CNN's Foreman: Obama Not 'Champion of Transparency' He Promised He'd Be
Randy Hall | July 12, 2012 | 11:56
During Tuesday night's edition of CNN's Outfront, substitute host Tom Foreman departed from the network's usual liberal spin to accuse President Obama of failing to keep his promise of presiding over the most transparent presidential administration ever.
After running a clip of the president stating that "We have put in place the toughest ethics laws and toughest transparency rules of any administration in history." Foreman asked if Obama's claims "add up" regarding the "transparency tornado."
He promised to publish the White House visitors' log so the public could see who was coming and going all the time. But his administration later came under fire for holding meetings with lobbyists across the street at a townhouse with no visitor records.
Foreman continued by stating that the president “appointed a transparency czar and a year later dropped him, saying the White House attorney can handle that work.”
Foreman then turned his attention to a June fundraiser at the home of actress Sarah Jessica Parker. At that event, “the Secret Service parked a dump truck in front of our camera to keep Obama hidden from view.”
Those incidents, the veteran CNN journalist observed, have prompted [liberal] publications ranging from the New York Times to the Mother Jones magazine “to sharply criticize the president for being far from the champion of transparency he claims to be.”
The host then asked Bill Adair, the creator and editor of Politifact.com, if Obama is “any better, any worse or about the same as other presidents.”
Adair replied that Obama has “had mixed success” on his “big promise” of transparency.
Adair noted that among the things the president has accomplished is releasing “an ocean of information” online, but added that one of the things Obama has not done well is “resist the gravitational pull of Washington to do things behind closed doors,” including the promised airing of discussions on health care policy on C-SPAN.
Foreman then turned to CNN contributor David Frum and stated that many reporters have said “there's a lot of information coming out, but when you're releasing the information that you want to release, that's just PR. That's not transparency.”
“I'm a big believer in government accountability,” Frum said, “but I think transparency is the most overrated concept in government. It doesn't do what you want it to do.”
Foreman replied forcefully to the Canadian-born former Bush speechwriter, “I'm a voter. I want to know what's going on. I want to know who the president is sitting down with.”...