Thursday, August 6, 2009

White House Director of New Media gets it wrong.

White House Director of New Media Macon Phillips is taking heat for a seemingly innocuous blog post Tuesday morning on titled "Facts Are Stubborn Things" in which he suggests that Americans tattle on their neighbors.

His intentions are good. There is a ton of incorrect (if not blatantly fabricated) information circulating on the web about the President's Health Care Reform positions. The White House staff would certainly benefit from getting in front of this disinformation (like claims that the President's reform bill would eliminate current private health plans). But suggesting that if Americans "get an email or see something on the web about health insurance reform that seems fishy" that they should "send it to" puts the administration in a very vulnerable position. And the criticism is already coming.

In a letter to President Obama, Senator John Cornyn (R- Texas) raises questions of First Amendment rights of free spee
ch, warns that the policy raises "the specter of a data collection program" and calls for it's immediate end. And he's right.

I've not been shy about the fact that I'm in the tank for the current administration, and I'm constantly encouraged with it's adoption of new media communication methods, but I think Mr. Phillips is missing the boat on the spirit of the "open communication community" which is based on transparency and collaboration...not McCarthyism.

I'd propose that the White House expand their "New Media" department, and use a handful of TARP dollars to hire a dozen currently unemployed, new media savvy "watchdogs" to scour Twitter and YouTube, etc for posts about Health Care reform (or any other issues, for that matter). The White House would be well served to keep a finger on the pulse of the publicly posting public anyway.



  1. This sounds like another scheme to undermine the inteligence and integrity of America it's morals, values, ethics and Constitutional Rights.

    Mr Obama cannot even be honest and transparent about himself, his citizenship, or record of birth.Now we know why Mrs Clinton was made Secretary of State to hide and/or manipulate certain immigration and citizen issues surrounding Mr Obama.

    The conspiracy against our country grows as our freedom of speech is attacked by the current administration. With this new "Flag" device will people who excercise their constitutional right to express their opinions, question the direction of legislation, the agenda of Mr Obama, and / or oppose Mr Obama and his administrations be "flagged" and treated as domestic terrorists to hush the truth and remove the voice of the people?

  2. I think the spirit of this idea was to correct misinformation about healhcare reform, not to censor the American people or "hush the truth". And while it was poorly conceived, it's certainly not a conspiracy.

    Try to remember, President Obama is a constitutional scholar...he knows more about that document than you and I can claim to. And he respects it.

    As for claims that there are "immigration and citizen issues surrounding" President Obama, I'd suggest you take a look at these documents.

  3. For what it's worth, the WhiteHouse just lauched a new "facts about healthcare reform" website.

    Useful stuff, this.