The president who promised an unprecedented level of transparency has been disturbingly opaque during his current fundraising trip to the West Coast, as far as reporters are concerned. As Barack Obama meets with large, influential private donors like Costco co-founder James Sinegal and Silicon Valley moguls, the media is being denied even moderate access. Christi Parsons, president of the White House Correspondents' Association, told Politico: "We think these fundraisers ought to be open to at least some scrutiny, because the president’s participation in them is fundamentally public in nature."
The media always wants more access than it gets. But there's a particular frustration for the press in this administration's secrecy, especially as its bold early promises have devolved and it's become associated with the NSA surveillance scandal. Questioned about the disappointing level of transparency in the administration, White House deputy press secretary Eric Schultz said: “I would only ask that you judge us by our record and the record of our predecessors." Even by that measure though, the press is unimpressed. Numerous reports suggest that the Obama administration is about as transparent as lead. Leonard Downie, Jr., former Washington Post Executive Editor said last year that the Obama team's efforts to control information are the "worst I've seen since the Nixon administration."
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