Press member: During the campaign, the President, on numerous occasions said words to the effect of quoting one, "all of this will be done on C-Span in front of the public," Do you agree the president is breaking an explicit campaign promise?
Gibbs: We we we covered this yesterday and I refer you to yesterday's answer.
Another journalist jumps in and continues to press Gibbs, mentioning the press coverage on Obama's promises since yesterday's question and answer period.
Gibbs continue to hem and haw.
The bottom line did manage to come out of Gibb's mouth though when he said "The president wants to get a bill to his desk as soon as possible," which seems to be the reasoning and justification for breaking all Obama's campaign promises stating clearly that the negotiations on healthcare would be completely transparent by being televised live.
Flashback to yesterday's video showing Obama making that same promise eight times.
The headlines today in the media and blogosphere are harsh, reminding everyone about Obama's broken promises.
Washington Examiner with "White House: We will NOT discuss broken C-Span promise"
On Tuesday, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs declined to answer questions about the president's campaign commitment to hold health-care negotiations on C-Span. Gibbs said he had not seen a letter from C-Span's Brian Lamb to congressional leaders requesting the coverage and thus could not comment on it.
CNN with "What happened to Obama's promise of open government?"
During the campaign, the president promised to break down the wall, and allow Americans to watch on TV as legislation was made. "We'll have the negotiations televised on C-SPAN, so that people can see who is making arguments on behalf of their constituents, and who are making arguments on behalf of the drug companies or the insurance companies."
Whoops. C-SPAN has asked for just that kind of access during these final negotiations (now that they've gone underground). Brian Lamb, the network's chairman, wrote to congressional leaders to complain that taking the final process behind closed doors was unacceptable, given that this legislation will "affect the lives of every single American." It looks like the answer to his plea was "go away."
The danger for the White House is that C-SPAN won't be the only one who feels disappointed.
Commentary Magazine with "Obama’s Petard"
Who is to blame for giving the Republicans such as wonderful cudgel with which to beat President Obama and the congressional Democrats over the head? Well, it was that political genius Barack Obama. It was a dumb political move on his part to have ever suggested open negotiations, let alone promising them over and over.
Real Clear Politics with "White House Continues C-SPAN Dodge."
So the question about Obama's C-SPAN promise remains unanswered. And Gibbs' response yesterday brings up a new question for the White House: if the American people aren't lacking any information about the content of the health care legislation, why is the President rushing through closed-door meetings to pass a piece of legislation on a party-line vote that a majority of the country disapproves of?
Another Commentary Magazine piece with "Lies, Big Lies and Nancy Pelosi Press Conferences."
Then yesterday she comes up with a doozy in responding to a letter by C-SPAN that sought to televise the conference committee (which isn’t going to happen because it’s all to be done in secret cloakroom deals): “There has never been a more open process for any legislation.”
Well, we can’t say this sort of thing is out of character, can we? She seems not to recall that the Senate hid the bill until Sen. Bill Nelson’s vote had been bought and then rushed a bill to a 1:00 a.m. vote right before Christmas. She seems not to recall that the House staged a Saturday vote and broke her pledge to post the bill online 72 hours before the vote.
Then concludes :
In short, the Democrats are reduced to making up stuff, both on substance and on process, because what is in the bill is unpalatable to a majority of voters. And they certainly don’t want to discuss the details or put any of the final back-room bribery . . . er . . . legislative compromising . . . on C-SPAN.
Wall Street Journal's sub header is "So much for the President's pledge of C-Span transparency."
This black-ops mission ought to be a particular embarrassment for Mr. Obama, given that he campaigned on transparent government. At a January 2008 debate he said that a health-care overhaul would not be negotiated "behind closed doors, but bringing all parties together, and broadcasting those negotiations on C-Span so the American people can see what the choices are."
The C-Span pledge became a signature of his political pitch. During a riff at the San Francisco Chronicle about "accountability," he added that "I would not underestimate the degree to which shame is a healthy emotion and that you can shame Congress into doing the right thing if people know what's going on."
Apparently this Congress knows no shame. In a recent letter to Congressional leaders, C-Span president Brian Lamb committed his network to airing "all important negotiations," which if allowed would give "the public full access, through television, to legislation that will affect the lives of every single American." No word yet from the White House.
