RANT: “unofficial agreements” about press coverage

White House Sends Warning Letter to Photographer who Photographed Obama’s Daughters
via PINAC by Carlos Miller on 1/8/13

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A celebrity photographer who snapped photos of President Barack Obama’s daughters frolicking on a public beach in Hawaii received a warning from the White House that their privacy should be respected.

As official and intimidating it may be to receive such a letter from the White House, it carries no legal standing. It is merely part of an informal agreement Obama has with the media, which once used to pride itself in being the Fourth Estate.

The photographer was on the beach last week waiting to snap a photo of Jessica Simpson when he spotted Malia and Sasha Obama, age 14 and 11, so he naturally snapped their photos, thinking he could make a sale.

But he was quickly accosted by Secret Service agents, who demanded his identification. They did not delete his photos but told him not to take anymore photos.

The photographer then turned around and sold the existing images, which he had every right to do if he did not personally agree to the agreement with the White House.

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While it is understandable that Obama would like to keep his daughters out of the public eye, it makes one wonder what other “unofficial agreements” he has made with the media not to report certain information.

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I really don’t have a problem if the news people report only what they fell is news worthy.

I do have a problem when the Gooferment has “unofficial agreements”.

If at the beginning of every year, there was an explicit  public statement of what and was not acceptable about the children, I’d applaud.

But, then the politicians can’t trot them out as “props”. Same for the First Ladies, they are either “in politicos” and hence “fair game”. Or out as Laura Bush, and then out of bounds.


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