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WH Monitors Reporters’ Tweets — Calls Them Up

From an amused Yahoo! News:

When the White House hates your tweet

By Olivier Knox | May 1, 2014

For the Obama White House, tweets from reporters are a kind of early warning system. It’s up to Jessica Allen, 24, to sound the alarm.

Warning of what? That they are ‘off the reservation’? (Or, plantation, if they are black.) That they are at risk of being black-listed and losing access?

Allen, whose official title is “media monitor,” tracks journalists’ tweets and flags them in mass emails that land in the in-boxes of more than 80 Obama aides, including chief of staff Denis McDonough, White House counsel Kathy Ruemmler, press secretary Jay Carney and senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer.

The result? Reporters who regularly cover Obama have become familiar with seemingly out-of-the-blue emails or telephone calls from officials taking issue with their tweets — often thoughtfully and constructively, sometimes with obscenity-laced yelps of outrage.

But this isn’t censorship. This isn’t the chilling of free speech. This isn’t leaning on reporters.

Longtime CBS News White House correspondent Mark Knoller estimates that he’s sent out some 77,000 tweets over the past five years and has received just a few “rockets from Carney.” “’Rockets’ means a few minutes after I tweet something, I’ll get an email from him” with a complaint, Knoller said…

“Sometimes he points out something where I could have been more clear, and I’ll go back and clarify it and attribute it to him. Sometimes he makes a legitimate point. Sometimes I disagree and I stand my ground,” Knoller told Yahoo News…

How courageous of him.

Similarly active tweeters in the White House press corps said that roughly tracked with their experience. None knew about Allen’s role in the process…

What else don’t they know about? (We suspect plenty. Because they have no curiosity about a Democrat administration.)

But it isn’t some scary “Big Brother”-style surveillance of channels designed to be private: Virtually no political reporters treat Twitter as anything but a public space. They use Twitter to link to their work, ask questions, offer insights, analysis or speculation, engage politicians and their aides, and interact with sources and readers…

No, there’s nothing ‘Big Brother’ about it at all. (Sarcasm.) Reporters are glad to have their tweets monitored by the White House. They love getting calls cussing them out.

Instead, she watches the Twitter feeds of influential reporters for comments the White House might view as inaccurate, incomplete or unfair, as well as clues for what they are reporting and how it might portray the president or the administration.

Chris Geidner, BuzzFeed’s legal editor, got a telephone call from Carney earlier this year to clear up a misunderstanding about the president’s position on a possible executive order to ban workplace discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) employees.

Geidner had read the transcript of Carney’s briefing and tweeted something based on one of the press secretary’s answers. Carney tweeted a clarification — and phoned not long afterward with a “that’s not what I meant” message, Geidner told Yahoo News.

“There have been a limited number of instances that something I have tweeted has prompted a call from anybody in the White House, let alone a call from Jay,” Geidner, whose coverage of LGBT issues is highly regarded, said with a laugh…

Interestingly, the White House doesn’t often respond to reporter tweets on Twitter, preferring instead to pick up the phone or send an off-the-record email — private, one-on-one communications.

Gee, why is that? We thought the Obama administration was so transparent. They don’t want the world to see them slapping down a reporter?

No, there’s nothing ‘Big Brother’ about this at all.

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, May 2nd, 2014. Comments are currently closed.

5 Responses to “WH Monitors Reporters’ Tweets — Calls Them Up”

  1. dasher says:

    It is truly amazing how thin-skinned my bed-wetting Liberal brethren can be when George W Bush does something like this, but when St. Barack does it, not a whimper!


    Maybe Merle had it right: “turn me loose, set me free, somewhere in the middle of Montana…”


    • canary says:

      Dasher, I was thinking Nixon impeachment looks pretty lame. I don’t believe George W Bush did this as there was no twitter and he said he never read or watched the news. I remember wishing he would during his administration. How he has remained so silent from years of Obama beating him and lying about him.

      I recall the Clinton’s taking keys of the computers key pads in the White House and corrupting the computers with porno. Talk about sabotaging.

      Speaking of shamefjul John Boehner just now subpoenaing Sec of State John Kerry for files Hillary Clinton has on Benghazi will be interesting. I’ll bet Hillary wiped out everything.

      As far as Yahoo news doing this article I can only think it’s because it’s not during the election with Obama paying
      Yahoo campaign ads 24/7. The Republicans had better start paying Yahoo before Hillary and Kerry run 2016.

