None of the White House correspondents who spoke to The Post are hopeful that things will improve. “What’s our recourse?” says one. “How do you force them?”

“The reporters I’ve spoken to who have covered multiple administrations have said this is tighter, more restricted than other administrations,” Munro says. “They don’t like it. They don’t have the power to change it.”

For these reasons especially, Fournier is nostalgic for the days of covering Bill Clinton. “Every five or six days, he’d do a public event, and we’d go and yell questions and occasionally, he would answer,” Fournier says. “He had to be accountable to an a–hole like me. That’s healthy for democracy.”

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Blogging can be fun but, the Internet Hemmoroids get you sometimes

There are some weird people out there. Some funny weird, some scary weird. Bill Schmalfeldt of Elk Ridge, Maryland, a.k.a. “Liberal Grouch”, is the scary kind of weird. Weird as in cyberstalking, which is sick, and pathetic. Stacy McCain, and others have had to deal with some of these miscreants, and Stacy has filed a report on Bill Schmalfeldt being charged for his dastardly deeds

The charge is “electronic harassment” (Md. Code Crim. Law §3-805) according to Aaron Walker. The complainant is Lee Stranahan:

For the better part of a year, my family and I have have been under contestant siege from a small group of people who have worked together in a relentless attempt to humiliate, embarrass and inflict emotional stress on us in a clear attempt destroy my professional reputation and to silence my voice. Much of this appears to be related to stories I have written about such as Weinergate, Occupy Wall Street, the media’s handling of the Steubenville rape case and projects I’ve launched like Everybody Blog About Brett Kimberlin Day.
These attacks, however, have gone far beyond the realm of impassioned debate and into the realm of illegal harassment that serves no legitimate legal purpose.

Good luck getting to LeeStranahan.com tonight. Bill Schmalfeldt is evidently part of a troll crew organized by Neal Rauhauser to harass various individuals Neal hates, so we can expect the usual hacking/DOS tactics to be deployed against Lee’s site.

Two weeks ago, after yet another manifestation of Schmalfeldt’s obsessive harassment, I wrote:

When will law enforcement start taking this problem seriously? Will we have to wait until one of these cyberstalkers finally kills somebody?

What these people are doing is not “free speech.” In fact, it is theopposite of free speech: Harassment intended to silence (or, at least, distract, annoy and/or smear) bloggers and journalists whose work the cyberstalkers wish to suppress. Unless and until you’ve been targeted by this menacing kook-swarm, it’s very difficult for you to understand what they do and how they do it.

Point One: It’s not really about Lee Stranahan. That is to say, it doesn’t matter whether you like Lee Stranahan or don’t like Lee Stranahan or have never heard of Lee Stranahan. What is involved here is a pattern of harassing behavior systematically employed by certain people who are either (a) crazy, (b) evil, or quite possibly (c) both crazy and evil.

Point Two: It’s not really about politics. That is to say, it doesn’t matter whether you’re liberal or conservative or utterly indifferent to politics, the type of online stalking and harassment involved here cannot be tolerated and is, in fact, illegal.

Go read the rest. Sad that some people are sick in the head, as my granddad used to say, and cannot conduct themselves any better than these stalkers do. And the scary part is you do not know IF they are dangerous or not, Something has to be done about this type of crime.

Let me make clear my statement that something has to be done. Commentator Scott pointed out how dangerous those words can be. He is dead on correct. What we would need is likely not new laws, but better enforcement, maybe harsher punitive measures.

Arizona Politicians Suddenly Stricken With Collective Brain-Fart Syndrome

Arizona Pushes Law To Make ‘Annoying’ Comments Illegal – Cnet

The Arizona state legislature has been under fire the past few weeks for a bi-partisan bill that would revise its telephone harassment and stalking laws, according to the Associated Press. The law was written before the influx of computers and smartphones, and updates would add this modern technology into existing legislation.

On one hand, advocates of this law say it would make it easier to criminalize perpetrators who stalk their victims online or with text messages; but, on the other hand, free speech advocates say the law’s language is too broad making any “annoying” or “offensive” comment made on the Internet illegal.

……..

“Government may criminalize speech that rises to the level of harassment and many states have laws that do so,” David Horowitz, executive director for the New York-based First Amendment advocacy group Media Coalition, wrote in a letter to Gov. Jan Brewer, “but this legislation takes a law meant to address irritating phone calls and applies it to communication on web sites, blogs, listserves and other Internet communication.”

What Horowitz is saying is that this law could be used as grounds to seek criminal charges against someone who posts a pushy, controversial, or offensive comment on a social networking site like Facebook or Twitter.

Arizona Republican Rep. Vic Williams, who helped sponsor the bill, believes that the law is necessary to protect victims from being harassed online or via text, according to the Associated Press.

“There’s a bona fide need to protect people from one-on-one harassment,” Williams told the Associated Press. “Hopefully, we can eliminate the dialogue of the extremists in this conversation, find mainstream consensus where we protect people’s privacy, protect people from harassment – but without quashing, quelling or impeding upon appropriate free speech.”

The law is to have a final vote in the Arizona House and then is expected to make it to Brewer’s desk shortly. According to the Associated Press, numerous states are working on legislation similar to what is being proposed in Arizona and more than 30 states already have anti-harassment and stalking laws that include electronic communication.

Click HERE For Rest Of Story

Daily Benefactor News – TSA Worker Arrested For Kidnapping And Rape Had Prior Convictions For Harassment And Stalking

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TSA Worker Arrested For Kidnapping And Rape Had Prior Convictions For Harassment And Stalking – WSB

A TSA security worker accused of abducting and sexually assaulting a woman had previously been convicted of misdemeanor harassment and stalking.

Randall King remains hospitalized following a suicide attempt. Police said last Wednesday, King agreed to drive a woman home from the airport. Instead, investigators said King took her to a MARTA station parking lot and placed novelty handcuffs on her.

Investigators said he drove her 50 miles away to his home in Troup County and sexually assaulted her. The woman told police that King gave her a suicide note, his car and let her go, investigators said.

A spokesman for the Transportation Security Administration said privacy laws precluded him from releasing any background information on King.

Channel 2 Action News reporter Tom Regan reviewed court records from Clinton County, Pennsylvania. According to the records, King was charged with nine offenses of harassment and stalking by communication in January 2001. A court clerk told Regan that King pleaded guilty and spent three months in jail for skipping a court appearance.

TSA has a long list of “disqualifying offenses” for employment at the federal agency that operates airport security. Those offenses include felonies, violent crimes, theft, and crimes involving security and transportation. Regan checked the list and found that it did not include misdemeanor offenses of harassing and stalking.

Brent Brown, a security expert who runs a company in Smyrna, told Regan that he believes a job candidate with a record of stalking should not be hired by the TSA.

“This type of misdemeanor, this is harassment. You’re putting a person in a public area. I would say that would disqualify him for employment,” said Brown.

Hogansville police told Channel 2 Action News that they have prepared warrants on the 49-year-old airport security worker but would not specify the nature of the charges.

Click HERE For Rest Of Story

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