Retired ABC News White House reporter Ann Compton revealed to C-SPAN that she witnessed President Barack Obama engage in at least one “profanity-laced” rant complaining about how the news media cover the administration.
“I have seen in the last year Barack Obama really angry twice,” Compton said. “Both were off-the-record times. One, profanity-laced where he thought the press was making too much of scandals that he did not think were scandals.”
President Barack Obama holds 6-month-old Olivia Hughes alongside her grandmother, ABC reporter Ann Compton, after arriving on Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House, June 27, 2014. (AFP/Saul Loeb)
Compton, who retired this fall after working in journalism for 40 years, also said that the Obama administration is “the most opaque” she has covered.
"And I don't find him apologetic,” she said. “But I find him willing to stand up to the press and look them in the eye, even though it was off the record and just give us hell.”
“We cover what we are allowed to cover,” she added. “And when policy decisions and presidents are inaccessible and don't take questions from the press on a regular basis, I think they reap what they sow.”
Compton is the latest in a string of journalists who have complained recently about a lack of transparency from the Obama administration, including former New York Times editor Jill Abramson and Susan Page, formerly of USA Today.
“Before I walked out the door on September 10, I was a strong voice for complaining that this particular administration has been more opaque than any I have covered about what the President does in the Oval Office everyday,” Compton said. “He is far less accessible on photo-ops with meetings. Even some meetings on the record, meeting in the Roosevelt room with financial leaders from, from Wall Street or on issues with environmental groups, or with issues with environmental groups, with public opinion leaders. I think most presidents have been far more forthcoming than the second Obama term, in terms of what the president is doing every day and we almost never get photo-ops.”