      This section rang a bell as Obama’s speech writer Jon Favreau who was in the White House “situation room” during the Benghazi attack was just on FOX and told Breit Baier

      “Dude, it was like 2 years ago”, as if he’d forget. He finally answered that Obama was not in the situation room with him.

      “A former John Kerry campaign aide recalls one firm that wanted $30,000 per quarter to compile clips for the candidate. But there were few other options — until the 2003-2004 cycle.

      “That was the first cycle where newspapers had enough of a Web presence that you could print stories overnight and for the most part not be surprised by what was in the papers the next day,” said one Democrat. “We could pay a 22-year-old to stay up all night long, give them a quarter of the money and get a better product.”

      (One early Kerry campaign clips aide: Jon Favreau, who eventually rose to be Obama’s chief speechwriter. “As tiring as it sometimes was, I actually enjoyed my time as the clips dude,” he told Yahoo News. “In addition to compiling and sending the clips, most people who do this job also read all the clips, which makes you one of the most informed staffers on a campaign at the start of each day. If you can get yourself past the deadening cynicism that comes with the media’s take on just about everything … you learn a lot of interesting things about the world!”)

      The youtube below shows Jon Favreau in an interview where he is drinking beer at a BuzzFeed Brew Fest, looking a bit dazed picking his nose and wiping it on his pants. Dude, get a kleenix.


      They need to subpoena Hillary on all those secret aids she had to see what happened to the $ billions of dollars she can’t account for.

      So, all the media wants to know just where was Obama during the Bengahzi attack.

      Surely, they have not forget his preparing to immediately go to Las Vegas and mingle with the rich $ for Campaign
      donors, which is not as simple a feat as packing a suitcase and getting sleep which was more important.

      He was studying the photos and profile of every rich donor that would be at the Las Vegas party.
      His aids gave him the richest donors that would be there and Obama had to study their photos so he could recognize them well enough, to go up and shake their hands and mention something personal about them so they would feel very important that the President of the United States knew who they were and their interests.
      So the donors might get asked by the Pres, “how are your children doing? ” or “Hey man, I admire how you built our company up”
      It’s more likely he was practicing with an “hidden ear plug” on getting feed from someone elsewhere in the room, feeding him and directing him. “Mr. President look to your left at the man in the green suit. He’s a billionaire named ___. He has a 14 year old who plays basketball….etc. etc.

      There’s a youtube below showing Obama’s speech writer Jon Favreau in an interview with BuzzFeedBrew fest drinking beer. He also picks his nose and wipes it on his pants.


    • GetBackJack says:

      Canary – the laughable part is that Watergate was really about John Dean sending the burglars into the DNC to recover a black book that had the name of his amore listed as a prostitute. The rest is coverup for Dean’s actions and the media and DNC spinning the affair until Nixon got kicked on his ass.

  2. captstubby says:

    “shamefjul John Boehner ”

    good call canary ,

    John Boehner will single handily get more people to vote for Democrats than any campaign ads could ever do,
    or just stay home on election day.

    • canary says:

      “shamefjul”. Just shamefjul. I just couldn’t see that fj.. and I got a splitting headache from trying to read the newly released documents on Judicial Watch.

      How is it Judicial Watch got the documents of e-mails before John Boehner.

      I’m guessing the Democrats have something over Boehner’s head and that is why he refused to open an investigation.

      Anyways, I have a severe headache trying to read these newly released documents on Judicial Watch. The e-mails are not in order as to date Sept 11 or time.

      I think the e-mail subjected “GOAL” to cover it up might be befire the Sept 11 e-mails especially of Susan Rice
      trying gettting stressed out and how confused they were.

      But, for Jay Carney to start his lie with “Let’s be clear…” is disgusting and so is Maria Barf Marf.

      I think talking points should be changed to as per one Subject line” GOAL, which indeed was to cover this up.

      They sure aren’t happy when FOX says WH knew within 24 hours it was not a protest and pass around a lot of e-mails on what the news is saying.

      It appears that Hillary Clinton was announcing the cause was protest about a filthy video causing a protest first.

      I think all the more Obama wants John Kerry to run for President, since they go so far back as friends.


      Correction. It was the smart ass former WH spokesman Tommy Vietor that was on Fox Bret Baier who said “Dude, this was like two years ago.”

      Prior, Vietor tweeted he was asked to appear on Bret Baier probably because it was TBT (Throw Back Thursday).

      I hope all his followers watched and saw what an arrogant disgraceful punk he is. Only sleeze balls will find him clever.

      The father of one of young men who lost his life in the attack, said he asked Obama what would he have done if it were his family being attacked, and said Obama told him nothing.

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