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Fineman: "It's Hard To Get Answers To Simple Questions" From White House

HOWARD FINEMAN: I've watched over the years, as succeeding administrations take more and more territory and more and more sort of power for themselves to determine the rules and the rights of the conversation. Even reporters asking simple questions, simple direct factual questions of low-ranking administration officials, have a hard time getting answers.

I know this working at The Huffington Post, we have a big bureau now, we have a lot of reporters throughout digging all the time. It's hard to get answers to simple questions because this White House does try to control the flow of information. But what that means you have to do, is you're not going to get it out of the administration for the most part. You got to go to the Hill to get it there, you got go to K Street to get it there, you got to go to court records to get it there. You got to get it there first and then confront them with it to get any information out of them. That's sort of the way it's always worked.

It's harder now, it's harder now that any White House feels, rightly, that it can pretty much communicate at will directly with the American people, without having to go through either the television networks or cable networks, the major newspapers, and the major websites, news websites. They don't do it, and it's going to be very rare that they will in the future. And I guarantee you that whatever the next administration is like, it's going to be even more down this road than the Obama administration already is. (The Cycle, February 19, 2013)

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