This week, for example, two things happened that should have sent reporters into a frenzy of outrage. First, there were reports that the Obama administration has effectively crippled the Freedom of Information Act, despite Obama's promise of unequaled transparency.
Nearly half the federal agencies got an F grade for FOIA compliance, according to a Center for Effective Government report. And Cause of Action discovered that the administration had created a new FOIA exemption, letting the White House bottle up requests that involve White House "equities." Given the media's reliance on FOIA to expose wrongdoing and hold government accountable, such findings should be headline news.
Next, we learned that Michelle Obama has banned the press from her taxpayer-paid China visit. Instead, the White House website will provide a "daily travel blog," a podcast series, and posts on Twitter and Instagram.
The media response to each abuse? Zzzzzzz.
The press also showed indifference when the U.S. ranking for press freedom fell to 46th place. Ditto the disturbing news that the Federal Communications Commission planned to investigate whether newsrooms were meeting their communities' "critical information needs." The press didn't even break this story. Republican-appointed FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai exposed it in an op-ed.
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