Author Topic: Press banned as first lady touts free speech  (Read 214 times)

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Offline mystery-ak

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Press banned as first lady touts free speech
« on: March 23, 2014, 11:41:46 AM »

DO AS I SAY, NOT AS I DO: First lady Michelle Obama talked about freedom of speech even as her trip to Beijing denied access to the press.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Bob McGovern

First lady Michelle Obama told students that freedom of speech should be a universal right during her extravagant, no-press-allowed tour of China — a hypocritical move that will surely draw the ire of critics, according to an expert.

“That is troublesome. That goes beyond hypocritical, and I think the American media and the international media has every right to call her and the Obama administration on that — that they permitted that to happen,” said Tom Whalen, a political history professor at Boston University. “It makes you shake your head, albeit sadly.”

The first lady stopped at Peking University in Beijing yesterday during a weeklong trip that was billed as cultural rather than political. She told students, accustomed to China’s tight Internet restrictions, that the free flow of information is crucial “because that’s how we discover truth, that’s how we learn what’s really happening in out communities and our country and our world.”

Meanwhile, the first lady’s camp has kept the press away from her vacation, a potential public relations misstep.

“You see that this administration is tone deaf when it comes to politics. They do not understand the political sentiment,” Whalen said. “It seems like it’s one disaster after another when it comes to PR. You don’t want to do this right now.”

Others believe critics will slam the first lady for overstepping her authority.

“The conservative angle on this is that this is another example of someone overreaching her bounds at a time when it’s more important than ever to have support from China,” said Rob Brown, a public relations professor at Salem State. “There are some who will say lecturing China on this is risky. … She has made herself the center of this story.”

Brown indicated that the first lady will likely have to fend off critics who believe she should be nothing more than “window dressing” on a non-political vacation. However, he thinks the backlash will run along party lines.

“There will be some pushback from the far right, and there will be some real wind in her sails from the left,” he said. “She came into this with support. I would find it hard to believe that this wasn’t planned and she blurted this out. It’s clear that this was the idea going into this, and she must have the implicit endorsement of the president.”

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Offline kevindavis

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Re: Press banned as first lady touts free speech
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2014, 12:43:07 PM »
I love the irony..
GOP House members came to Paul Ryan to be Speaker. He didn't come to them. And he was everybody's conservative darling back in 2012. So unless 1 of the remaining 240 wants to step up & do a better job in budgeting & negotiations & herding the party cats, then everybody please STFU. You go to battle with the army you have, not the one you want but don't have.

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Offline rangerrebew

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Re: Press banned as first lady touts free speech
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2014, 12:49:31 PM »
Don't use that "free speech" to criticize her husband because you will be branded a racist. :Odance:
Abraham Lincoln:

There is no grievance that is a fit object of redress by mob law.
--January 27, 1838 Lyceum Address

Don't interfere with anything in the Constitution. That must be maintained, for it is the only safeguard of our liberties. And not to Democrats alone do I make this appeal, but to all who love these
great and true principles.
--August 27, 1856 Speech at Kalamazoo, Michigan

Let us then turn this government back into the channel in which the framers of the Constitution originally placed it.
--July 10, 1858 Speech at Chicago

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