Report: White House's Relationship With Media Is Worst in 50 Years
A new study from the Columbia Journalism Review found that the current White House relationship with the press is worse than ever before.
"The relationship between the president and the press is more distant than it has been in half a century," the report reads.
The report, which looked at every official exchange between President Obama and the press in 2014, revealed that the "White House determined to conceal its workings from the press, and by extension, the public.”
The study also found that in the few interactions Obama has had with the press, he gives long answers that leave little time for other questions.
The report stated:
The research, paid for by a fund established in memory of former White House correspondent Helen Thomas, makes clear that the media most responsible for covering the president and his inner sanctum are given little insight into how decisions are made or who influences those decisions, whether from inside or outside the White House.
Evidence suggests that the relationship between the president and the press is more distant than it has been in a half century. John F. Kennedy held frequent press conferences—23 a year, according to Martha Joynt Kumar, a presidency and media scholar—and also had an ongoing relationship with Ben Bradlee, then Newsweek’s Washington bureau chief.
Jimmy Carter would play softball with the press corps. Bill Clinton attended an off-the-record dinner with African-American reporters at the home of then-Newsday White House correspondent William Douglas. By 2014, White House reporters’ ability to question the president was largely limited to the 44 exchanges Obama had with the media, just five of them in solo press conferences.
The "Outnumbered" panel reacted this afternoon (watch above), with Kennedy likening the White House to a "state-run news agency."
"They have their own weekly White House news show called 'West Wing Week' and that's where you can find out what the president wants you to see."
Andrea Tantaros added that the public knows far more about past presidents.
"We knew everything about Bush, we knew his great grandfather found Geronimo's skull. We knew that Bill Clinton preferred boxers to briefs. We knew everything about every other president except this president," she said, arguing that the White House wants to "control the media."
Watch the full discussion, which also included actor Robert Davi, Harris Faulkner and Joanne Nosuchinsky and let us know your opinion: do you have a favorable or unfavorable view of how this White House treats the media?
Don't miss "Outnumbered," weekdays at noon ET, catch Joanne on "Red Eye," weekdays at 3a ET, and don't miss Andrea Tantaros, tonight on "The O'Reilly Factor" at 8/11p ET as she discusses President Obama's stance toward Israel.