Transparency in media. During his American Morning segment entitled “She Ordered Sherrod to Quit: Where is Cheryl Cook?,” CNN senior White House correspondent Ed Henry chided the Obama Administration for its lack of transparency today and then inadvertently provided his own. As the popular newly elected president of the White House Correspondents Association board brought viewers into his inner sanctum and let them listen in to a direct call to USDA Deputy Under Secretary Cheryl Cook, he gave them a peek at his personal pad which included the direct line to Cheryl Cook’s office. On his tablet was the name “Cheryl Cook” underscored twice and with the telephone number (202) 720-4581 written next to it.*
In an attempt to verify that the number was indeed that of Cheryl Cook and to interview Cook if possible, the author dialed it. Surprisingly, it went through and an actual person, who did not identify herself or the office at all, answered the phone. When the author asked to speak with Cook, he was quickly redirected to someone else. This person, in turn, sent the author to another who identified the office as that of Cheryl Cook. After requesting again to talk with Cook, the author was transferred to someone else who gave him the e-mail address of Stephanie Chan for media inquiries as to Cook.
Ed Henry: Talking the talk and walking the walk.
*American Morning – 07/23/10 (@6:15 a.m. ET)