By Rob Capriccioso
Indian media have long been denied access when attempting to cover federal government events. At Obama’s inauguration several tribal papers could not get press access to the swearing-in ceremony–and many were left to rely on mainstream coverage to help tell their stories.
Capriccioso contacted me for my thoughts on the subject. Read the article to see a rare quote from me in the media.
Here's my full answer to Capriccioso's questions:
I'm not sure I even knew that there are no Indians in the press pool. My rule of thumb on this subject is proportionality. Since Natives make up roughly 1% of the US population, someone from Indian Country should fill one of every 100 slots. If that isn't happening, I'd say it's a problem.
So far I haven't been impressed with Obama's efforts to include Natives. I know he's busy, but he should think about the message he's sending. Balanced against his appointment of Jodi Gillette, there are the questionable lines in his Inaugural Address, the lack of mention in the WhiteHouse.gov agenda, the careless vetting of Bill Richardson and Tom Daschle, the controversial consideration of Larry EchoHawk as head of the BIA, and now the prevention of Native press coverage at the DOI. If Obama doesn't improve his record on Native inclusion and access, people may start wondering.
Not to mention he's sucking up to the lincoln mythos and lincoln's 'strong' union; a union that was kept together by genocide and war mongering
A response via e-mail:
Thanks for sharing this troubling news. I wish Obama could read Newspaper Rock!
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