Grading Obama's First Term

Friday, November 09, 2012


With one term down and one more to go, we take a look at how well the first Obama administration did on some of the issues OTM cares about most: surveillance, transparency, whistleblowers, and press access. Brooke and Bob speak with The Guardian's Glenn Greenwald, the Sunlight Foundation's Lisa Rosenberg, and ABC's White House correspondent Jake Tapper about Obama's first four years, and what they expect in the next four.

Nathan Salsburg_Eight Belles Dreamt the Devil Was Dead

Nathan Salsburg - Eight Belles Dreamt the Devil Was Dead


Glenn Greenwald, Lisa Rosenberg and Jake Tapper

Hosted by:

Bob Garfield and Brooke Gladstone

Comments [12]


Time for a follow-up already:

Nov. 17 2012 09:49 AM

This last week's report seemed to be the most open and damning regarding President Obama's lack of transparency with the media and the American public. How surprising that you chose to air it after the election.

Nov. 12 2012 01:23 PM
someBrad from Philadelphia

I was disappointed that Bob didn't push back on Jake Tapper's insinuation that White House press conferences are a source of tougher questions than interviews conducted by people with funny radio names or even, spare my blushes, a show hosted by women. Obama has been asked tough questions outside of the briefing room, often on topics that are important to a lot of people but aren't part of the news cycle. I don't think Obama is hiding from the White House press corps, I think he has contempt for them and I agree with him.

Nov. 12 2012 01:03 PM

Is a transcript available?

Nov. 12 2012 12:57 AM

Obama has done less press conferences than Bush. Find the math yourself by doing a google search, it's not Jake's job to hand everything to you on a silver platter.
It's also sad to see such quasi intellectual sycophantic BS towards the president of the US who's continued the worst of the Bush policies.

Nov. 11 2012 05:07 PM
Jack K. the Grumpy Forester from Central Orygun

Wow, it's like the Murderer's Row of journalism in this segment: Glenn Greenwald, who's blog posts over the years have struck me as having been an ongoing and strident objection to all things Obama since the 2008 presidential campaign, and Jake Tapper, who seems to always be seeking that breakthrough Dan Rather/Richard Nixon moment that will rocket him to fame and glory. It's hard to imagine how it would be possible to find two more interesting choices to evaluate the last four years without dipping into the talent pool on Rupert Murdoch's payroll...

Nov. 10 2012 09:55 PM
Shamus from Vancouver, Canada

As an interested Canadian who recognizes the influence of American media on our society and politics (particularly NPR, we love public broadcasters up here) I feel obligated to comment on the segment on online voting.

Unless I just tuned out, the discussion failed to address an obvious and extremely important problem with allowing online voting in the United States: socio-economic factors in access to the Internet.

Given that free and FAIR elections are a fundamental building block of democracy, we should all be very uncomfortable whenever discussing changes that would create different voting experiences for different voters. We should ask how such differences might lead to disparities in access to the fundamental levers of democracy.

In the case of online voting, there are huge disparities in access to the Internet between those in poverty and in rural areas versus wealthier urban communities. Disparity in access to democracy would be particularly acute for those who cannot afford access to reliable Internet at home, as they are already far less represented among voters than wealthier Americans. Until nobody has to leave their home and potentially stand in line for 2 hours to vote, all voters should have to leave their home and potentially stand in line for 2 hours to vote. The convenience of some is not worth further marginalizing others.

Nov. 10 2012 01:48 PM
Sean from New York

Lisa Rosenberg, actions are more important than legislation. Glenn is right in his assessment. In their actions, the Obama administration has been one of the least transparent of any US government. Obama makes Nixon look like an honest man.

Nov. 10 2012 01:20 PM

Jake Tapper is just upset because ABC and its cohorts are the news source for the elderly, thus becoming irrelevant. So who do you think the candidates are going to pursue?

Nov. 10 2012 12:54 PM

Wouldn't have all these helpful "report card" listings of the administrations failings and short comings been more useful to concerned voters BEFORE the election? As the media's attention turns on a dime from the dire need for free contraception to fiscal cliffs and deepening recession can we expect a brief window of time when the media actually reports serious news critical of the Democratic leadership?....until the next election of course

Nov. 10 2012 09:09 AM
Anthony McCarthy from Maine

So, Jake Tapper doesn't think Barack Obama hasn't nurtured the White House press corps sufficiently and is jealous of the time he spends with other media. Considering the behavior of the majority of the DC press corps, clearly biased in favor of Republicans and the corporate interests that pay them, I'm in favor of him completely bypassing them and talking to other media.

I remember Molly Ivins pointing out that eventually everyone in Washington ends up saying the same things. I also remember her condemning the press corps for not protesting the Bush administration treatment of Helen Thomas in favor of FOX. Frankly, any press operation based in the DC area has to convince me that it isn't a fully invested resident of Sally Quinn's Village before I'll relax any degree of distrust the Washington Press Corps has earned. Including NPR.

Nov. 10 2012 08:18 AM
alfred from SF, CA

So Jake, Obama did less press conferences than Bush? Care to show your math on that? Furthermore, does calling a prime time news conference in which your questions are pre-selected really count? Especially considering you took exactly one question from Helen Thomas before freezing her out? And the snark gets pretty old when it comes from someone who shows up in the dictionary when you look-up "beltway common wisdom".... Why didn't OTM push back on a factual matter that is easily proven?

Nov. 10 2012 02:02 AM

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