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WhiteHouse.gov/live: The Always-On Executive

BY Nancy Scola | Monday, March 30 2009

Live Streaming VideoThe White House's new live-streaming channel at WhiteHouse.gov/live reminds me of a funny little story an IBM executive told me this weekend. Her staff, she said, complained that she spent too much of her day away from the office. So she had her secretary print out her daily schedule of endless meetings and travel and events every morning, and stick it outside her office door. In the beginning, the secretary reported, employees would regularly stop by the calendar and run their finger down it carefully. After a few days, though, the number of people paying her schedule much attention dwindled down to nearly nothing -- but complaints about her absences dried up, too. The new White House stream isn't exactly going to compete with the best of cable television. Today's programming includes presidential remarks at 11am on the state of the auto industry, a 12:45 press briefing with Robert Gibbs, and Obama's signing of the Omnibus Public Lands Management Act at 3pm. But it might prove to be one measure of transparency that helps boost trust that the president is doing his job, both when we're watching and when we're not.