Over the past few months, as White House cameras have been granted free reign behind the scenes, officials have blocked broadcast news outlets from events traditionally open to coverage and limited opportunities to publicly question the president himself.
Obama's recent signing of the historic New START treaty with Russia and his post-State of the Union cabinet meeting, for example, were both closed to reporters in a break with tradition. And during a recent question and answer session with the president and visiting Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, the White House imposed an unusual limit of just one question each from the U.S. and Canadian press corps.
"The administration has narrowed access by the mainstream media to an unprecedented extent," said ABC News White House correspondent Ann Compton, who has covered seven administrations. "Access here has shriveled."
Members of the press have always had quibbles with White House media strategies, calling cut-backs in access an affront to transparency, even as administration officials insist they're simply taking advantage of new technologies.
But some say the current dynamic is different, and dangerous.
Answer by jewjewbee at 12:30 PM on Feb. 15, 2011
It already was that , Ask Scott McClellan
Answer by sweet-a-kins at 1:12 PM on Feb. 15, 2011
Answer by yourspecialkid at 1:41 PM on Feb. 15, 2011
Answer by itsmesteph11 at 2:37 PM on Feb. 15, 2011
Answer by LoriKeet at 4:08 PM on Feb. 15, 2011
Answer by UpSheRises at 4:38 PM on Feb. 15, 2011
Answer by jesse123456 at 6:25 PM on Feb. 15, 2011
Answer by Shaneagle777 at 9:30 PM on Feb. 15, 2011
Answer by stacymomof2 at 11:03 PM on Feb. 15, 2011