The PJ Tatler

Obama admin punishes reporter for using cell phone camera

Or, they told me if I voted for McCain, we would soon see the government quash new media reporting to control the message…and they were right!

White House officials have banished one of the best political reporters in the country from the approved pool of journalists covering presidential visits to the Bay Area for using now-standard multimedia tools to gather the news.

The Chronicle’s Carla Marinucci – who, like many contemporary reporters, has a phone with video capabilities on her at all times – pulled out a small video camera last week and shot some protesters interrupting an Obama fundraiser at the St. Regis Hotel. …

Other sources confirmed that Carla was vanquished, including Chronicle editor Ward Bushee, who said he was “informed that Carla was removed as a pool reporter.” Which shouldn’t be a secret in any case because it’s a fact that affects the newsgathering of our largest regional paper (and sfgate)and how local citizens get their information.

What’s worse: more than a few journalists familiar with this story are aware of some implied threats from the White House of additional and wider punishment if Carla’s spanking became public. Really? That’s a heavy hand usually reserved for places other than the land of the free.

This all happened just the day after President Obama visited facebook and held an online townhall in which he touted the wonders of social media. Is the legacy media catching on that perhaps Obama is less than his words say he is?  Maybe.

The President’s practice not just with transparency but in other dealings with the press has not been tracking his words, despite the cool glamour and easy conversation that makes him seem so much more open than the last guy.

Or maybe not. Two years in and it’s still all about the last president the press hated, not the current president whose statements just keep expiring.