Media pens letter of protest over lack of White House photo access

posted at 3:31 pm on November 24, 2013 by Jazz Shaw

I’m not sure which is the more surprising aspect of this story… that it took so long to happen or that it happened at all. In any event, with very little fanfare or coverage on cable news, a significant portion of the national news outlets got together on Thursday and sent a letter to Press Secretary Jay Carney. In it, they assembled a list of complaints about the squelching of access to behind the scenes events at the White House for photographers in the press corps.

Friday’s White House “Photo of the Day” seems fairly innocuous at first glance. President Obama, in the Oval Office, is surrounded by eight photojournalists as he signs a bill into law.

But that particular photo comes courtesy of the White House just one day after 38 news organizations and journalistic institutions, en masse, penned a letter of protest to Press Secretary Jay Carney, asking that the Obama administration stop simply sending out their own photos and allow more access to photographers and videographers.

Some journalists interpreted Friday’s photo as the White House attempting to sweep the issue under the rug, while others figured it a subliminal “screw you.”

In case you missed it on the front page, here is the “screw you” photo in question.

WhiteHouseSigning

You can read the full text of the letter here, but here’s the seemingly polite way it kicks off.

Dear Mr. Carney:

We write to protest the limits on access currently barring photographers who cover the White House. We hope this letter will serve as the first step in removing these restrictions and, therefore, we also request a meeting with you to discuss this critical issue further.

Journalists are routinely being denied the right to photograph or videotape the President while he is performing his official duties. As surely as if they were placing a hand over a journalist’s camera lens, officials in this administration are blocking the public from having an independent view of important functions of the Executive Branch of government.

Here’s the full list of media outlets who signed on to the letter:

ABC News
Agence France-Presse
American Society of News Editors
American Society of Media Photographers
Associated Press
Associated Press Media Editors
Associated Press Photo Managers
Association of Alternative Newsmedia
Association of Opinion Journalists
Bloomberg News
CBS News
CNN
Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
Fox News Channel
Gannett Co., Inc.
Getty Images
Lee Enterprises, Incorporated
The McClatchy Company
McClatchy-Tribune Information Services
National Press Club
National Press Photographers Association
NBC News
New England First Amendment Coalition
News Media Coalition
Newspaper Association of America
The New York Times Company
Online News Association
Professional Photographers of America
Radio Television Digital News Association
Regional Reporters Association
The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press
Reuters
Society of Professional Journalists
Tribune Company
The Washington Post
White House Correspondents’ Association
White House News Photographers Association
Yahoo! Inc.

Notice anyone missing there? Did MSNBC skip it, or are they covered under the umbrella of “NBC News”?

They do raise an interesting point as the letter continues. It’s not just a matter of the White House holding certain events which they define as “private” and barring access to photographers. (There are certainly some events, particularly those dealing with national security, where they might not want photos splashed all over the press.) What seems to really have put a bee in the media’s collective bonnet is when Obama shuts their photographers out of these “private” events, but then immediately takes their own pictures and sends them out on Twitter and posts them on the official White House web site. The photo above is one example of that, being an official White House picture of their own. It’s not hard to see why that one comes off as a bit of a middle finger salute to those doing the complaining.

There is little doubt at this point that the Obama administration has been one of the most closely and carefully managed media operations in the nation’s history. They don’t just try to control the carefully crafted message and talking points – with harsh penalties for those who express any independent thoughts or opinions – but they also work to lock down every image which the public gets to see. It’s all part of the packaging and selling of the world changing, transformative, historic presidency unfolding before our eyes. Or at least what we’re allowed to see.


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Like we need more pictures of him. Although it does look like he has a new hair dye.

Barred on November 24, 2013 at 3:34 PM

If you sissies wanted to make the appropriate response, you would decline to run the propaganda photos he provides you with.

