But Carl Fillichio, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis’ top communications advisor, circulated a memo earlier this week to interested media informing them that everybody is being required to re-submit their credentials requests.
Fillichio reminded participants that there are only 20-30 seats available for the lockups and that priority will be given by DOL in selecting participants to those that “are primarily journalistic enterprises.”
He also offered a one-sentence assurance that “the department will not consider editorial or political viewpoints in making credentialing decisions.”
Whatever grumbling might be occasioned by being forced to go through the credentialing process again, the element of the Fillichio memo that has journalists worried is this paragraph:This may be the first instance of government bureaucrats effectively shielding an administration from bad news since the institution of civil service reform in the late 19th Century. If this is in fact the case, it's a subversion of a branch of the government by a political party for it's own gain. That's very ominous for the future. What it means is that,
“Second, as a measure toward enhancing security in its main lockup facility (the DOL news room), the department will supply and maintain standardized equipment with a standard configuration for all participants. This change means that privately owned computer and telephone equipment, including hardware, software, cabling, wiring and Internet and telephone lines will be replaced with equipment owned by the department.”
“Delays will make it more difficult for independent analysts to understand the new data and could give White House and DOL political appointees more time to blunt the impact of the negative news resulting from the data.”That means that bad news will not be disseminated nearly as fast as is currently the case. Furthermore, by actively attempting to slow they news cycle, it in effect it is the repoliticization of government civil service. If the GOP wins both the White House and Senate this fall, they can expect that the civil service will begin to "passively-aggressively" to work against any policies they may attempt to institute.
If the GOP were to do something similar to this, the MSM would be screaming to high heaven about how "those evil conservatives" were attempting to subvert or politicize the government bureaucracy.
Hat Tip, to the BlogFather