Obama Gets Transparency Award ... in Secret Ceremony

Award is for openness, but meeting was definitely closed
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 31, 2011 6:58 AM CDT
Obama Gets Transparency Award ... in Secret Ceremony
President Barack Obama greets people in the audience after speaking about his plan for America's energy security, Wednesday, March 30, 2011, at Georgetown University in Washington.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Politico already seemed a little peeved that President Obama was to be presented with a “transparency” award (considering, as the site pointed out in a March 16 story, “his administration acted on fewer requests for information last year even as it was asked for more”), but then things got even weirder … when the award was presented in a hush-hush closed-door meeting. Monday’s event came almost two weeks after the first planned ceremony, which was to be open to the press, was canceled.

Monday's meeting wasn't disclosed on his public schedule, and no photographers or reporters were allowed inside. The members of the open government community who presented him with the award acknowledge that Obama still has work to do, but say it’s important to recognize the changes he’s already made. At least one openness advocate was not impressed—“I don’t feel moved today to say ‘thank you, Mr. President,’” he tells Politico—but he notes that the award is “aspirational,” kinda like Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize. (More President Obama stories.)

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