Apparently, Barack Obama isn’t always as friendly with his White House correspondents as conservative media would have you believe. While they might be clipping his photos out of Tiger Beat magazine and pasting them into dreamy collages on their cubicle walls, Barack Obama spends his time thinking about the press mostly considering which swear words to use the next time he runs into them, at least according to retired ABC News journalist Ann Compton.
In an interview with C-SPAN, Compton noted that, at least recently, the press has had a contentious relationship with President Obama, that has, on more than one occasion, resulted in a good old-fashioned swearing session on the part of the President, who seems to feel that the media he relied on to abrogate their duty as the Fourth Estate in order to pave the way for his Presidency, hasn’t been duly compliant in recent years.
ANN COMPTON: Before I walked out the door on September 10, I was a strong voice for complaining that this particular administration has been more opaque than any I have covered about what the President does in the Oval Office everyday. He is far less accessible on photo-ops with meetings. Even some meetings on the record, meeting in the Roosevelt room with financial leaders from, from Wall Street or on issues with environmental groups, or with issues with environmental groups, with public opinion leaders, I think most presidents have been far more forthcoming than the second Obama term, in terms of what the President is doing every day and we almost never get photo-ops….
LAMB: So, off of that experience, how many other presidents were that aware of what they said to you and how many just did not pay attention at all and you had no personal reaction from them?
COMPTON: I think most presidents realize – had a personal connection. I don’t think they ever — we were ever in a confrontation-type moment where they felt the need to apologize. I have seen in the last year Barack Obama really angry twice. Both were off-the-record times. One, profanity-laced where he thought the press was making too much of scandals that he did not think were scandals. Another where he took us to task for not understanding the limits he has with foreign policy and the way he’s dealing with the Middle East and Iraq, and Afghanistan. And I don’t find him apologetic. But I find him willing to stand up to the press and look them in the eye, even though it was off the record and just give us hell.
Compton also took the Administration to task for being “opaque,” chiding the President for not being as forthcoming as previous administrations, even in on-the-record meetings where press is present. She seemed particularly aggrieved about the official White House photographer, who has taken the place of White House Press Corps photographers. Mike Gonzalez of Heritage caught the comments live and Tweeted about them. Newsbusters notes that Compton also had a “final chance” to ask the President a single question, and instead of airing her complaints and asking for an explanation, she lobbed a softball about Ferguson.
Of course, maybe she just felt safer on C-SPAN where no one has ever sworn, ever, even when confronted with the typical callers on Washington Journal.
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