Tags: thomas | reid | obama

Helen Thomas and Chip Reid Challenge Obama Admin. On 'Controlled' Town Hall Meeting

Thursday, 02 Jul 2009 09:30 AM

By Kenneth D. Williams

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White House spokesman Robert Gibbs and the Obama administration found the press corps slightly less friendly than they are used to yesterday, when CBS's Chip Reid asked why the questions for Wednesday’s town hall on healthcare were being selected beforehand.

Gibbs tried to dodge the issue, and asked for it to be asked after the town hall meeting in question, but then Helen Thomas became involved, saying, “We have never had that in the White House. I’m amazed that you people … call for openness and transparency.”

Reid and Thomas didn't let up for a second, especially Thomas.

To see the video, of the full exchange, Go Here Now.

Karl Rove opined on Fox News this morning that, to some extent, Gibbs had a point in saying that, since people are free to ask whatever questions they want, the president should be allowed to answer whichever questions he wants.

But Thomas didn't see it that way. After the press conference, she told CNS News that Obama's grip on the media is even greater than that of Richard Nixon.

"Nixon didn’t try to do that. They couldn’t control [the media]. They didn’t try that. What the hell do they think we are, puppets? They’re supposed to stay out of our business. They are our public servants. We pay them. I’m not saying there has never been managed news before, but this is carried to fare-thee-well - for the town halls, for the press conferences. It’s blatant. They don’t give a damn if you know it or not. They ought to be hanging their heads in shame."

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