Report: White House asked small California paper to remove negative remarks about First Lady

posted at 5:15 pm on May 3, 2011 by Allahpundit

C’mon, no one’s this sensitive to bad press.

Well, almost no one.

In an email to The Daily Caller, Gina Channell-Allen, president of the Pleasanton Weekly in Pleasanton, California, said that her paper “received a call from the White House asking us to take out part of the story because it reflected poorly on the First Lady.”

The story in question was a soft feature about Marine One titled, “Inside Marine One, President Obama’s helicopter,” that ran in the paper on April 20. Pleasanton staffer Amory Gutierrez “didn’t get to ride in ‘Marine One,’” she wrote in her story, “but I did get the VIP tour and took photographs of the otherwise unseen aircraft.”

She also wrote a sentence that the White House thought made FLOTUS look snooty.

“Basically the reporter said that the First Lady didn’t speak to the pilots but acknowledged them by making eye contact,” Allen wrote in her email.

The weirdest part of this, of course, is that the WH ended up increasing the odds that the story would get picked up by bigger media when it decided to contact the publisher to complain. She was probably shocked to find that someone so high up was paying attention to a small paper 3,000 miles away and was itching to tell someone about it. And in fact, according to Daily Caller reporter Mike Riggs, she volunteered the info to the DC after reading their story about the latest White House tantrum over its press coverage. So why’d they go ahead and tip her off that her paper’s story had irked them? The answer, I assume, is that they’ve become highly attuned to how modern media, especially online media, gets its content. I’ve never heard of the Pleasanton Weekly and doubt we’ve ever received a tip about one of its stories, but it turns out that its articles are searchable on Google News. Presumably the White House feared that some blogger or bored Politico beat reporter would be searching “Michelle Obama” for unrelated reasons and end up stumbling across the item about Marine One. Before you know it, shazam — a new “FLOTUS is an elitist!” news bubble floats into the media mainstream. In fact, I’m sure that’s how the White House found the article too, doing some daily news crawl of “Michelle Obama” items on Google or Lexis or whatever.

In case you’re wondering, yes, the Pleasanton paper did remove the offending passage from the story. Tsk tsk. Painfully obvious exit question: How many other papers have gotten calls like this?


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The reason FLOTUS wasn’t speaking to the flight crew was omitted from the original story: she was still fuming that they offered her one of those seat belt extenders when she boarded.

Captain Scarlet on May 3, 2011 at 6:24 PM

She doesn’t really need one of those but you know damn well they have to put up the arm rest in between the seats.

BigWyo on May 3, 2011 at 6:44 PM

Hard for the unemployed to look the employed in the eye.

Limerick on May 3, 2011 at 5:19 PM
Really? I find it’s the other way around, if anything.

Christien on May 3, 2011 at 5:28 PM

News flash……really.

Limerick on May 3, 2011 at 6:46 PM

Count me in among those ‘more people’.

RickZ on May 3, 2011 at 6:31 PM

I would never have known about it either had the buttinsky administration not been involved.

scalleywag on May 3, 2011 at 6:49 PM

Presumably the White House feared that some blogger or bored Politico beat reporter would be searching “Michelle Obama” for unrelated reasons and end up

Apparently there is a team of White House employees doing just that. Searching the internets for negative stories about the regime. Scary stuff if you think about it.

mike_NC9 on May 3, 2011 at 6:53 PM

Thanks Linda…

… Spread the word, far and wide!

Seven Percent Solution on May 3, 2011 at 6:11 PM

I need your help… obviously HA and nobody else is putting 2+2 =4 together. How can this go viral, because it needs to.

Key West Reader on May 3, 2011 at 6:53 PM

“Right, Miss Channel-Allen, Nice little newspaper you got here…”

MikeHu on May 3, 2011 at 6:54 PM

You know what Michelle Obama needs?

Something she will never have. Class.

Case closed.

Key West Reader on May 3, 2011 at 6:54 PM

Oh c’mon. FLOTUS was an elitist long before becoming a FLOTUS.

She sent black people on down the line so they didn’t muck up her elitist hospital. Remember? If that’s not elitist, I don’t know what is.

