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Sunday, July 20, 2008

Barack Obama Snubbing the Foreign Press

According to Christoph von Marschall, who is the Washington bureau chief of Der Tagesspiegel, a German daily newspaper, Barack Obama has been snubbing the Foreign Press. Phone calls and emails ignored, and von Marschall says, "We Don't Matter".
In the Washington Post today, von Marschall writes a piece which wonders if Obama's avoidance and refusal to answer questions from foreign journalists stems from a certain wariness about the risk of speaking to foreign media and how it can resonate back in America, and he uses the examples of Obama's adviser Austan Goolsbee and his former aide Samantha Power, both of which made comments to foreign press and both saw ripples throughout America at those comments.

Barring that reason, von Marschall also wonders if Obama's refusal to speak with the foreign press and answer questions from them could stem from arrogance at "being so close to power."

Then von Marschall says he was told by a campaign adviser to Obama "Why should we take the time for foreign media, since there is Obamania around the world?"

He does mention two examples from early spring where Obama allowed at least one foreign on a trip to Ohio and Texas, but says that has now changed as well.

He says to a certain point he finds it understandable since the readers of the foreign press cannot vote in American elections so that makes them less important to US politicians, although he does mention that John McCain has given many interviews to the International Press as has Hillary Clinton and that President Bush commonly holds round-table interviews with media from the countries to which he travels.

Von Marschall states, "Only Obama dismisses us so consistently."

He contends that email requests, or questions, go unanswered and phones calls are not returned from the Obama campaign and he continues on to say, "We are last in line. We don't matter."

He ends his Washington Post editorial by saying, "Surely a man who has said he would talk with U.S. adversaries such as Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad can spend a few moments with journalists from friendlier countries."

Although Von Marschall calls this a "dirty little secret", the fact that it is in the Washington Post, on Sunday, even though it is on page B07, pretty much guarantees that it isn't a secret any longer.