Bush banishing the press?

The White House's press corps' digs are getting a long overdue makeover but several disturbing developments and statements caught my eye.

All things being equal this would be idle chatter. But all things are not equal with this administration -- especially concerning secrecy and the press -- so I'm suspicious.

First, as the president's numbers slump, the war drags on and a potentially disastrous midterm approaches, the press was stationed "outside the iron-gated presidential compound for the first time in more than 100 years..."

A renovation during the Reagan years only had them "relocated to the Old Executive Office Building" -- still within the compound.

And then there's this (emphasis mine):


The renovations — including asbestos removal, new air conditioning and new seating in the press briefing room — are expected to take around nine months although some in the press worry the project will take longer, or that reporters might never return to the White House. It originally was envisioned as a three-month project.
On the slightly less ominous side, among the planned "improvements" are a huge "Situation Room"-style video monitor with which to give dazzling presentations. That'll at least give them a chance to re-run all those Video News Releases created for the evening news...
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