From The Yahoo News blog, The Upshot:
Reporters wouldn't say Thursday who joined President Obama for an off-the-record lunch at the White House.The New York Times acted appropriately here. The rest of the news outlets did not.
The Upshot noted the irony that news organizations have been at the forefront of the fight to make White House visitor logs public. Not to mention the fact that the names of those who visit the White House in August will be made available to the public by November anyway.
But who wants to wait until November? The Upshot has now learned which White House beat reporters attended the off-the-record meeting.
Here's the lineup: Ben Feller (Associated Press), Jonathan Weisman and Laura Meckler (Wall Street Journal), Michael Shear and Scott Wilson (Washington Post), Caren Bohan (Reuters), David Jackson (USA Today), Carol Lee (Politico), Peter Nicholas (Tribune Co.), Margaret Talev (McClatchy) and Julianna Goldman (Bloomberg).
Several reporters on this list gave "no comments" to The Upshot on Thursday.The New York Times was invited but did not attend. White House reporter Peter Baker told The Upshot that the paper "politely declined because we'd like very much to talk on the record."
What does the President have to discuss with the media that he can not discuss in public? Obama is the servant of the people, and he is hired by the people. The Press is protected by the First Amendment, because they are supposed to serve as a check against the power of the Federal government.
If the Media is involved in keeping secrets from the people about the machinations of the Presidency, then they have ceded their role as a check against the government and are, instead, working in collusion with the government against the interests of the people.