Off the Record

Greta: So much for freedom of the press ...

'Off the Record,' 9/25/14: Why is the White House in charge of distributing the print pool report for journalists? #ChristiansUnderAttack

 

By Greta Van Susteren

Let's all go "Off the Record" for minute. Now, this is really messed up. I had no idea about this until yesterday, that the White House -- not the press, but the White House -- distributes the White House Print Pool reports.

Here is how it works. Each day, the print pool reporters follow the president around and write reports to the entire media. But before the entire media gets those reports, the White House reviews them, and it is the White House that sends the reports out to everyone in the media.

Now, I had no idea. I thought the pool sent the pool reports directly to everyone in the media. But why is the White House seeing or reviewing the reports first? That's a little bit like sending the fox out to guard the chicken coop.

Well, I learned even more. On occasion, and it could be rare, the White House doesn't like some of the content in the pool reports and pressures the print pool to change them. And in some instances, the pool has. That's really bad. That is so messed up. So much for freedom of the press, right?

And besides the review, why is the White House in the business of distributing pool reports? It can't be costs. Media organizations are so rich, they can pay for it themselves. And it sure can't be White House technical know-how. Remember HealthCare.gov?

I don't know about you, but I think this is really messed up. And we wonder why no one trusts the media? That's my "Off the Record" comment tonight.