It’s a familiar story to us here at WND – another big global event, and one news agency is singled out for blacklisting.
This time it was the White House that went out of its way to see that an AMERICAN press outlet was denied entry to a meeting with Susan Rice, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations following her month-long tenure as head of the Security Council.
WND’s U.N. reporter, Stewart Stogel, is a 25-year veteran U.N. correspondent who has worked for ABC News, NBC News and been featured in Time and Newsweek. It wasn’t so much Stogel who was denied as it was whom he represents – WND.
Here’s how the U.S. government makes decisions like this: Stogel requested permission to attend the event by asking Mark Kornblau, director of communications and spokesman for the United States Mission to the United Nations.
“Would appreciate the opportunity to attend Rice’s press reception as her Security Council presidency ends for April,” he wrote to Kornblau.
“When you start treating our Mission with professional courtesy and respect, we will be happy to reciprocate,” wrote Kornblau.
Did I make it clear that Kornblau is a U.S. government employee – paid by U.S. taxpayers? Perhaps he hasn’t been briefed on the meaning of the First Amendment. Perhaps he thinks it’s his job to keep out reporters who might ask troublesome questions that could prove embarrassing to his bosses.
That’s why I titled this column, “The free press vs. the controlled press.” That’s really what it’s all about. Most of the corporate media establishment will jump through hoops for the government and inter-governmental agencies just for the chance to be part of the game.
Not WND. And this is the proof. WND takes seriously the role of the free press to be a watchdog on government fraud, waste, abuse, corruption and lies. Kornblau and his bosses understand this. And it’s time more Americans understood what Michael Savage so adeptly characterized as the “government-media complex.”
A surprised Stogel – one of the most senior U.N. correspondents, who values his long and cordial working relationships with everyone from John Bolton to Ban Ki-moon – told his WND editors he’s never experienced this kind of treatment from any administration except Obama’s. In addition to writing for WND, he files for the Miami Herald and London Daily Mail.
Welcome to the club, Stew. This is business as usual here at WND.
WND has fought many previous battles over media access barred by government gatekeepers. One of the biggest was a decade ago, in February 2002, when WND was denied accreditation to the Senate Press Gallery for routine access to cover the Capitol. But 10 days after WND threatened to sue every member of the Senate Press Gallery’s Standing Committee of Correspondents, who decide who is a “legitimate” news organization and who is not, WND was granted accreditation in September 2002. Subsequently, WND’s case against the Senate Press Gallery would be considered a groundbreaking legal precedent, paving the way for other online news groups to enter sacred ground previously reserved only for traditional Beltway news organizations.
More recently, WND was denied access by the Department of Transportation to a routine news conference in which then-Secretary Mary Peters defended the controversial Bush administration program allowing Mexican trucks to travel freely on U.S. roads.
Then there was Copenhagen – and the largest climate summit in history and perhaps the most well-covered global event of 2009. Hundreds of news agencies from all over the world were in attendance. Only one was denied credentials – WND.
One thing I can almost assure you – no media colleagues will be rushing to the aid of WND’s plight. We saw that years ago in the matter of Senate Press Gallery credentials. We witnessed the disdain WND White House correspondent Les Kinsolving got from his colleagues – despite the fact that he is the senior White House correspondent in Washington! We’ve seen it with the rejection two years ago of WND’s request for a table at the White House Correspondents Dinner.
Government is out of control – and, often, nobody’s watching. That’s the way government and intergovernmental bureaucracies and agencies like the U.N. prefer it. But worse yet, the press is in bed with the very people they’re supposed to be covering.
We may not always be able to get in the door. But that will never stop us from bringing you the truth.
I hope you appreciate that – and the sacrifices we have to make to do our jobs.
If you do, you might want to consider making a contribution to WND’s legal defense fund. We not only have to fight battles against government secrecy, we also have to fight battles with blacklisting from the clique of establishment pseudo-journalists who think of themselves as the palace guard. It literally costs millions to do what we do. If you appreciate it, understand there is a high cost to honest truth-seeking.