HitNRun on November 24, 2013 at 3:35 PM

gotta be careful with all those pictures and videos. that’s what caused Benghazi you know.

seriously, it is long overdue that the press actually does something, but a less self-serving start is hard to imagine

jlw on November 24, 2013 at 3:36 PM

They’re complaining that Barry wears a rubber while they perform their kneepad duties.

Flange on November 24, 2013 at 3:37 PM

that should be more self-serving

jlw on November 24, 2013 at 3:37 PM

The White House has a captive photographer who may be counted on to delete any inconvenient pictures.

Now they’ve got several. I don’t see a difference.

unclesmrgol on November 24, 2013 at 3:44 PM

Slowly the Beast awakens, huh.

D-fusit on November 24, 2013 at 3:45 PM

You fools.

It is a ruse to make the public think they are really not appendages of the Democratic Party propaganda machine.

No Chop Charlie on November 24, 2013 at 3:49 PM

Why pay for the cow when you get the milk for free?

Socratease on November 24, 2013 at 3:49 PM

They want more pictures… not more answers????

faraway on November 24, 2013 at 3:49 PM

Freedom of the press doesn’t mean you have a right to defy the editorial demands of your superiors.
 
libfreeordie on August 1, 2013 at 6:09 PM

rogerb on November 24, 2013 at 3:50 PM

Isn’t this the second time we have heard the press growl about the White House while licking the Obama hand. If they really want a point to be made try anyone of the mired scandals out their and report on it until we have meaningful answers. To the lazy press here are some scandals IRS, Benghazi, Census Bureau (unemployment figures cooked), Obama Care and many more.

If they did this maybe they will get something.

Release on November 24, 2013 at 3:51 PM

Oooh, they’re complaining now.

Obama has as much respect for the American press at this point as the Iranians have for Obama.

Cicero43 on November 24, 2013 at 3:52 PM

LMFAO.I hope they are sobbing on each others shoulders.

docflash on November 24, 2013 at 3:56 PM

A sow’s ear can become a silk purse – when ONLY the sow’s chosen photographers get to make the photos.

TeaPartyNation on November 24, 2013 at 3:56 PM

Awwwwwwww. Obama’s whores are throwing a hisssy!

GarandFan on November 24, 2013 at 4:01 PM

Please let them come and adore him!

trs on November 24, 2013 at 4:02 PM

Slowly the Beast awakens, huh.

D-fusit

not hardly ….

This amounts to “WE want to take the propaganda photos …..

BD57 on November 24, 2013 at 4:05 PM

Next up: Only photos allowed are Obama selfies!

albill on November 24, 2013 at 4:13 PM

They’re complaining that Barry wears a rubber while they perform their kneepad duties.

Flange on November 24, 2013 at 3:37 PM

That’s good stuff, right there.

msupertas on November 24, 2013 at 4:16 PM

Journalists are routinely being denied the right to photograph or videotape the President while he is performing his official duties.

What, not allowed on the golf course?

Why, it’s a First Amendment Constitutional Crisis (but, of course, not for the reasons they think) …

ShainS on November 24, 2013 at 4:16 PM

Have we nearly reached the inevitable Wall stage?

Murphy9 on November 24, 2013 at 4:25 PM

Hey, Media!

If you like your tyrant, you can keep your tyrant.

turfmann on November 24, 2013 at 4:26 PM

A strongly worded letter? They look as weak against Obama’s tyranny as Obama looks against Iran’s. There’s only one way to stop a bully.

txhsmom on November 24, 2013 at 4:26 PM

A strongly worded letter? They look as weak against Obama’s tyranny as Obama looks against Iran’s. There’s only one way to stop a bully.

txhsmom on November 24, 2013 at 4:26 PM

I get the funny impression that the Secret Service wouldn’t be amused with someone punching Obama in the nose, however much he deserves it.

turfmann on November 24, 2013 at 4:27 PM

The media has been completely delinquent in their fawning coverage of Obama. They are getting what they deserve. Too bad the rest of us are getting it also.