If anything, she went from frump to fashion because of her FLOTUS status. Remember a few years back when she looked more like Florence from the Jeffersons, rather than Diana Ross? LOL

capejasmine on May 3, 2011 at 6:55 PM

Wow, Pleasanton has a whopping population of 66,828. All it takes is one little small town to start problems and the next thing you know there are riots in the streets, cats and dogs living together…

vcferlita on May 3, 2011 at 6:58 PM

If anything, she went from frump to fashion because of her FLOTUS status. Remember a few years back when she looked more like Florence from the Jeffersons, rather than Diana Ross? LOL

capejasmine on May 3, 2011 at 6:55 PM

Yes, she has always been .. ah. what do you call it? MilitantClass? So, classeh.

Key West Reader on May 3, 2011 at 6:59 PM

Michelle Obama has always been an angry woman. I question her patriotism and I question her college records.

I fully respect her parents.

Michelle Obama’s records need to be investigated. Her patient dumping schemes have been well documented. She was on the board of a Chicago Hospital after Barack uh Sein Obama stinted his State Senate seat.

MHO devised a scheme where the poor would be placed on the curb on gurneys and then taken to chicago area hospitals who would then dispose of living human beings with desperate illness would be dumped to the curb for the charitable org’s to pick up.

“Michelle Obama Patient Dump” on google will do you well.

Key West Reader on May 3, 2011 at 7:04 PM

Memo to MSM: Please effect the following changes to all articles, past, present, and future to the following quote from Michelle Obama:
.
For the first time in my adult lifetime, I’m really proud of my country.”
.
Thank you.
.
.
[Ministry of Truth, inner-office memo]

MaxMBJ on May 3, 2011 at 7:07 PM

I have to wonder though, did they demand it be removed or did they dispute it’s accuracy?

I also have to wonder, how often does the media published(and unpublished) stories to the web to satisfy the Obama administration? This seems to happen all the time in the NYTimes and the Washington Post.

ninjapirate on May 3, 2011 at 7:10 PM

how often does the media published(and unpublished)

how often does the media EDIT published(and unpublished)…

ninjapirate on May 3, 2011 at 7:11 PM

Remember when I think it was Axelrod visited Ailes at Fox?
After that was when they started being more liberal. I laugh when I hear Obama or someone on the left complaining about Fox News. I quit watching months ago because of their
stacking the deck on each show with liberals. Two liberals screaming and interrupting and one republican, moderate or
conservative, trying to get their point across. Then there are BOR’s interviews of Obama.

Amjean on May 3, 2011 at 6:22 PM

Yes, and I noticed a change in Fox News at that time as well. Surprising that inside memos or direction from HR have not leaked out.

slickwillie2001 on May 3, 2011 at 7:13 PM

With what did they threaten them? How do you get someone with that kind of power to fold? I’m curious-not being sarcastic.

texanpride on May 3, 2011 at 7:24 PM

Don’t you miss Laura Bush – who would never be seen with big arms flailing around with no sleeves, and in the most ridiculous clothes? She was a class act and knew how to dress and how to behave. Mrs Reagan was criticized all the time by the msm because of her wardrobe and she always looked lovely and appropriate.
Of course they loved Mrs Kennedy and she always looked like a first lady should.
Thank goodness the Brits have a beautiful young couple who also know appropriate attire and behavior.

Bambi on May 3, 2011 at 7:27 PM

With what did they threaten them? How do you get someone with that kind of power to fold? I’m curious-not being sarcastic.

texanpride on May 3, 2011 at 7:24 PM

IRS? Clintons threatened many enemies of theirs with the IRS.

capejasmine on May 3, 2011 at 7:32 PM

BuckeyeSam on May 3, 2011 at 5:32 PM

Yep, she was quite the prima donna at Sidley Austin (I linked to that story, as well as a lot of great stuff from Steve Diamond). She didn’t want to do the grunt work that is customary for all young lawyers, with or without an ivy league degree.

