Two weeks ago, we noted The Strange Case of the Disappearing Transparency Award. Remember? This was the award that a collection of pro-transparency groups wanted to give Barack Obama, in an event scheduled on a day with nothing but closed-press events on the presidential schedule. For the award presentation itself, Obama would only allow pictures with a pool photographer, but no questions from reporters. The irony reached epic levels when the White House abruptly canceled the transparency award ceremony and refused to say why.
Don’t think it could get any worse? Wrong:
President Obama finally and quietly accepted his “transparency” award from the open government community this week — in a closed, undisclosed meeting at the White House on Monday.
The presenters were a bit surprised to see no media present for the award handoff:
This time, Obama met quietly in the Oval Office with Gary Bass of OMB Watch, Tom Blanton of the National Security Archive, Danielle Brian of the Project on Government Oversight, Lucy Dalglish of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, and Patrice McDermott of OpenTheGovernment.org, without disclosing the meeting on his public schedule or letting photographers or print reporters into the room.
“Our understanding going into the meeting was that it would have a pool photographer and a print reporter, and it turned out to be a private meeting,” Bass told POLITICO. “He was so on point, so on target in the conversation with us, it is baffling why he would not want that message to be more broadly heard by reporters and the public interest community and the public generally.”
Actually, Gary, we’re all wondering just a little why you and your fellow “transparency activists” allowed the award ceremony to be conducted in secret. It doesn’t help Obama’s credibility, and it certainly isn’t doing wonders for yours, either.
If you missed it last night, be sure to read Allahpundit’s take on it, too. It was just too good to miss getting this into the OOTD canon.
Got an Obamateurism of the Day? If you see a foul-up by Barack Obama, e-mail it to me at [email protected] with the quote and the link to the Obamateurism. I’ll post the best Obamateurisms on a daily basis, depending on how many I receive. Include a link to your blog, and I’ll give some link love as well. And unlike Slate, I promise to end the feature when Barack Obama leaves office.
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