January 20, 2013 is the date for President Obama’s official swearing in ceremony. The official ceremony will be followed by a purely symbolic public ceremony on January 21. There are strong indications from the inauguration committee that the official ceremony may be closed to the press, which would be unprecedented in American history. Obama being Obama you can be sure that he is keeping a close eye on the committee and its work and that his imprimatur is all over it.
The White House Correspondents Association has raised serious concerns about keeping the official ceremony closed and strongly urged the committee to make sure that it is open to the press. Regardless of whether or not one approves of Obama, and I assuredly do not, it is after all a historic occasion that should be reported on by the press. Denying the press access prevents it from doing so.
Press access shouldn’t even be an issue. Of course the press should be there to report on the occasion. Denying it access would be overriding American history, tradition and values and make it seem as if Obama wants to hide something…it would also be one more indication of Obama’s secretive nature and of his disdain for the press, the American people and America itself.
Does Obama want to hide something? Quite possibly, all things considered. Speculation has arisen that he may wish to be sworn in using the Koran instead of the Bible or that he’s changed the oath in some way, perhaps by taking out the word “faithfully”, as in “faithfully executing the office” or by altering or taking out the part about preserving, protecting and defending the Constitution of the United States. The possibility has also been raised that the official ceremony will be prohibitively expensive and that many people who made huge donations to his election campaign will be invited, none of which would play well with Americans.
There is of course also the possibility that the content of the official ceremony may be different than the content of the public one, that he will follow the example of Islamists and their fellow travellers who say one thing in Arabic to their Arab/Islamic audiences and something quite different to their American/Western ones.
President Obama came into office promising to run the most transparent administration in history. By any measure he has instead run the least transparent administration in history and kept the American people in the dark about all manner of things while causing the country enormous damage along the way. Denying the press access to the official swearing in ceremony would be one more example of his lack of transparency and a slap in the face to the press, the American people and America itself. He should not be allowed to get away with it.
Obama also came into office promising to fundamentally transform the country. He has most certainly done that, for the worse, not the better. Denying the press access to the official swearing in ceremony would be one more example of how he has done it, of how he is doing it.
Denying the press access to the official swearing in ceremony of the President of the United States…absurd, simply absurd, no matter what the reason might be.