Paul Cooper

White House Phones NBC News To Tell Them How To Do Their Job

Posted on November 5 2010 2:00 pm
Paul Cooper is a husband and father above all else. With a wife and 2 daughters he could use a dog, but sadly he only owns a cat – a female cat no less. Paul is also a pastor, blogger, and business owner. Find him on Twitter.
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'Now this is how you should say it Brian...'

Should NBC take it as a compliment that the White House is watching so closely?  Most people would love to have the White House call them on the phone right?  Yet somehow I doubt Brian Williams and NBC News were too excited to have the people on 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue telling them how to do the news.

On Thursday the New York Post reported that the White House called Brian Williams last week to complain about a news story he did on the Yemen based bomb scare.  On Friday, October 29th, Brian Williams was covering the Yemen plot and called the attempt “almost inept.”  Williams was discussing the facts of the case with NBC Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent Richard Engel and security expert Michael Sheehan when he made the comment.

Sheehan and Engel went even further then Williams (you can see the video at HuffPost).  Engel called the attempt “too inept” and suggested that the terrorists were merely trying to cause a diversion to both get attention and learn about the American response.  Michael Sheehan called it “a failed operation by Al Qaeda.”  Williams added that even though the attempt was inept, it’s still a serious warning to our country.

Somehow the coverage of two experts and Brian Williams wasn’t good enough for President Obama and his advisers.  According to sources, the White House immediately called Brian Williams and told him,

“We would never put the president out there saying it was serious unless that was the case.”

I’m not sure why the White House thought Williams wasn’t making the threat serious enough?  Williams actually said, “So this could be but one face of modern terrorism, terrorism of course, that is still capable of a spectacular attack against us.”  Obviously Williams isn’t downplaying the total threat, just the pathetic attempt at terror these mail bombs seemed to be.

Why would the White House be mad at that?  Maybe they just were hoping to come across as bigger heroes.  I’m not sure, but what bothers me more is the president’s involvement with trying to shape the job of journalists.  Since when is it a good idea for the government to be calling news desks to suggest how they should cover a story?  Isn’t NBC on Obama’s side enough?  Have these guys ever heard of the Bill of Rights and freedom of the press?

When NBC News hosts their election coverage with passionate Lefties like Olbermann, Maddow, and Chris Matthew we know they are self appointed defenders of the current administration.  But when the White House calls NBC news to tell them how to cover world news, it sounds a bit too much like a government-run press.  NBC and the White House have no further comment and are silent on the issue, but the rest of America should be screaming.


Paul Cooper is a husband and father above all else.  With a wife and 2 daughters he could use a dog, but sadly he only owns a cat – a female cat no less.  Paul is also a pastor, blogger, and business owner.  Find him on Twitter.

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