COMMENTS: Does CBS Oppose Openness in Government?

A week ago ABC's Jake Tapper claimed an Exclusive for his sitdown with Barack Obama at the White House. It turns out that a q-&-a with the President is not such a rare commodity. Both NBC's Chuck Todd and CBS' Chip Reid questioned him in Beijing during his East Asia diplomacy. Both asked about his policy deliberations over Afghanistan and his personal wellbeing. Is he wasting away from weight loss? "He laughed off speculation," NBC's Todd told us. "My weight fluctuates about 5lbs. It has for the last 30 years." Todd also challenged the President on apparent his failure to grant Khalid Sheikh Mohammed the presumption of innocence to which he is entitled.

CBS' Reid appeared to oppose his own profession's commitment to openness and transparency when he quoted Defense Secretary Robert Gates as being "furious" because the debate about future policy in Afghanistan is not confined behind closed doors but is being illuminated by a series of leaks. His follow-up questions seemed supportive of secrecy. "Are you that angry about these leaks? Do you think it does make you look uncertain?" "I think I am probably angrier than Bob Gates," replied the erstwhile champion of open government.


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