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White House Press Corps Snaps Over Photo Ban (FishbowlDC)
The White House Correspondents Association has had enough. And so has just about every other media outlet in America. WHCA and more than 40 other news orgs sent a letter Thursday 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.” Politico / 44 The atmosphere in the White House briefing room got heated Thursday afternoon as reporters challenged a spokesman over press access to the president. After delivering a letter arguing that officials are “blocking the public from having an independent view of important functions of the Executive Branch of government,” members of the White House press corps cut into principal deputy press secretary Josh Earnest as he defended the administration’s policies on press access. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media At one point during the briefing, NBC News White House correspondent Chuck Todd told Earnest that if Vladimir Putin issued similar restrictions on the media, the Obama White House “would mock it, [and say] there was no free press.” (Todd later tweeted: “And the press access precedent being set by this (White House) press office will only be followed in a more rigid way by next POTUS. Why we whine.”) National Journal Comparing the White House to the Russian news agency is a hyperbole, of course, but less so with each new administration. Obama’s image-makers are taking advantage of new technologies that democratized the media, subverting independent news organizations that hold the president accountable. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Hours after protesting the White House policy of banning photographers from certain events, the Associated Press Media Editors and the American Society of Newspaper Editors called on members to stop publishing photos and videos provided by the White House Press Office.