Buy Danish on May 3, 2011 at 7:36 PM

With what did they threaten them? How do you get someone with that kind of power to fold? I’m curious-not being sarcastic.

texanpride on May 3, 2011 at 7:24 PM

Bill and Hillary Clinton never attempted this. Nor did GHWB or GWB or Ronald Reagan.

I think that Hillary should primary Obama, but if she did it would be a severe conflict of interest. Which is why he put her as a Cabinet member to begin with.

Key West Reader on May 3, 2011 at 7:39 PM

Bambi on May 3, 2011 at 7:27 PM

MO…. occupant.

Key West Reader on May 3, 2011 at 7:41 PM

All of my adult life I’ve been told by the Left that in America, freedom of speech included pornography, Jesus in urine and burning the American Flag. Who knew that it didn’t actually include freedom of the press?

hawkdriver on May 3, 2011 at 7:49 PM

But yet the same story is reprinted here…and it’s still here. Weird.

Maybe they figure that HA stuff really doesn’t get around that much, except for Conservative blogosphere, so, WTH.

Dr. ZhivBlago on May 3, 2011 at 7:51 PM

But yet the same story is reprinted here…and it’s still here. Weird.

Maybe they figure that HA stuff really doesn’t get around that much, except for Conservative blogosphere, so, WTH.

Dr. ZhivBlago on May 3, 2011 at 7:51 PM

Can you imagine how many hits a story like, “WH demands Conservative WebSite Edit FLOTUS Story” would get.

And that would be without all of our gutless trolls who refuse to comment on the tough threads.

hawkdriver on May 3, 2011 at 7:55 PM

Gina Channell-Allen, Chicken Of The Year.

/cluck, cluck

Ward Cleaver on May 3, 2011 at 8:03 PM

Before you know it, shazam — a new “FLOTUS is an elitist!” news bubble floats into the media mainstream.

Like we didn’t already know that…

M-14 2go on May 3, 2011 at 8:09 PM

She’s an f’ing pig.

RedNewEnglander on May 3, 2011 at 8:19 PM

Yes, that Pleasanton paper was obviously a racist paper…in fact anything said against Obama and wife is racist, unless it is positive and uplifting…I hope that sets the record straight.
You are either for ‘em or a racist…

right2bright on May 3, 2011 at 8:22 PM

Racist morons.

bifidis on May 3, 2011 at 8:12 PM

The Left runs scared again. So tell me, exactly how does pleading freedom of the press and pointing out Leftist hypocrisy prove racism, moron.

hawkdriver on May 3, 2011 at 8:23 PM

I don’t think Marines
Have brittle, fragile egos,
And could give a damn.

They’re professionals.
I’m sure they do a great job,
And sleep well at night.

Haiku Guy on May 3, 2011 at 8:23 PM

If every time this happened, the offending paper re-ran the story in a box on the front page in the next issue, along with a story about the pressure from the White House, this nonsense would stop right quick.

Haiku Guy on May 3, 2011 at 8:25 PM

The comment I quoted disappeared. Ban Hammer?

hawkdriver on May 3, 2011 at 8:25 PM

One person described how she would routinely elbow her way to the front of buffet lines at political fundraisers, haughtily announcing I’m the Senator’s wife! to anyone who objected to being pushed out of her way.

AZCoyote on May 3, 2011 at 5:27 PM

Get outta here! Michelle Obama elbowing her way to the front of the buffet line? Who could imagine that!

PatMac on May 3, 2011 at 8:25 PM

Seriously Allah, Banned or sanitized?

hawkdriver on May 3, 2011 at 8:27 PM

The reason FLOTUS wasn’t speaking to the flight crew was omitted from the original story: she was still fuming that they offered her one of those seat belt extenders when she boarded.

Captain Scarlet on May 3, 2011 at 6:24 PM

…so you’re saying that FL=Fat Lady??

landlines on May 3, 2011 at 8:27 PM

One person described how she would routinely elbow her way to the front of buffet lines at political fundraisers, haughtily announcing I’m the Senator’s wife! to anyone who objected to being pushed out of her way.

AZCoyote on May 3, 2011 at 5:27 PM
Get outta here! Michelle Obama elbowing her way to the front of the buffet line? Who could imagine that!
PatMac on May 3, 2011 at 8:25 PM

The White House just called and asked to have this comment stricken. Michelle Obama is a wonderful person!

