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There's Some Dispute On The NASA-Obama Dispute

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Yesterday we noted that the Orlando Sentinel was reporting that relations between the Obama transition team and NASA were little better than Madonna and Guy Ritchie.

Today, however, everybody is insisting everything's beautiful, nothin' to see her, folks, move along. Sort of.

Leading the "everything's terrific" campaign is the Houston Chronicle, which goes to great lengths today to quote everybody possible who's willing to debunk the report, although noting that there is some "natural tension."

The Orlando Sentinel isn't exactly backing off, however.

Even though NASA administrator Mike Griffin said he was "appalled" by the report, the Sentinel notes that Griffin didn't dispute reports of a red-faced screaming match between him and an Obama official "witnessed by 50 people."

The Chron doesn't mention that part of the report, instead focusing on debunking another Sentinel claim, that Griffin was coaching contractors on how best to talk to Obama's team.

Griffin called that claim "simply wrong"; the Chron quoted a NASA spokesman saying "the claim is false."

The Sentinel isn't retracting its story, though:

Sources close to the transition team said Thursday that [Obama official Lori] Garver and her five colleagues until now have been getting cooperation from "most" NASA staff on most programs except Constellation. According to one very informed official, "[Griffin's office] is definitely resisting, and telling others to resist."

-- Richard Connelly

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