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Things Getting Hot In The White House Pool

Exhibit A: This email exchange between ABC News’ Ann Compton and the Washington Post’s Dan Eggen, obtained by FishbowlDC. The emails concern Eggen’s pool report from Slovenia.

After the jump…


So, early this morning, Eggen filed this pool report:

    POOL REPORT #1, 6/10/2008
    US-EU Summit, Castle Brdo, near Kranj, Slovenia, June 10, 2008
    Travel pool boarded bus around 6:30 am from Kranj to Castle Brdo complex, where they encountered numerous security sweeps until ushered into castle.

    It is here at Castle Brdo, in a room somewhat larger than a broom closet and devoid of any apparent air circulation, that the Great White House Press Photo-Op Strike of June 10, 2008 began, until it was undermined by the Scabs of TV.

    To recap: Several events on the morning calendar here were limited to a small travel pool of only 6 people, including your humble print pooler, 2 TV spots and 3 wire stills. The Wire Reporter Faction was understandably angered, and protested this, to no avail from WH aides, who say they had done what they could with their hosts etc.

    Led in revolt by White House Correspondents Association President Jennifer Loven, the wires and print pooler said it should be all or none, and initially all agreed.

    That is until John Garcia talked to his TV overlords, who decided to go into the event anyway for pretty video pictures.

    Your humble print pooler, being new at this beat and easily intimidated by those mean wire reporters, agreed to the boycott. He is hoping the other print reporters forgive him.

    Garcia went in with the camera crews just before 9 a.m. local time, and got the following big news from the photo op with President Bush and Slovenian President Danilo Turk. (All the following doublechecked through use of Scab TV footage.)

    In response to an inaudible comment from Turk, Bush said: “My first trip to Europe as president began in Slovenia and my last as president to Europe…” He did not complete the thought.

    Turk said that “Slovenia was a memorable place.”

    Bush agreed: “Very memorable. I tell a lot of my fellow citizens that if you want to discover a beautiful part of the world come to Slovenia.”

    Turk, again inaudible in some parts, said something about wishing Bush “could stay here awhile.” They then went into their private bilateral meeting.

    More exciting photo-ops to come.

This didn’t make Compton too happy and she sent the following note to Eggen:

    —– Original Message —–
    From: “Compton, Ann W”
    Sent: 06/10/2008 08:06 AM GMT
    To: Dan Eggen
    Subject: FW: POOL REPORT #1, 6/10/2008

    Dan –
    this is Ann Compton of ABC, actually the current president of the WHCA.

    I can understand your frustration with today’s photo op. Usually it is tv that boycotts and the print and photographers go in anyway.

    Today’s arrangement was in the schedule for weeks and no surprise.
    I would want to remind you as well these pool reports are widely
    distributed and wind up quickly on the Internet quoting you personally.

    The references to scab tv footage were found to be particularly
    offensive here at the filing center. TV works very carefully to uphold the highest standards of coverage.

    If you would like to chat with me later, please do.

Eggen responded:

    From: Dan Eggen
    Sent: Tuesday, June 10, 2008 04:13
    To: Compton, Ann W
    Subject: Re: POOL REPORT #1, 6/10/2008

    It was rather clearly intended as a lighthearted dispatch. Apologies for any offense.

Compton, again:

    From: Compton, Ann W.
    Sent: Tuesday, June 10, 2008 04:17
    To: ‘Dan Eggen’
    Subject: RE: POOL REPORT #1, 6/10/2008

    it was not taken light-heartedly at all. It was taken as a rather mean-spirited slur, especially using the term “scab tv.” It is also unfair, as the television pool producer Jamie Nelson has been working for weeks with the WH to insist on more coverage not less.

    These pool reports to to HUNDREDS of email addresses and a broad international list of reporters as well so you can be guaranteed it will be seem by a great many people outside the White House travelling pack.

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