Via Ben Smith, who’s told by his reporter pals covering the WH beat that this is “extremely unusual” police behavior. Maybe the protest got out of hand and the cops shooed the media away for their own safety? Doesn’t sound like it: Apparently, the “protest” was nothing more than six servicemen handcuffing themselves to the fence to object to “don’t ask, don’t tell.” I don’t know D.C. well enough to tell if these are city cops or some type of federal security service that might conceivably coordinate with the White House. Any readers know? We certainly don’t want to accuse a president who’s peeved at gay-rights protesters and who’s known for excluding the media from traditional press opportunities of quashing unfavorable coverage without good reason.

Exit question: On a scale of one to 10, where would this rate on the Crushing-of-Dissent-o-meter if it had happened under Bush? (Exit answer: Eight!)