Alexandria, VA - At yesterday's White House briefing, CBS's Chip Reid and Hearst Newspapers columnist Helen Thomas confronted Press Secretary Robert Gibbs over how "very tightly controlled" the media are by the Obama Administration. After the briefing, CNSNews.com reports that many members of the press corps went out of their way to thank Thomas for making her stand.
In a subsequent interview with CNSNews.com , Thomas again articulated her outrage at how the media are being controlled.
"Nixon didn't try to do that. They couldn't control (the media). They didn't try. What the hell do they [the Obama Administration] think we are, puppets? They're supposed to stay out of our business. They are our public servants. We pay them."
Thomas continued, "When you call the reporter the night before, you know damn well what they are going to ask to control you. I'm not saying there has never been managed news before, but this is carried to fare-thee-well-for the town halls, for the press conferences. It's blatant. They don't give a damn if you know it or not. They ought to be hanging their heads in shame."
Media Research Center President Brent Bozell:
"Good for Helen Thomas and Chip Reid for standing up for journalistic principles and integrity. The fact that so many of their colleagues congratulated Helen for doing so shows that the press may finally have had it with being led around by the nose.
"To which I say - fantastic. But if the media are fed up with being manipulated, there's an easy solution: stop allowing yourselves to be manipulated, and begin reporting with the skepticism these two exhibited and you all applauded.
"If every member of the media refused to stand for the White House tightly controlling them, the White House would have to stop doing it."