My whole life, I have felt exceptionally grateful to live in the United States. Although there is no doubt that our nation has its flaws - at times, great ones - we will have a vast array of positive features. At the top of the list are our freedoms. People from around the world have risked everything to come to the US - and the primary reason is that, for the most part, you are free to live your life as you wish here.
Well. This used to be the case.
Today? One more example of how our great nation slouches more and more toward fascist nations where much is controlled and manipulated to control how we live. The "most transparent administration ever"? Yeah; give me a break!
"You guys," Mills said, "are just like Tass."
Comparing the White House to the Russian news agency is a hyperbole, of course, but less so with each new administration. Obama's image-makers are taking advantage of new technologies that democratized the media, subverting independent news organizations that hold the president accountable. A generation ago, a few mainstream media organizations held a monopoly on public information about the White House. Today, the White House itself is behaving monopolistic.
The fast-moving trend is hampering reporters and videographers who cover the White House, but Mills' profession has probably been hardest hit. "As surely as if they were placing a hand over a journalist's camera lens, officials in this administration are blocking the public from having an independent view of important functions of the Executive Branch of government," reads a letter delivered today to Carney by the WHCA and several member news organizations including The Associated Press and The New York Times.
The letter includes examples of important news events that were not covered by media photographers, and yet pictures were taken by the White House image team and widely distributed via social media. This happens almost daily.
Unlike media photographers, official White House photographers are paid by taxpayers and report to the president. Their job is to make Obama look good. They are propagandists – in the purest sense of the word.
That was the sentiment behind Mills' crack about Tass, according to people who attended the Oct. 29 meeting. Carney took offense.
"Oh, so now we're like Stalin?" the White House press secretary replied, laughing at the veteran New York Times photographer.
Olivier Knox, a Yahoo reporter and long-time White House correspondent who attended the meeting with Mills, shot an angry look at Carney and said, "It's not funny, Jay."