Blogging with Barack

Highly detailed images of President Barack Obama are appearing on everything from bars of soap and chocolate to iPhone covers, purses and pet apparel. Even the latest issue of Amazing Spider-Man makes a tribute to the president: While hanging upside-down, Spider-Man snaps a picture of Obama giving him a thumbs-up.

But perhaps the new presidency’s most visible impact can be seen on the World Wide Web.

On the day of his inauguration, the White House Web site attempted to prove Obama would put his money where his mouse is and answer Americans’ pleas for governmental transparency and accountability with the launch of the White House blog. has a “Briefing Room” link that provides timely information about the president’s press meetings, executive orders, public statements and press releases. The page also features the White House’s weekly Saturday morning video address, as well as photos and the blog.

“The Web site will give the White House another way to reach the public without having to rely on the mainstream news media,” said Macon Phillips, the director of new media for the Obama Administration, to the New York Times.

However, this approach is causing concern among some news media advocates — or, as Urban Dictionary describes them, “Obamaphobes” — because the system could reach millions of people with an unchallenged, biased governmental point of view.

According to the Times, the White House can’t use the 13-million-person e-mail roster collected by Obama’s election campaign because it was compiled for partisan functions, so the Organizing for America administration is building a new army of supporters to help mold public opinion.

“They’re beginning to create their own journalism, their own description of events of the day, but it’s not an independent voice making that description,” said Bill Kovach, chairman of the Committee of Concerned Journalists, to the Times.

“It’s troublesome until we know how it’s going to be used and the degree to which it can be used on behalf of the people and not on behalf of only one point of view,” he said.

Obama said that instead of working behind a political veil of secrecy, his administration will make decisions transparently so every American can go online and see how policies are being implemented and tax dollars are being spent.

One significant change to reflects a campaign promise not to rush non-emergency legislation by publishing it on the Web site five days in advance, allowing the American public to review and comment before the president signs it.

However, President Obama went against that pledge Thursday by signing the Lilly Ledbetter Pay Act into law without consulting public comments.