Grunt on November 24, 2013 at 4:28 PM

I love how there’s never anything on his desk. Yes, I know, Presidential Study or whatever, but seriously, look at that picture and ask yourself if that’s an office where someone actually works. It looks like a soundstage.

JeremiahJohnson on November 24, 2013 at 4:39 PM

aaawwwwwwwwwwwww……….

You want some cheese with that wine you msm kool-aid guzzlers?!?!?

Or did you really believe him when he told you that if you liked your press coverage access you could keep your press coverage access?????

SUCKA’S !!!!!!!!

http://www.costco.com/Kleenex-Cottonelle-Bath-Tissue-Rolls-2-Ply-White-6,000,000ct-KIM-17713.product.11512334.html

RealMc on November 24, 2013 at 4:47 PM

Oh, a strongly worded letter, what will democrats do?? Liberals don’t care what anyone says about them, they are proved to be hypocrites every day, they don’t care a wit about how they look. Just look at the filibuster, does anyone think they care if they are total hypocrites? They don’t and neither does their voters. I don’t know why Republicans are so worried about stuff like this when dems live by different rules. Republicans are never going to win if they don’t start fighting fire with fire.

Dollayo on November 24, 2013 at 4:48 PM

The media should refuse to print these pictures and bury the corresponding stories on the back page. Big O would soon beg for more coverage. On second thought maybe he likes the secrecy to plan the destruction of our great heritage.

aknews on November 24, 2013 at 4:49 PM

Dear Leader,

Don’t you love us anymore?

Answer yes or no:

Yes _

No _

Rio Linda Refugee on November 24, 2013 at 4:51 PM

When the media starts the daily and regular hammering of the ‘most open and transparent Administration ever’ falsehood, then I will start to pay attention to their whinging and ‘strongly worded letters’.

I love how there’s never anything on his desk. Yes, I know, Presidential Study or whatever, but seriously, look at that picture and ask yourself if that’s an office where someone actually works. It looks like a soundstage.

JeremiahJohnson on November 24, 2013 at 4:39 PM

All he needs to know about ‘governing’ was covered in his indoctrinations by Bill Ayers, Saul Alinsky, Frank Marshall Davis, Edward Said, Karl Marx, Jean-Paul Marat, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and Chairman Mao. It’s all committed to memory. He just has to make every decision based on ideological / political grounds.

Athos on November 24, 2013 at 4:55 PM

Five years of Obama-framed-as-Messiah photos, including many or most from the MSM, and now they find it isn’t enough to maintain the propaganda image. Every now and then, some shot of Obama on a bicycle with helmet and kneepads and bike shorts looking like some special needs kid sent out to ride on the driveway ONLY by Mom sneaks out, or a picture of him in golf shorts (but never an actual shot) also looking stupid is printed, so they just cut the photographers off completely.

Notice he doesn’t throw out the first ball at baseball games anymore? Too many Americans know ten year old girls who throw better. And don’t wear Mom jeans.

If the press corps were serious, they would beat up Carney and deposit him in a heap on the White House Lawn.

Adjoran on November 24, 2013 at 5:04 PM

certain events which they define as “private” and barring access to photographers

You mean like when Valerie Jarrett is telling Øbama what he thinks today?

Kafir on November 24, 2013 at 5:04 PM

****************** Transparency *****************************!!

canopfor on November 24, 2013 at 5:05 PM

We go back into Political Time:

Er, we made a mistake… Vice President’s aide apologises to journalist locked in a closet for hours during fundraiser

By Simon Neville
UPDATED: 02:04 GMT, 28 March 2011
*********************************

An aide to Vice President Joe Biden has apologised to a reporter who was locked in a closet for hours after he was invited to cover a Florida political fundraiser because they did not want him talking with the guests.

Spokeswoman Elizabeth Alexander said the decision to hold local reporter Scott Powers there was a ‘mistake’.

