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White House e-mails

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I don't know if you saw this interaction:

Questions on White House e-mail

This is Major Garrett of Fox News asking Robert Gibbs, White House Press Secretary, why people who have had nothing to do with the White House are getting e-mails from the White House about the Health Reform Act.

This might, at first glance, look just like a picky little complaint. But it's much more serious than that, and the White House apparently finally realized it this weekend. Here's their statement:

"The White House email list is made up of email addresses obtained solely through the White House website. The White House doesn't purchase, upload or merge from any other list, again, all emails come from the White House website as we have no interest in emailing anyone who does not want to receive an email. If an individual received the email because someone else or a group signed them up or forwarded the email, we hope they were not too inconvenienced. Further, we suggest that they unsubscribe from the list by clicking the link at the bottom of the email or tell whomever forwarded it to them not to forward such information anymore. We are implementing measures to make subscribing to emails clearer, including preventing advocacy organizations from signing people up to our lists without their permission when they deliver petition signatures and other messages on individual’s behalf."

- Nick Shapiro, White House spokesman for New Media

What this says is that, in fact, the White House, under David Axelrod's signature, spammed many people who specifically did NOT request or want e-mails from the White House.

This isn't just creepy. Imagine that a few years ago, you forwarded an anti-Iraq-war e-mail to all your friends, and someone on that list forwarded it to the White House for comment. Suddenly, you started getting pro-Iraq-war e-mails from Karl Rove. This is exactly like that.

In addition, it's illegal for the White House to lobby the public for its agenda. The President has the "Bully Pulpit;" that's plenty. And, since the furor over Nixon's "enemies list," it's illegal for the White House to collect information about the citizenry in this manner. However the spam e-mails occurred, there is some serious back-pedaling going on at the White House today.

If Gibbs is an honest man, he'll call Major Garrett and apologize.
post #2 of 14
I've been following this too, and you are absolutely correct on all counts. Gibbs does owe Garrett an apology. It should be a public apology, but I'm not holding my breath.
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
Like all White Houses, this one is loathe to apologize for anything they do, only for what others have done before them.

I honestly don't think they intended to do what they did. Well, a couple of high aides (Rahm Emmanuel and David Axelrod) may have had an inkling that they had received a lot of names "over the transom" that weren't kosher, but they thought they could explain it away, which they are certainly trying to do.

I haven't heard of anyone I normally deal with who got it, and I'm kind of surprised.
post #4 of 14
I'm not usually one who buys into conspiracy theories, but does it strike anyone else as more than coincidental that this mass email about the pro-points on the healthcare bill came not long after they set up the email to report spreading of "fishy" information about the same?

I didn't get one, so I guess no one reported me or the thread here in IMO.
post #5 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by valanhb View Post
I'm not usually one who buys into conspiracy theories, but does it strike anyone else as more than coincidental that this mass email about the pro-points on the healthcare bill came not long after they set up the email to report spreading of "fishy" information about the same?

I didn't get one, so I guess no one reported me or the thread here in IMO.
That or they couldn't find your email address to submit along with your post.

I also think it's a bit fishy that this seems to have happened around the same time.
post #6 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrblanche View Post
Like all White Houses, this one is loathe to apologize for anything they do, only for what others have done before them.

I honestly don't think they intended to do what they did. Well, a couple of high aides (Rahm Emmanuel and David Axelrod) may have had an inkling that they had received a lot of names "over the transom" that weren't kosher, but they thought they could explain it away, which they are certainly trying to do.

I haven't heard of anyone I normally deal with who got it, and I'm kind of surprised.
Yes, it's too bad President's don't have a little more humility than they do. Nixon may have been forgiven if he had ben honest with the Amerian people and admitted his involvement in the cover-up.

Actually I believe Bush (certainly not Cheney) was likeable because he could poke fun at himself. He may not have been perfect, but he was more humble than most former Presidents. Clinton was likeable and had charisma, and I believe he was a good President in many regards, but I still have an issue with the Monica affair in the White House.
post #7 of 14
Barack Obama cannot admit error, after all, he is, The One.
post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
Obama does seem pathologically unable to apologize ("I could have better calibrated my words"), but he (and George Bush before him) may believe that any apology only opens the floodgates of blame, with no end in sight.
post #9 of 14
Although certainly no smoking gun or secret White House Tapes (i.e. Watergate) this is definitely an interesting development:

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009...ts-unwanted-e/

The email address to report those "fishy" people and information has become inactive.
post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 
Despite what the White House intimates, which is that the stray e-mail addresses were registered without the recipients knowledge or consent by "third parties," I think they used a "crawler" to strip out the e-mail addresses and add them to their database. They might not have realized the ramifications of that.

But I regularly receive both left and right e-mails which have 50 or more recipients in the "copy to" box. What a treasure trove!
post #11 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by valanhb View Post
Although certainly no smoking gun or secret White House Tapes (i.e. Watergate) this is definitely an interesting development:

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009...ts-unwanted-e/

The email address to report those "fishy" people and information has become inactive.


Very interesting indeed. I have said it before and I will say it again Team Obama is filled with inexperienced rookies.
post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by ckblv View Post
Very interesting indeed. I have said it before and I will say it again Team Obama is filled with inexperienced rookies.
Yep!
post #13 of 14
I've gotten emails from the McCain campaign, and more recently from Michael Steel. I most DEFINITELY never signed up for any email from those people. However, I wouldn't accuse them of spamming or buying email lists because I hve no idea how they got my email address. I didn't fuss about it though, just asked to be removed from their lists, and haven't heard from them since.
post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Misty8723 View Post
I've gotten emails from the McCain campaign, and more recently from Michael Steel. I most DEFINITELY never signed up for any email from those people.
It's not illegal for a campaign to collect, share, trade, sell, or buy e-mail addresses or spam e-mail to them. It IS illegal for the White House, as an arm of the U.S. government. The same would be true of the the Supreme Court, the FBI, the CIA, the Pentagon, etc. That's essentially the difference and the concern here.
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