“Where’s the coverage?” Bret Baier slams media blackout on White House secrecy

Bret Baier ~ Where's the coverage?

Affable and ever-polite, Fox News “Special Report” anchor Bret Baier is a class act. Rarely (except for Obama minions Stephanie Cutter and Tommy “dude” Vietor) does he take off the gloves and smack around errant political hacks, even when his mostly conservative audience wishes he would. Yes, he is dogged — he and his team’s reporting on Benghazi has been thorough, tough and unyielding — and he is hardly a partisan tool.

That’s why his current “Baier Tracks” blog posting stands out. Mincing no words, Bret indicts his peers in the Washington press corps as protecting the Obama White House, noting how the administration has blocked media and lawmakers access to the federal facilities housing illegal immigrant children.

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BAIER TRACKS: BORDER CRISIS SECRECY UNACCEPTABLE (Courtesy: Fox News)

“It may be the easiest form of punditry: look at any given situation in the Obama administration and imagine what that same move would have triggered from the media and from Congress if it had happened during the Bush administration. But the ongoing crisis at the southern U.S. border perhaps gives us the most striking example yet.

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said ‘privacy rights’ of the Central American children who have illegally entered the United States are the reason governors around the country have not been given warnings about incoming busloads or planeloads of kids coming to their states, but somehow this kind of secrecy doesn’t prompt an uproar. We have passed into another reality. Imagine if the Bush administration had refused information about such a program or forbidden access to federal detention facilities housing illegal immigrant children not just to reporters, but even to lawmakers.

Jim Bridenstine, the Oklahoma congressman who fought for and eventually won access to the detention facility at Ft. Sill in his district released the memo from the administration dictating the conditions for his visit. Included on the list:

– No recording devices will be allowed

– No questions will be allowed during the tour

– No interacting with staff and children at the shelter

– We ask that your questions be provided via email or phone after the tour…

– HHS ACF public affairs will provide answers to your follow up questions as quickly as possible

– We will provide photos of the facility after the tour

– There will be no on-site interviews by HHS staff before or after the tour…

This would be World War Three in the media and in Congress if it happened during the Bush administration. Rightly so. When the Bush administration refused to release information about Vice President Dick Cheney’s energy task force, the response was enormous and the administration was eventually compelled to back down on some of its lack of transparency. Isn’t this at least as big of an issue as an energy policy working group? Where is the outrage? Where is the media uproar? Where is the coverage?

I know the Radio Television Digital News Association has spoken out on the subject and that the National Press Foundation has generally decried the Obama White House’s lack of openness, but this should be the moment when our profession pushes back.”

~Bret Baier

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