White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs responded yesterday to accusations that the request for people to email the White House reporting "fishy" behavior was itself "fishy." From The Wall Street Journal:
"Nobody is collecting names,” Gibbs told reporters today. In a Wednesday letter to President Barack Obama, [Texas Republican Sen. John] Cornyn suggesting using the e-mail address could “raise the specter of a data collection program.”
“We have used on many occasions the Web site to debunk things that are simply not true,” Gibbs said, “We ask people if they have questions about health care reform and about what they’re hearing about its effects on them to let us know and we provide them information to show that that wasn’t true.”
Gibbs went on to say that the practice is just, you know, like when journalists get something wrong:
"When you make a mistake in your report, sometimes I e-mail you; occasionally I call; sometimes I just throw something against the wall. Occasionally it’s all three,” he quipped. “And all we’re asking people to do is if they’re confused about what health care reform is going to mean to them, we’re happy to help clear that up for you. Nobody is keeping anybody’s names.”
That's a relief! But couldn't it still end up as some sort of Nixon-style enemies list? For more on the White House's "fishy" email request, watch Reason.tv's Sending Our Fishy E-Mails to the White House!"