The White House Correspondents Association has had enough. And so have just about every other media outlet in America. WHCA and more than 40 other news orgs sent a letter today to White House Press Secretary Jay Carney to protest the banning of photographers from some White House events. The Obama White House has said in the past that photographers would not be allowed to take pictures of “private” events, but has often released photos of those same events taken by White House photographer Pete Souza. In the letter, the media groups accused the White House of trying to replace “photojournalism with visual press releases.”
From the letter:
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. To be clear, we are talking about Presidential activities of a fundamentally public nature. To be equally clear, we are not talking about open access to the residence or to areas restricted, for example, for national security purposes.
They go on to list seven examples in 2013 where press photographers were denied access to events and instead were issued “official” photographs. The events include a meeting with members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, a meeting with Israeli and Palestinian negotiators, and an event where the whole Obama family met Pakistani human rights activist Malala Yousafzai, a person they describe as being “of great public interest.”
Full letter after the jump.