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AP’s Sally Buzbee Outlines 8 Ways the Obama Administration Blocks Coverage

ap_logoThe Associated Press’ Erin Madigan White highlights ways the Obama administration actively blocks information from the media, as outlined by AP Washington bureau chief Sally Buzbee.

From the administration’s air strikes on ISIS to Guantanamo Bay, Buzbee recently outlined eight ways the administration prevents media from covering current events at a meeting with the American Society of News Editors.

A few examples:

1) As the United States ramps up its fight against Islamic militants, the public can’t see any of it. News organizations can’t shoot photos or video of bombers as they take off — there are no embeds. In fact, the administration won’t even say what country the S. bombers fly from.

5) Day-to-day intimidation of sources is chilling. AP’s transportation reporter’s sources say that if they are caught talking to her, they will be fired. Even if they just give her facts, about safety, for example. Government press officials say their orders are to squelch anything controversial or that makes the administration look bad.

Read the full list here.

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FOX News Channel #1 in Ratings for President Obama’s 9pm Wednesday Statement

Screen-Shot-2014-09-10-at-9.32.54-PMThe cable news numbers are in for President Barack Obama’s statement to the nation on ISIS Wednesday evening.

According to Nielsen Media Research, FOX News Channel had 4,447,000 total viewers during the President’s address, more than CNN and MSNBC combined, with 1,827,000 and 1,890,000 total viewers respectively. In the A25-54 demo, FOX was also on top with 994,000 viewers, a combined total as seen by CNN with 633,000 and MSNBC with 361,000.

Rating from the address for FNC and MSNBC were taken from 9-9:15 PM ET and from 9:02-9:16 PM ET for CNN.

Network Anchor Total Viewers A25-54
Megyn Kelly 4,447,000 994,000
Rachel Maddow 1,890,000 361,000
CNN Blitzer/Cooper 1,827,000 633,000

Sen. John McCain Challenges Jay Carney for Debut as CNN Political Commentator

Tough first night on CNN for former White House press secretary Jay Carney following President Barack Obama’s statement on ISIS.

Carney, who was announced yesterday as a CNN political commentator, joined Sen. John McCain for a long conversation in which they were never able to “agree to disagree,” as proposed by Carney.

“It’s not a matter of disagreements, it’s a matter of facts. And you have yours wrong, and you have distorted them,” said McCain.


Former WH Press Secretary Ari Fleischer Remembers 9/11 on Twitter

Ari Fleischer, White House press secretary for President George W. Bush on 9/11, began tweeting this morning about that day on its 13th anniversary.

At the time, he and President Bush were headed to a presidential appearance at Emma Booker Elementary School in Sarasota, Florida.

Fleischer’s tweets speak for themselves, but we’ve included several chronologically below.

Read more

President Obama: ‘Our objective is clear: We will degrade, and ultimately destroy, ISIL’

Screen-Shot-2014-09-10-at-9.32.54-PMAt 9:01pm Wednesday evening from the State Room of the White House, President Barack Obama addressed the nation on the threat of ISIS.

“Our objective is clear: We will degrade, and ultimately destroy, ISIL through a comprehensive and sustained counterterrorism strategy,” said Obama.

His strategy consists of four parts to combat ISIS: ”conduct a systematic campaign of airstrikes,” “increase our support to forces fighting these terrorists on the ground,” “draw on our substantial counterterrorism capabilities to prevent ISIL attacks,” and “provide humanitarian assistance to innocent civilians who have been displaced.”

Obama’s remarks came on the eve of the 13th anniversary of 9/11 and several weeks after the beheading of American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff, which he addressed.

In closing out his 14 minute statement, Obama said, “Our own safety, our own security, depends upon our willingness to do what it takes to defend this nation and uphold the values that we stand for –- timeless ideals that will endure long after those who offer only hate and destruction have been vanquished from the Earth.”

Click on over to this White House for full text of Obama’s statement or watch below via Fox News.

Network Coverage of President Obama’s 9pm Wednesday Remarks on ISIS

ObamaCNNIsisWednesday night at 9pm, President Barack Obama will address the nation on U.S. strategy against ISIS.

“Tonight you will hear from the President how the United States will pursue a comprehensive strategy to degrade and ultimately destroy ISIL, including U.S. military action and support for the forces combating ISIL on the ground – both the opposition in Syria and a new, inclusive Iraqi government,” said a White House official in a statement on Obama’s planned remarks. “The President will discuss how we are building a coalition of Allies and partners in the region and in the broader international community to support our efforts, and will talk about how we work with the Congress as a partner in these efforts.”

TVNewser has compiled network coverage plans for the remarks. Click here for the full rundown.

George Bush to Bill Clinton: ‘Be prepared to fall completely in love again’

Former president George W. Bush offered advice for his predecessor Bill Clinton yesterday on becoming a grandfather. ”Be prepared to fall completely in love again,” said Bush.

The two came together at the Newseum to launch the Presidential Leadership Scholars program in partnership with their presidential centers and those of George H.W. Bush and Lyndon B. Johnson.


For more on the conversation and announcement, moderated by former Bush White House chief of staff Josh Bolten, click on over to The Washington Post.

President Obama on Chuck Todd: ‘Now a big cheese’

After addressing the US economy, ongoing violence in Ukraine, and the threat of ISIS in Iraq and Syria during a White House statement just after 4pm today, President Obama turned to the press corps for questions.

First up: NBC News chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd.

“I’m going to start with somebody I guess is now a big cheese, he’s moved on,” Obama quipped, referring to Todd’s new role as moderator of “Meet the Press. Todd will vacate his role as the NBC White House lead when he takes over “MTP” on September 7.


BuzzFeed Highlights Evasive Phrasing in White House Press Briefings

BuzzFeedLogoBuzzFeed’s John Templon yesterday published a piece on elusive phrases offered by White House press secretaries after analyzing 5,000 briefings dating back to the 1993 Clinton White House.

President Clinton’s press secretaries George Stephanopoulos, Dee Dee Myers, Jake Siewert, and Joe Lockhart led their counterparts from the Obama and Bush administrations in their use of “weasel phrases,” as described by BuzzFeed as “I can’t comment on,” “I’m not aware [of/that/etc.],” and “I don’t know.”

Per every 1,000 words, Stephanopoulos and Myers uttered 12.5 and 11.0 “weasel phrases,” respectively, compared to Bush press secretary Ari Fleischer at 3.4

Click through to BuzzFeed for a list of trends as well as each press secretary’s favorite – evasive – phrases.

WATCH LIVE: Josh Earnest’s White House Press Briefing Thursday at 1pm

At 1pm Thursday afternoon, White House press secretary Josh Earnest will deliver a press briefing before the White House press corps.

Watch live, below.