PatMac on May 3, 2011 at 8:50 PM

Seriously Allah, Banned or sanitized?

hawkdriver on May 3, 2011 at 8:27 PM

Not banned yet. It’s true that big ole’ righties don’t like to be reminded of the racist subtexts of their rhetoric. Rationality is apparently post-editing offense at Hot Air.

It’s come to this.

bifidis on May 3, 2011 at 9:23 PM

I can see why they would get upset about the “elbowing her way to the front of the buffet line” line.
That’s demeaning.
Because Mooch doesn’t come to buffet, buffet come to Mooch.

justltl on May 3, 2011 at 10:10 PM

How many other papers have gotten calls like this?

How many papers are there?

BobMbx on May 3, 2011 at 10:17 PM

bifidis on May 3, 2011 at 9:23 PM

When you have nothing else, you revert to accusations of racism. *sigh*

capejasmine on May 3, 2011 at 10:30 PM

I always liked what Tina Fey said:

The First Lady’s ass is SO BIG I can see it from my backyard!

Laurence on May 3, 2011 at 10:42 PM

Moochelle is a b!tch, of course, and every insider story about her comes back with the same version of her, varying only by degree. She is rude and imperious around anyone who is paid to assist, guard or protect the President, never speaking to them other than to insult or demean them.

This latest version fits like a glove.

Jaibones on May 3, 2011 at 11:14 PM

Not banned yet. It’s true that big ole’ righties don’t like to be reminded of the racist subtexts of their rhetoric. Rationality is apparently post-editing offense at Hot Air.

It’s come to this.

bifidis on May 3, 2011 at 9:23 PM

Point out the text or STFU and GTFH.

hawkdriver on May 3, 2011 at 11:47 PM

It’s come to this.

bifidis on May 3, 2011 at 9:23 PM

Yeah it’s come to this. I read every comment and you pulled that racism charge right out of your a$$ you child molesting, baby-killer. I only called you that because in your rules it seems there’s no proof required.

hawkdriver on May 3, 2011 at 11:50 PM

I get it now. Any criticism of any Obama is racism. Check.

hawkdriver on May 3, 2011 at 11:52 PM

hawkdriver on May 3, 2011 at 11:50 PM

The Left only behaves the way it does because they are counting on our self-control. If we gave ourselves permission to respond the way they truly deserve (some of their smears demand a horsewhipping), or generally to behave the way they do, they’d be in a fetal position. It is the Right who builds civilizations–the Left only destroys them.

DrMagnolias on May 4, 2011 at 5:54 AM

I get it now. Any criticism of any Obama is racism. Check.

hawkdriver on May 3, 2011 at 11:52 PM

Think it’s bad now? Wait till the 2012 campaign gets in full gear. The Republican candidate will no doubt be “scientifically” proven to be the reincarnated essence of Nathan Bedford Forrest himself. After all, Bin Laden will be too long dead. What else will Obama have to run on but his melanin content and your congenital racism for daring to oppose his great blackness. Truly, give me another issue for him to run on successfully…anything…anything at all.

SKYFOX on May 4, 2011 at 6:57 AM

Obama looks really weird in this pic and I can’t get it out of my head since it first appeared. Would love for a good body/expression reader to explain it.

Schadenfreude on May 3, 2011 at 5:22 PM

How about some armchair reading of the body language in that room?

> Who is crouched down – seeming to be making himself as small as possible, presenting himself as the least necessary person in the room, and looking like an indecisive, frightened, paranoid preschooler who may have just soiled himself?

> Whose stance is firm and defiant, with eyes steely and purposeful – having an aura of leadership and of being in charge of the situation, as well as of the frightened schoolboy?

Who should we suspose was the driving and controlling force behind operation kill-Bin Laden?

GGMac on May 4, 2011 at 4:28 PM

To GGMac post at 4:28 PM, here’s a link to the photo being pondered:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/whitehouse/5680724572/sizes/l/in/photostream/

GGMac on May 4, 2011 at 4:32 PM

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