Where's the news? Obama's whitehouse.gov is transparent -- but not in a good way.
Check out this smarmy explanation by the Obama White House's tech crew of its new website.
Barack Obama's version of the official presidential website, whitehouse.gov, is deeply troubling and downright scary.
So far, it's nothing more than puffery. Even under the Bush-Cheney regime, the site included not only the expected puffery but also easy-to-access news and transcripts and schedules and photos — a record of the presidency, even with George W. Bush's malaprops.
I've e-mailed the site, but have received no response. Seeking explanations elsewhere, I see that the Atlantic's Megan McArdle noted earlier this week:
New York Knicks vs. Washington Wizards
TicketsThu., Jan. 19, 8:00pm
Seton Hall Pirates Womens Basketball vs. Providence Womens Basketball
TicketsFri., Jan. 20, 7:00pm
TWENTY ØNE PILØTS - EMØTIØNAL RØADSHØW
TicketsFri., Jan. 20, 7:00pm
New Jersey Devils vs. Montreal Canadiens
TicketsFri., Jan. 20, 7:30pm
Just where it's tucked away is unclear. The fact that it's tucked away is more than annoying; it's a creepy display of propagandizing.
It's refreshing to have a brother in the White House. But Americans didn't elect a Big Brother.
Maybe there's another site that has that basic, necessary presidential info on Obama's White House. There had better be, or all his talk about "transparency" will truly be transparent.
Memo to Obama: Spare me the site's touted "blog" and give us the damn news and info.
Moving on from the government of record to the paper of record: The New York Times is ignoring not only other papers, as usual, but is showing a bald display of excessive ass-kissing of its new sugar daddy, Mexican robber baron Carlos Slim.
Freely admitting that I'm even whinier than usual, I'll point out that it's typical of the New York Times to pretend that other media outlets don't exist: Today's piece "Correction Officers Accused of Letting Inmates Run Rikers Island Jail" is heart-rending in its saga of brutality, but my colleague Graham Rayman broke the scandal long ago in his slew of "Rikers Island Fight Club" stories.
On the other hand, the Times isn't even promoting its own past stories. The paper's radically altered coverage of its impending bailout by Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim shows that the paper knows where its bread is buttered.
Back in August 2007, Eduardo Porter wrote in the Times, under the headline "Mexico's Plutocracy Thrives on Robber-Baron Concessions":
The very next month, September 2007, the robber baron started purchasing shares in the Times. [CORRECTION: Actually, Slim didn't start purchasing Times shares until September 2008. Thanks to reader Karl Werner-Bailey (see his comment below) for catching my error. My apologies. My careless error tarnishes, not demolishes, my point, but I have to face the facts that I'm having a bad day.]
Two months later, in December 2007, the paper's ball sack had already ascended out of view — suddenly Carlos Slim was no longer a "robber baron." In "A New Breed of Billionaire," Landon Thomas Jr. wrote:
In May 2008, the Times revealed in an out-and-out puff piece that Slim isn't another reclusive robber baron but is rather a "shy" guy. From the paper's "When Shakira Calls, Even the Shy Appear":
Fast-forward to January 2009, and Carlos Slim is no longer so shy, but he's even more philanthropic: He's about to bail out the financially ailing Times itself, as Andrew Sorkin's "Billionaire Seeks Deal in Times Co." noted:
The January 16 Times story, which didn't mention its own earlier portrayal of Slim as a "robber baron" (though other media outlets regularly still mention that critics call him that) admitted that the paper intended to keep the deal hush-hush:
Yeah, the billionaire "seeks deal in Times Co." It's the Times that was desperate for a deal.
You're unlikely to see the paper refer to him as a "robber baron" or "monopolist" these days.
While I place a call to the admirable Mr. Slim to get my own bailout, click on these items...
NO PARTICULAR ORDER:
Wall Street Journal: 'Obama to Lift Family-Planning "Gag Rule"'
N.Y. Post: 'TOTS CRUSHED TO DEATH'
N.Y. Daily News: 'New York runs out of money to pay jobless claims'
Wall Street Journal: 'Cable Rates, Phone Costs Negotiable'
N.Y. Post: 'SEX RAP FOR BX. HS DEAN'
N.Y. Times: 'Worm Infects Millions of Computers Worldwide'
N.Y. Daily News: 'Miss World finalist has hands, feet amputated'
Wall Street Journal: 'Some Firms Boost Boss's Pension'
Wall Street Journal: 'New York Attorney General Scrutinizes Merrill Lynch Bonuses' (Heidi N. Moore)
N.Y. Daily News: 'Guards plead not guilty in "nightmare" Rikers beatings'
N.Y. Post: 'Chute-For-Brains Jumper Ducks Jail'
N.Y. Post: '$TUPOR-GATE: PROBE OF SPITZER A WASTE'
N.Y. Daily News: 'Caroline's bid a disaster from the start'
N.Y. Daily News: 'Cry for help unanswered for relative of Gaza victims' (Juan Gonzalez)
Wall Street Journal: 'Thain Ousted in Clash at BofA'
N.Y. Post: 'MIKE RIPS "LAYOFF" BUDGET'
Wall Street Journal: 'Demand For Reverse Mortgages Climbs'
Wall Street Journal: 'Fed to Focus on Rates, Loans'
Wall Street Journal: 'Britain Enters Recession'
N.Y. Post: 'THE SCOOP ON WORST US FOOD'
Wall Street Journal: 'Firms Lobby as They Get TARP Cash'
Wall Street Journal: 'U.S. Raids Contractors Aided by Murtha'
Wall Street Journal: 'Times Co. Nears Deal On Building'
Wall Street Journal: 'Troubles Mount for Chrysler, Fiat'
N.Y. Post: 'CROCKEFELLER EYES 5-YEAR DEAL'
From the Wall Street Journal:
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in New York, delivered to your inbox.