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Bloggers reject White House ‘fringe’ denial, want ‘anonymous adviser’ outed

By Kathleen Miller
Monday, October 12, 2009 13:50 EDT
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The Obama administration has disavowed statements from an “anonymous adviser” that, according to a CNBC reporter, said the White House feels bloggers need to “”take off their pajamas” but many in the blogosphere aren’t buying the White House denial.

CNBC’s John Harwood quoted the nameless White House adviser in a report Sunday night about whether Obama is concerned about criticisms of his administration from some in the GLBT community and other progressives.

Harwood said: “…If you look at the polling, Barack Obama is doing well with 90% or more of Democrats so the White House views this opposition as really part of the ‘”internet left fringe,’” in the Sunday night segement.  “And for a sign of how seriously the White House does or doesn’t take this opposition, one adviser told me today those bloggers need to take off their pajamas, get dressed and realize that governing a closely divided country is complicated and difficult.”

White House Senior Communications Adviser Dan Pfeiffer shot down the unattributed statements in an e-mail Monday morning to The Plum Line’s Greg Sargent, but some bloggers believe the anonymous statements reflect the true feelings of many Obama officials.

Salon’s Glenn Greenwald said in a post that the “only thing remarkable about the comments Harwood passed on is that anyone would be surprised by them.”

Greenwald noted the administration’s “particular disdain for any instruments — blogs, marches and  protests — which the White House cannot control, which exist independent of the tightly coordinated, Rahm-dominated “veal pen” messaging system to which so many leading progressive organizations have meekly submitted themselves in order to ensure their own continued access, funding and future career options within the Democratic establishment.”

Jane Hamsher of Firedoglake notes the president himself has said “that blogs aren’t reliable, and dismissed bloggers as ‘people shouting at each other across the void.’”

” In this case — as frequently happens — “anonymity” was requested by the White House for the purpose of saying something that they didn’t want to publicly own — for good reason,” Hamsher wrote.

John Aravosis of Americablog echoed the same theme.

“There is a pattern of disdain for, and distrust of, the blogs that started with the Obama campaign two years ago, and now has extended into the Obama White House,” he wrote.

Pam Spaulding of Pam’s House Blend said the comments repeated by Harwood are “an insult to people like me (and readers), who know how complicated governing and legislating are.”

“SOMEONE needs to take responsibility for the statement because it is someone’s POV, one believed to be widely held by insiders about progressive bloggers, but never articulated so boldly,” Spaulding said in her post.

“I blog and work a full time job, at the expense of my own health, not to be a muckraker, but to make a difference,” Spaulding said. “If someone has a different perspective and dismisses me outright, I do have a right to be angry and demand someone own their statement. When I say something it’s straight up, you mean to tell me no one has the stones to own their opinions up there? That’s pathetic. Anonymous or not, the statement’s out there now for all to see.”

 
 
 
 
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