Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Bad Form

For the most part, criticism of Obama post election has been irritatingly nit-picking, and easy enough to chalk up to the eagerness of Republicans to discredit the President-Elect before the fact. Even the uproar over Warren at the inauguration seems contrived. But this news warrants some finger wagging.

The release is expected later today at 4:30 p.m. EST. Taking at face value the transition team’s assertion that the U.S. attorney’s office requested the release be delayed so as not to interfere with the ongoing investigation, we can forgive the transition for waiting until today to unveil the report, which it says has been ready for a week.

However, the report will come out late in the afternoon before Christmas eve — which essentially amounts to a two-day holiday, when news consumption tends to drop dramatically. Despite all accounts suggesting there is nothing juicy in the report, the timing gives the appearance that there is something to hide.

It would have been nice to see the report first thing this morning, so it could be examined and digested today, before the holiday. Following eight years of the Bush administration, in which secrecy and late-Friday/holiday information dumps were the M.O., one very easy way for President-elect Barack Obama to signal the end of those bad old days would be to release information, good or bad, without regard to the ebb and flow of the news cycle.
I can't count the times I've heard "Well so much for change..." since November 4th, and never once for justified reason. Until today. I'm hoping there is as much backlash for this type of behavior as there was appointing Hillary to the state dept. There is no point in engaging the public through an interactive website, or promoting "real time" video communications direct from the oval office (all things to be excited about in and of themselves) if the attitude toward information consumption and depleted news cycles remains the same as that of the Bush White House. Open the floodgates, and let the public decide. We're smarter than they think (most of the time).

UPDATE: For clarification, after reader feedback. I mean to no way imply that Rick Warren isn't an enormous douche-bag. He of course is. I just couldn't get that mad about him giving a prayer.

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