How can front-page news like the federal court ruling that DADT is unconstitutional be completely ignored when the President held a conference in its wake? Easy, apparently, because no LGBT reporter was called on, and the rest of the press corps was asleep or willing to give the President at pass, and not take what would place Obama in a tough position for an answer.
Mediate noticed the omission and the political fallout and questions about this administration’s clear signal that it does not want any national attention brought to its treatment of LGBT media and issues.
While there are plenty of issues facing the White House, the lack of questions about DADT comes as some are noting that the Obama administration has ignored the gay and lesbian press generally and has avoided answering questions about DADT, same-sex marriage, and an employment non-discrimination bill that would protect employees based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
In addition to no questions about the DADT ruling from last night, this was the first press conference since a court in California struck down California’s ban on same-sex marriage based on constitutional grounds.
Kerry Eleveld, the Washington correspondent for The Advocate, tweeted after the press conference:
Eleveld is the only full-time member of the White House press corps representing an LGBT press outfit and she often asks questions of Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, but she’s never gotten a question to Obama. Obama has yet to offer an interview with the LGBT press during his administration.
Other constituency media were called on — black and Latino outlets, as well as Haaretz (Middle East issues) and AURN (poverty)– indicates those issues are safe to answer, yet DADT is a top story on air and in print is ignored.
That underscores this White House’s disdain for engaging LGBT issues, in this case a national security issue involving the discharge of otherwise trained and qualified individuals because of their sexual orientation.
And Kerry Eleveld’s point that the President hasn’t taken a question or sat down for an interview since he was elected is damning, given he’s done so for every other constituency in the fold. Mediaite references the WH meeting that PHB attended with other LGBT outlets not long ago, as “one of a kind.” At that meeting I actually told Barnes about the fact that the President has avoided LGBT media and she acted surprised.
No interview opportunity has arisen since that meeting. They can’t feign ignorance. We cannot ignore that we are political pariahs to this White House, but we aren’t untouchables when they come knocking at the gAyTM. If the WH cannot even stand a question about DADT repeal or unconstitutionality – and repeal has broad public support – we’re up sh*ts creek for the DOMA cases winding their way toward his DOJ.