White House Punishes Pool Reporter For Posting Video Of Bradley Manning Supporters Protesting Obama
from the sad dept
This is just sad. For a president who claimed that he was going to bring a new era of transparency and openness to the White House, every day it seems like President Obama is actually closing off more avenues of communication and being less transparent than any president in history. The latest is an attempt to punish a San Francisco Chronicle reporter for daring to use a mobile phone to record some video of Bradley Manning supporters singing a song in protest when the President was visiting San Francisco. Apparently, the White House didn’t like that a “pen and pad” reporter had recorded video and have said that this reporter and paper will be excluded from future events.
They won’t give a clear explanation of why, but the implication is that because she went beyond “pen and pad” with the video, she violated some sort of guideline, though the SF Chronicle says no guidelines were violated:
The White House Press Correspondents’ Association pool reporting guidelines warn about “no hoarding” of information and also say, “pool reports must be filed before any online story or blog.” While uploading her video probably was the best way to file her report, Carla may have technically busted the letter of that law.
But the guidelines also say, “Print poolers can snap pictures or take video. They are not obliged to share these pictures…but can make them available if they so choose.”
No matter what, the clear implication is that the administration doesn’t like it when reporters show stuff that embarrasses them. For a “transparent” president, and one who claims to have embraced various aspects of social media (as the report notes, this protest happened hours after Obama spent some time at Facebook…), it seems incredibly hypocritical to punish a reporter for embracing new technology and new tools to report on a story.