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Posts Tagged ‘Pete Souza’

White House Press Corps Snaps Over Photo Ban

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.

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WaPo Scribes Dissect Sit Room Photograph

WaPo offers a unique look at the famed Situation Room photograph today by having a wide range of reporters analyze the drama in the room. For example, food critic Tom Seitsema assesses what they ate and why they ate it. Dance Critic Sarah Kaufman takes on body language while David Ignatius, espionage expert, tackles tech. But they don’t stop there. Judith Martin (a.k.a. Miss Manners) handles etiquette and what would be “unseemly” and TV Critic Hank Stuever takes on TV Situations Rooms versus the real one.

White House photog Pete Souza snapped the picture.

Let’s find out more….


Gibson to Anchor “World News” from White House, Gets Obama Interview

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President Barack Obama interview with Charles Gibson of ABC News, (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

ABC News’ Charles Gibson interviewed President Barack Obama today at the White House. The interview covered the war in Afghanistan, health care reform, and the economy.

In the interview, President Obama told Gibson that if Congress does not pass health care legislation that will bring down costs, the federal government “will go bankrupt.”

“If we don’t pass it, here’s the guarantee…your premiums will go up, your employers are going to load up more costs on you,” the President said. “Potentially they’re going to drop your coverage, because they just can’t afford an increase of 25 percent, 30 percent in terms of the costs of providing health care to employees each and every year.”

Portions of the interview will air this evening on “World News with Charles Gibson.” For more info, visit ABC News online.

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(Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

FishPoolDC: Our Insider’s Notes from Today’s Press Briefing

Notes from a briefing room press insider…

Two Sides of the Same Ugly Coin?: The Taliban-as-lesser-enemy thread was woven more intricately today, with Press Secretary Robert Gibbs distinguishing between the direct and “global threat” of al Qaeda and the “not homogeneous” Taliban that alternately provides safe haven for terrorists and promotes a far different agenda on some local levels. “The Taliban are obviously exceedingly bad people that have done awful things,” RG articulated, adding that their “capability is somewhat different, though.” As a further rebuttal to those who would caution more Taliban references in the Obama team’s Af-Pak rhetoric, RG observed: “There is not intelligence to back up, as some have suggested, the imminent fall of the government in Afghanistan.”

What’s a Billion These Days…: Addressing the prospective costs of an increase in troop levels, RG acknowledged that the price tag was a continuing consideration in the Af-Pak review and that according to his figures, “For every 1,000 troops per year, it’s a billion dollars.”

No Love for Love: Holding nearly equal weight with Af-Pak today was POTUS’s 5 p.m. appointment with Cabinet members and Congressman… on the b-ball courts. RG noted the roster was largely ripped from a long-time House pickup group, and that his own attendance would be scrapped due to the “turned ankle” he suffered at one of the recent outings. Perhaps to turn the page on that embarrassment, RG outed POTUS sidekick Reggie Love as the victim of an Obama block (Ba-lock?) that WH photog Pete Souza snapped. The photo has been enlarged, ordered signed by Reggie (by POTUS), and was hanging in the West Wing… until it was dutifully delivered to the briefing room for the world to see. Reporters debated whether the photo was evidence of a POTUS foul. (In the judgment of this former HS-level hoopster, someone should clarify where the hoop was located so an over-the-back foul can be confirmed or refuted.) As Reggie crashed the briefing room to seize the (16×20?) photo, RG uttered: “I’m in trouble now.” Earlier, RG had said the game would be closed press “to protect the privacy and statistics of any of those involved.” Sorry, Reggie.

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Honky Tonk Confidential Rocks WHNPA Annual Dinner

CBS’ Bob Schieffer was the emcee at the White House News Photographers Associaton’s annual dinner this weekend at the Ritz- and he brought the band!

Unbeknownst to the crowd, Schieffer was wearing black Levi’s with his tuxedo jacket throughout the program. After the dinner service, the cowboy took off cummerbund to reveal his Texas-sized belt buckle. The curtains were up and the cowboy hat was on.

Honky Tonk Confidential provided the evening’s entertainment, performing Schieffer’s favorites “TV Anchorman” and “He’s In The White House Now,” a song about President Obama that was debuted at the Grid Iron Dinner earlier this year.

As evidenced below, the crowd just went wild at the band’s surprise encore performance. And unlike the typical DC dinner, guests stayed late dancing.

This photo courtesy of WHNPA’s website.

WHNPA President Dennis Brack made remarks and presented a video message from Obama, who was unable to attend. CNN’s Ed Henry also voiced a presentation on WH photographer Pete Souza.

The big awards of the night went to video photographer of the year Dai Baker, still photographer of the year WaPo‘s Andrea Bruce and Getty’s Charles Ommanney had the association’s pick for political photo of the year. The evening’s lifetime achievement award went to Bob Daughtery, a shooter for just about 50 years. Awards were also presented for video photography and editing, new media and to a student photographer of the year. You can check out the photos honored at WHNPA’s website here.

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White House Snatches Up Top News Media Photogs

PDN reports that White House photographer Pete Souza has recruited a team of six media photogs to cover the new administration.

Time Mag’s Alice Gabriner, Rick McKay from Cox Newspapers’ Washington bureau, Jennifer Poggi from U.S. News & World Report, Chuck Kennedy of McClatchy-Tribune News Service and AP’s Lawrence Jackson are all slated to join the WH photo office.