Forgetfulness of Past Orthodoxies: Obama’s 2010 U.S. Forest Service Gag Order

While all the plebs are cheering South Dakota’s Badlands National Park “brave” disregard for the Trump administration’s order to halt communications at the various state departments, many seem to forget that this is par-the-course.

According to the New York Times:

Longtime employees at three of the agencies — including some career environmental regulators who conceded that they remained worried about what President Trump might do on policy matters — said such orders were not much different from those delivered by the Obama administration as it shifted policies from the departing White House of George W. Bush. They called reactions to the agency memos overblown.

“I’ve lived through many transitions, and I don’t think this is a story,” said a senior E.P.A. career official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the news media on the matter. “I don’t think it’s fair to call it a gag order. This is standard practice. And the move with regard to the grants, when a new administration comes in, you run things by them before you update the website.”

And considering how we should be skeptical of anything that comes out of the New York Times, we found the following from Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility website:

Forest Service Staff Forbidden from Talking to National Media or on National Issues

Posted on Jan 28, 2010

Washington, DC — U.S. Forest Service staff are under new orders not to speak to news reporters about politically sensitive issues, according to a directive released today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). This gag order resembles those issued by the Bush administration, belying vows by the Obama administration of government transparency.

All this situation does is validate Trump’s antagonistic stance on the media and convinces him and his staff that they’re doing absolutely nothing wrong by pushing that which is falling.