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Ed Driscoll

Obama White House Now Trolling MSM

November 23rd, 2013 - 2:48 pm

“Friday’s White House ‘Photo of the Day’ seems fairly innocuous at first glance,” US News reports. “President Obama, in the Oval Office, is surrounded by eight photojournalists as he signs a bill into law:”

But that particular photo comes courtesy of the White House just one day after 38 news organizations and journalistic institutions, en masse, penned a letter of protest to Press Secretary Jay Carney, asking that the Obama administration stop simply sending out their own photos and allow more access to photographers and videographers.

Some journalists interpreted Friday’s photo as the White House attempting to sweep the issue under the rug, while others figured it a subliminal “screw you.”

“I think given the fact that this picture of them taking pictures was now pushed out, I almost wonder if this wasn’t just a set up?” said Mickey Osterreicher, general counsel for the National Press Photographers Association, who worked on a draft of the letter. “See, we give everybody access, what’s the problem?” he said the White House was trying to say.

Julie Mason, SiriusXM POTUS press pool host and former White House Correspondents’ Association board member, saw Friday’s photo and suggested it was an equivalent to a middle finger, a snub and an eye roll. “All of that, plus a drop of anxiety,” Mason wrote in an email. “Behold how sensitive the White House is to claims they shut the press out.”

Of course, Mr. Obama is happy to flash more than the equivalent of the middle finger when he’s peeved. But it’s fascinating to watch the White House’s war on the media spread from almost exclusively with Fox News and Rush Limbaugh in 2009 and 2010, to the rest of the news media, now that the MSM is forced, despite itself, to report on the disastrous rollout of Obamacare, if only because of the sheer magnitude of the horror stories.

On Thursday, Ron Fournier, formerly with AP, wrote a National Journal article whose headline alone would have been unthinkable by the MSM during the sunny, cheerful, “We Are Socialists Now” early days of hopenchange. Titled “Obama’s Image Machine: Monopolistic Propaganda Funded by You,” Fournier wrote:

New York Times photographer Doug Mills strode into Jay Carney’s office Oct. 29 with a pile of pictures taken exclusively by President Obama’s official photographer at events the White House press corps was forbidden to cover. “This one,” Mills said, sliding one picture after another off his stack and onto the press secretary’s desk. “This one, too – and this one and this one and … .”

The red-faced photographer, joined by colleagues on the White House Correspondents’ Association board, finished his 10-minute presentation with a flourish that made Carney, a former Moscow correspondent for Time, wince.

“You guys,” Mills said, “are just like Tass.”

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. A generation ago, a few mainstream media organizations held a monopoly on public information about the White House. Today, the White House itself is behaving monopolistic.

The fast-moving trend is hampering reporters and videographers who cover the White House, but Mills’ profession has probably been hardest hit. “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,” reads a letter delivered today to Carney by the WHCA and several member news organizations including The Associated Press and The New York Times.

The letter includes examples of important news events that were not covered by media photographers, and yet pictures were taken by the White House image team and widely distributed via social media. This happens almost daily.

“Unlike media photographers, official White House photographers are paid by taxpayers and report to the president. Their job is to make Obama look good. They are propagandists – in the purest sense of the word,” Fournier adds.

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All Comments   (23)
All Comments   (23)
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No, everything with Obama is a calculated risk to cover something that would be worse (for him) if made public. Hiding his transcripts and birth certificate.
No, my bet is that censoring pictures has a reason and that reason is that they might reveal something they don't want the public to see. In house pictures can be retouched; only the best released.
What is he hiding? Well sure, the ravages of age, his hair is getting grey. But, what if they are hiding the ravages of long term drug addiction or an STD?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Aye, POTUS holds the media in as much contempt as the citizens do, as much as POTUS holds the citizens in contempt as well.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The Left is going on the attack or preparing for one. The Left is consolidating trying to figure out what do to next. This phase is private.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Of course it's flipping the bird at his sycophants...who dared to actually print a tentatively critical word after 5 years; the real Pravda would never have dared. It makes the photographers look like fools, breathlessly snapping pictures of the great man like adolescent paparazzi backstage at a Victoria's Secret fashion show.

We'll see how they react. After all, they are professionals at speaking truth to power. Certainly they will resent being humiliated, won't they?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Dear *BM, You probably haven't noticed because you were busy digging through Sara Palins garbage but Barry has been flipping you and all the rest of us off since day one. You just thought he didn't mean you.

*Big Media. Not that other BM. Though in this case they are pretty much interchangeable.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Typically I just maintain a distance before commenting. But this one has been on my mind for a while.

The case can be made that Republican Presidents present a huge advantage for the people as well as the Fourth Estate. An adversarial relationship between 'the news' and government is healthy. We're 5 years deep into the alternative. No 'rah, rah' here. At present, dems diminish the energy and natural inclinations of the news business to get the story.

So, here's how it finishes, I think. Over time and at an accelerated pace, the MSM will try to walk back its support of the President. They will describe their derelictions in the passive voice in only the most general way, to assure a diminishing audience that the lesson has been learned. They won't actually go after Obama---for all the reasons of which we're so well aware. They will try to cut their losses, however.

There is a new one coming down the lane in '16 and they will 'come home' to the democrats as they always do, albeit with assurances and probably exerting a little soft extortion of their own, having just had the illusion of credibility wiped from the mind of all but the true believer. I would love to think that the media would, once again, become distrustful of government.
We can only wait to see how badly they're burned.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Benghazi. IRS targeting political enemies. Ft. Hood. Tanking the economy. Obamacare fraud. Finally the MSM is getting upset? Dang, y'all are slow.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Poor little, sore little media hacks
Got a White House wax job without the wax

They thought the Wolf would only bite
people and things that they don’t like

But remember what the Cyclops told Ulysses
one evening when the night began to fall

“I really like you true,
so I tell you what I’ll do
I guarantee I’ll eat you last of all.”
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Can't speak to the meter, but it rings as clear as crystal.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
It is curious that some of the slower among us still refer to these cretins as the "mainstream media."
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
So after 6 years of performing nonstop public journallatio on obama, the MSM is concerned that we might not view them as impartial?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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