At a press conference in December, even Mrs. Pelosi said that "we would like to see a full conference." One reason she mentioned was that "there is a great deal of work involved in reviewing a bill and seeing what all the ramifications are of it," though her real motive at the time was that a conference seemed like a chance to drag the bill closer to the House version.
With public support collapsing, however, Democrats now think the right bill is any bill—and soon. Democrats know that a conference forces the majority party to cast votes on awkward motions and would give the Republicans who have been shut out for months a chance to participate. This sunlight, and the resulting public attention, might scare off wavering Democrats and defeat the bill. Ethics rules the Democrats passed in 2007 also make it harder to "airdrop" into conference reports the extra bribes they will no doubt add to grease the way for final passage.
Democrats howled at the strong-arm tactics Mr. DeLay used to pass Medicare drug coverage in 2003, and so did we. But they've managed to create an even more destructive bill, and their tactics are that much worse. We can't even begin to imagine the uproar if the Republicans had tried to privatize Social Security with such contempt for the democratic process and public opinion.
The Blogosphere reactions are just as harsh and a lot more blunt.
Hot Air with "Press corps grills Gibbs: Um, didn't Obama totally shamelessly lie about C-SPAN?"
....In fact, the best he can do by way of an answer is to mumble that The One wants a bill on his desk as soon as possible, an implicit admission that the White House is prepared to sacrifice all its gauzy promises about transparency on the altar of finally ramming this travesty through. But then, we already knew that.
The Lonely Conservative with "White House on Transparency: We Will Not Discuss Transparency."
Folks, you just have to laugh. I know, the statists are in charge and they’re trying their damnedest to fundamentally transform our republic, ie: ruin it. But come on, if you were them, would you advise the people of your true intentions? Of course not! That’s why it’s so funny to witness the media’s puzzlement over the lack of transparency. Did they really believe the promises made by Obama?
Melissa Clouthier with "Promises, Promises."
Go read the whole transcript at The Examiner. It’s actually pretty funny. Poor Gibbsy, trying obfuscate when the truth is obvious: President Obama is the same old kind of politician, acting the same old way, except worse. He’s doing this all Chicago-style. It’s vicious in there.
Dude can’t take the heat or live up to the hype.
Yid With Lid with "White House REFUSES To Discuss Broken C-span Promise"
And Gibbs won't answer, until he finds a way to blame Obama's broken promise on George Bush.
Ok, that right there is so ironically true it is funny in a morbid fashion.
You can see many more reaction around the blogosphere over at Memeorandum, they are still coming out.
I did want to highlight one more though from "Another Black Conservative" blog because he sets the blame here, not only on the politicians and Obama, but on the media, who has decided that making excuses for all the lies shoved down the public's throat was okay, but decides to get hyped up when the lies were straight to them and then reneged on.
The thing is the media created this situation themselves. Remember back at the beginning of the so-called "health care debate". Obama was out there saying the billing would contain A, B and C, meanwhile Harry Reid and Nancy Peolosi were cooking up bills containing X, Y and Z. No one in the mainstream media ever said boo. Instead, some of them even turned into the State Run Media to push Obama’s song and dance. Well, now that everyone has seen how shitty the bill is and have learned about all the nasty back door dealings, the public is crying out for the transparency the Obama promised over and over and over again.
Too late for the media, they shed their credibility and their integrity and jumped in bed with Obama. They worked to get him elected and to push his agenda. Now that everything is going south, they want to act like they are all about the Fourth Estate again. Sorry, but it is time for the MSM to reap what they have sown. America is getting a crappy health care bill and the media is every bit to blame as the sleazy politicians who wrote it.
We have been watching the media take up Obama's slack and carry his water for the last year, making up excuses as to why he lied to the gay community, the elderly, the minority communities and to America at large, but when a specific promises was made to one of their own, namely C-span and those promises are broken, all of a sudden they start noticing and calling a lie, a lie?
November 2010 will be the month the American people get to tell the democrats running the show, exactly how they feel about being lied to.... promises to be a brutal year for Democrats and the more bad legislation they shove through in the meantime, the worse it will get.