“In a week in which Silicon Valley is the focus of intense news coverage, the White House that promised the ‘most open administration in history’ has made an unusual move — barring local reporters from covering a pair of high priced presidential fundraisers in the tech region Sunday,” Carla Marinucci reports for The San Francisco Chronicle.

“The President will star at two big Silicon Valley fundraisers Sunday, attending a $38,500 per person dinner at the Atherton home of COO Sheryl Sandberg [Facebook], and starring at $2,500 and up fundraiser starring Bruce Hornsby at the Woodside home of Sandi and John Thompson [Symantec CEO],” Marinucci reports. “But in a rare move — and a departure from the President’s previous trips to California – local media have been informed that the White House will not allow any of their representatives to act as a ‘pool’ reporter and file reports from those events.”

Marinucci reports, “Peter Scheer, who heads the First Amendment Coalition, said that ‘it’s their party and they can design that party list the way they want – but it shows, in my judgement, poor judgement for them to exclude the press. What goes on in a meeting where people pay this much to see the president is not trivial.’ And by barring local reporters specifically, he adds, that means the journalists most likely to know personalities — and donors — present will be outside the doors.”

“Carmen Balber, the Washington director of Consumer Watchdog, said that her organization has been ‘expressing concern about the president (meeting with) the CEOs of companies that are under investigation by the Dept. of Justice,’ a reference to Google’s top executive Eric Schmidt, who has also been a major donor to Democratic causes,” Marinucci reports. “‘We don’t think it’s appropriate.’ But with the latest move by the White House, she said, the question now “what is the president doing behind closed doors that he doesn’t want the public to see?”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews readers too numerous to mention individually for the heads up.]

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