And she claimed an inexperienced staffer had put Powers in the closet instead of a ‘hotel room’ as was their normal practice.

As the unaware $500-a-head invitees dined on caprese crostini with oven-dried mozzarella and basil, rosemary flatbread with grapes honey and gorgonzola cheese, grilled chicken Caesar and garden vegetable wraps, last week, the veteran reporter was locked away.

She explained that the closet was chosen because of its ‘close proximity’ to the room where Mr Biden was speaking, and that it had a table and chair where the reporter could work, as well as open space.
(More…..)
===========

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1370371/Vice-President-Joe-Bidens-staff-lock-journalist-closet-stop-talking-guests.html

canopfor on November 24, 2013 at 5:17 PM

Awwwwwwww. Obama’s whores are throwing a hisssy!

GarandFan on November 24, 2013 at 4:01 PM

Big Daddy O gonna have to get all medieval on those nappy-headed hos. Gotta teach’em to have some ‘spect.

Solaratov on November 24, 2013 at 5:35 PM

Anyone know where the world’s smallest violin is?

Hey press, like a little cheese with that whine?

Marcola on November 24, 2013 at 5:42 PM

Not sure if it was PT Barnum who said “There’s a sucker born every minute” Obama subscribes to that philosophy.

birdwatcher on November 24, 2013 at 5:55 PM

gee a tyrant acts like a tyrant after idiots in media thrust him upon us.
f* them.

dmacleo on November 24, 2013 at 6:07 PM

Geez, am I suppose to be impressed that a group of people who have been on their knees in front of this empty suit, assiduously ignoring any chance of finding anything at all about him are now p.o.’d because they don’t have enough pictures of him? Give me a big fat break.

Cindy Munford on November 24, 2013 at 6:14 PM

If the press corps were serious, they would beat up Carney and deposit him in a heap on the White House Lawn.

Adjoran on November 24, 2013 at 5:04 PM

Heh. Love it.

Cleombrotus on November 24, 2013 at 6:24 PM

“The public is too ignorant and disengaged to catch me, and the press is too deep in my pocket to raise alarms.”

Andrew McCarthy, on the imperial presidency and its enablers.

Cleombrotus on November 24, 2013 at 6:31 PM

Since it is too cold to play golf, Maybe Oahole ought to take up hockey, and Get the puck out of here.

birdwatcher on November 24, 2013 at 6:58 PM

Obama refused the letter… because it didn’t have enough perfume on it.

profitsbeard on November 24, 2013 at 7:40 PM

At any event where photo access is denied just include one of the many photos of Obama with a fly on his face marked “archival photo”.

scrubjay on November 24, 2013 at 7:49 PM

Dogs-fleas, reap-sow. You know the drill.

neyney on November 24, 2013 at 10:12 PM

…porn!

KOOLAID2 on November 25, 2013 at 1:30 AM

Big Brother allows no real action pictures of The Party. You can’t take pictures of a facade.

smoothsailing on November 25, 2013 at 5:58 AM

Maybe there aren’t that many behind the scene events at the WH that include the president. Can’t have a photo op of the Won if he’s not there at all.

Kissmygrits on November 25, 2013 at 7:03 AM

Make no mistake about it. This is simply punishment for the MSM for falling off-message on ObamaCare. This is how the administration gets them back in line….

supersport667 on November 25, 2013 at 8:49 AM

President Control Freak?

kjatexas on November 25, 2013 at 8:56 AM

asking that the Obama administration stop simply sending out their own photos and allow more access to photographers and videographers.

So this is like everything about this President and administration, staged and fake.

Dear media,
YOU fought(i.e. lied, deceived, exaggerated, etc) for this.
Eat it.

Sterling Holobyte on November 25, 2013 at 9:16 AM

Good. Keep them locked out and maybe, maybe, do the work they are supposed to be doing. There’s no way having a photographer around doesn’t lead to distraction.

The Nerve on November 25, 2013 at 1:44 PM