Every good trap needs bait. As if he was setting a political mousetrap, President Obama - with the help of some Hollywood celebrities - recently offered Americans some cheese. Not government cheese mind you, or even actual physical cheese. He’s offered “virtual cheese” in perhaps the oddest gimmick yet by the White House to convince Americans the Obama administration is open and transparent.
Using a YouTube video, the White House announced President Obama would hold a “Big Block of Cheese Day” on Wednesday, January 29. The idea came from President Andrew Jackson, who, in 1837, invited citizens to come by the White House and ask him any question they liked. Cabinet members and White House staff were also available to answer questions from the public in an unprecedented gesture of openness and accountability. President Jackson served a 1,400 pound block of cheese in the White House foyer for visitors to eat, hence the “Big Block of Cheese Day” name.
President Obama’s version of “Big Block of Cheese Day” was just like that, only there wasn't any cheese to eat, and cabinet members and White House staff were not on hand to answer questions. Neither was the President, because despite the claim the White House would be "open for questions," it was not actually open to the public. In fact, the only similarity to the Jackson event is the name. Instead, the White House held a “Virtual Big Block of Cheese Day” on Wednesday, during which White house staff answered questions from the public via social media.
Unlike the 1837 event held by President Jackson, President Obama didn't actually subject himself to the slings and arrows of public citizens, not even by social media. If he had, the questions he answered would have likely been vetted and approved by White House staff, so instead of answering questions about Benghazi, the President would have answered only those questions which fit his agenda. He did, however, tweet out a birthday greeting to Oprah Winfrey. Rather than being open and transparent, the controlled environment of the White House stands in sharp contrast to what President Jackson actually did.
To promote the event, the White House released a YouTube video featuring actors Bradley Whitford and Joshua Malina (from the NBC show The West Wing) speaking with Press Secretary Jay Carney, who proved he is not a convincing actor. The fact that the White House used fictional White House Democrats to promote an event speaks volumes to how desperate the Obama administration is to get some positive press.
President Obama’s “virtual cheese” promised transparency, but it was yet another ruse meant to trap voters into believing the White House is open and accountable to the public.
Victor Medina writes for Yahoo News and his political blog WhenLiberalsAttack.com. His other writing credits include The Dallas Morning News and SportsIllustrated.com. He has served as a Dallas County election judge and on the Board of Directors of The Sixth Floor Museum. You can follow him on his blog, VictorMedina.com or on Twitter at @mrvictormedina. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Click here to receive a weekly email update from WhenLiberalsAttack.com. To be notified of future stories by Victor Medina, click the SUBSCRIBE link here or at the top of this page.