How Trust Dies, Part II: A Trivial White House Cover-Up With Signature Significance

Yeah, but this is little Big Brother stuff, so why worry?"

Yeah, but this is little Big Brother stuff, so why worry?”

President Obama was speaking at a Democratic fundraiser in Chicago on Monday,  and you know how he is when he goes off his teleprompter.

He was talking about returning home to Chicago,  and said

“One of the nice things about being home is actually that it’s a little bit like a time capsule. Because Michelle and I and the kids, we left so quickly that there’s still junk on my desk, including some unpaid bills (laughter) — I think eventually they got paid — but they’re sort of stacked up. And messages, newspapers and all kinds of stuff.”  

The White House, however, removed the “unpaid bills” part from the official transcript which was sent out after the event, so it now reads “there’s still junk on my desk, including some — newspapers and all kinds of stuff.​” Associated Press reporter Josh Lederman noticed the deception and alerted another reporter who was at the event, who sent out an email alerting her colleagues and everyone else who receives reports from the White House press corps.

Trivial? Sure. Stupid? Paranoid? Absolutely. But this, remember, is the Administration that President Obama promised would be “the most transparent” ever. That pledge, like so many, many others, is “inoperable” as another corrupt administration liked to say, but this is signature significance. If the President’s staff will go to the trouble to misrepresent what Obama said, in public, for such minor, indeed, barely perceptible gain, why would anyone doubt the lengths it would go to to cover up really damning stuff, like the circumstances surrounding the death of an ambassador in Libya, or complicity in the IRS plot to suppress conservative campaign efforts, or a botched gun-running operation, or any of a long list of other fiascoes? If the White House thinks it has to falsify documents to cover-up a miniscule Presidential gaffe like this, what is it willing to do when transparency will cause real, substantial political problems?

I can’t wait to read the rationalizations about how this in nit-picking. This kind of official air-brushing of reality is what the U.S. used to mock Communists for during the Cold War. But hey, this is minor, right?

Anyone who trusts the Obama Administration to tell the truth at this point is a patsy, a victim, a fool, or a fan of Big Brother. Naturally, the mainstream media, whose reporters were the ones the White House tried to dupe, doesn’t think this story is worth reporting.

Which of those four description apply to them, I wonder?

Pointer: Mediaite

Facts: Weekly Standard


10 thoughts on “How Trust Dies, Part II: A Trivial White House Cover-Up With Signature Significance

      • I’d like to think sometimes you don’t *know* they’re idiots when you hire them? Yes, Pollyanna here… I actually work with someone now who left working at the WH. I like her a lot, and her amount of ‘real’ and smart are awesome. She’s exactly the kind of person who should be there. But she isn’t anymore, because she had to leave… Oh, this could lead to too much weltschmerz for now. I guess I’d like to think someone should stand up and say OOPS and fall upon their sword. Won’t happen.

  1. For the life of me I don’t know why having some unpaid bills on a desk is something that needs to be hidden. Every bill I get is unpaid for some period of time. I just don’t let them become past due. I am sure he does not either.

  2. I agree that the mainstream media will not report this story, but the irony is there would have been NO story at all, in my opinion, if the White House staff hadn’t changed the transcript.

  3. The crazy thing is that I don’t even read the original comment as a gaffe. To me it was just a little light-hearted humor of exaggeration, painting a picture and setting up a “When we moved out, it was *fast*. / HOW FAST WAS IT?” joke. I don’t for a moment believe that he was confessing to the literal presence of unpaid bills.

    No need to remove it at all.

    And then, of course, the rest of the commentary is spot-on and what logically follows.


    • You know it was removed because of the easy-to-pounce-on joke in waiting that his credit card was recently rejected at a restaurant. That ready made joke fodder was humor in the making, especially political humor in the making.

      Sensitive to where any joke like that would go, I imagine his body-guard-of-liars would always be on the look out for other “slip ups” like that.

      I don’t think it’s a slip up, I don’t think the credit card joke was a slip up. All casual banter with no worries and allowing of laughs all around (even though it really isn’t that funny).

      As observed, it wasn’t what was said that is a concern. It’s that it was changed.

  4. Light hearted humor cannot be practiced in today’s political climate. If the wrong person said something similar at any given time during an election it could be a game changer.
    I don’t like it. I don’t like it no matter who does it. But, light hearted goes out the door when political personal destruction come in.

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