Stick a sock in it, y'all

As expected, the press is in a snit over the way Barack Obama's campaign pulled a fast one on them back at the beginning of the month. They sent his campaign a letter, which you can read in full here if you want to. I just want to focus on one small part of the letter.

The decision to mislead reporters is a troubling one. We hope this does not presage a relationship with the Obama campaign that is not based on a mutual respect for the truth. Our joint mission is to cover the candidate on behalf of our millions of worldwide viewers and readers. Those individuals expect truthful and fair coverage from us. Your campaign expects nothing short of that from us as well. Surely we should expect the same from you. We sincerely hope we can expect a relationship based on mutual trust in the coming months of coverage.
Riiight. Mutual respect for the truth? Does the madrassa story ring a bell? How about the "terrorist fist jab"? The Michelle Obama "whitey" tape? I could go on, of course, but I think I've made my point.

If the press were doing a fair and even-handed job, I'd back them on this, frankly--I'd rather have as open a process as it's possible to have. But we're talking about a group of people who've been openly hostile to Obama's campaign at times (just as they were to Clinton's campaign, only they treated her worse) while they've mostly fawned over John McCain. Why should Obama's campaign go out of their way to grant access to a group who has proven, time and again, that they have no problem with taking quotes out of context or spreading the most thinly sourced rumors far and wide?

I really hope the press steps up its game and does a solid job of actual reporting, and that the Obama campaign grants them the access necessary to do a good job of it, but given the way he's had to deal with baseless smears already, and the less than stellar job the press has done in vetting those smears, I'd say it's unlikely to happen.

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