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  1. #1
    Atomic Punk
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    Default White House Bans Boston Press due to Republican Op/Ed Article

    White House Bans Press; Fails To Grasp Internet
    May 18, 2011

    Itís been interesting to watch the Obama administration handle the press. During the 2008 campaign Obama kicked a handful of reporters off of his plane for printing what his campaign considered to be negative stories. The Presidentís feud with Fox News has been well documented. Recently the administration has gone to war with a handful of local newspapers by refusing to allow them to be part of the pool covering local Obama visits. If the media wonít tow the line they are banned or denied access. Itís as though Obama thinks that itís still the 1930′s in terms of media coverage.

    The latest newspaper to be banned is the Boston Herald. The Herald is apparently ďbiasedĒ according to the administration because it ran an op/ed written by Mitt Romney on the front page of their paper. Apparently this is a grevious sin that requires the Herald to sit out a visit the President is making to Boston. The op/ed was clearly stated to be an opinion piece, itís not like they ran it as a true news story. The administration hasnít even alleged true bias, the President was never denied his own front page editorial in the Herald. The administration is simply trying to shut out a supposedly hostile newspaper, and really theyíre just trying to send a message to all the other papers that they will be treated the same way if they run afoul of the President.

    The President did the same thing with a San Francisco paper that covered a protester who spent $76,000 to serenade the President at a fundraiser. Whatís funny about all of this is that the administration seems to think itís still the 1930′s. Back during the Depression, FDR was able to control the media by denying access. Most newspapers fell in line, in part because they didnít want to be denied access and in part because the President was using the IRS to attack newspaper owners who didnít fall in line.

    But this isnít the 30′s anymore, it isnít even the 60′s, 70′s or 80′s when the press still largely fell in line in order to not be denied access. Itís 2011 and when the administration denies access to a paper that paper hits the internet to complain. Not only will people in Boston know about this injustice, people all over the country will. Other papers donít even need to pick up the story, it simply spreads like wildfire throughout the internet. Access denial and threats of access denial simply donít work anymore. The White House now is going to have to respond to the Heraldís article, and theyíll likely respond by letting the Herald in the press pool.

    What does banning a local pool reporter do for the White House anyhow? The Herald has gotten more publicity by complaining than they would have had they been allowed in the pool. The administrationís gripe with the Herald is absurd in this day and age as well. Who cares what appears on the front page of the paper anymore? Most people read the news online, in case Obama hasnít noticed newspaper sales are down 25% or more over the last few years. The front page has been rendered largely irrelevant because of the internet. You would think the supposed internet guruís who ran the 2008 campaign would know that.

    Banning media and starting media wars in 2011 is politically stupid. Before the internet and before the Fairness Doctrine was eliminated it was fairly easy for a President to marginalize the enemy and threaten everyone else with reduced access. These days, access isnít even necessary for news outlets to be popular. Matt Drudge has never had access yet he hosts the most relevant and viewed news outlet in the world. Playing petty access denial games only makes the President look small and weak. Especially so when the whole world finds out about it moments after access is denied. This power hungry administration doesnít realize that the internet had taken away a lot of the power from the bully pulpit. It appears the administration hasnít yet figured out how to take that power back as they continue to operate as though the internet doesnít exist.
    "Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.Ē -- Gen. George S. Patton

  2. #2
    Atomic Punk
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    Default

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011...-romney-op-ed/

    The Boston Herald has accused the White House of denying its reporter full access to President Obama's local fundraiser Wednesday evening, claiming the Obama administration cited concerns about an op-ed the paper ran more than two months ago by Republican Mitt Romney.


    Romney, a former Massachusetts governor and possible GOP challenger in the 2012 presidential race, tore into Obama over the economy in his March 8 op-ed, which the Herald played on the front page at the time under the headline, "Why He's Failing."

    The White House didn't forget.

    According to emails published Wednesday in the Herald, when the newspaper tried to sign up for pool reporter duty ahead of Obama's visit to Boston, a White House spokesman questioned whether the newspaper could cover the president fairly.

    "I tend to consider the degree to which papers have demonstrated to covering the White House regularly and fairly in determining local pool reporters," spokesman Matt Lehrich told the Herald in response to its request, according to the newspaper. "My point about the op-ed was not that you ran it but that it was the full front page, which excluded any coverage of the visit of a sitting US President to Boston. I think that raises a fair question about whether the paper is unbiased in its coverage of the President's visits."

    However, the White House said Wednesday that the Herald wasn't blocked from being a part of coverage, but had signed up for a travel "pool," which lets one local reporter cover the news for all local media outlets so as to limit the number of people in the room.

    "In this particular instance, the Boston Globe had arranged with the White House Correspondents Association, independent of the White House press office, to be part of the traveling press pool. As such, there was no need for an additional local pooler," said White House spokesman Josh Earnest. "As we have in the past -- including the multiple occasions on which the Herald has supplied local pool reporters -- we will continue to consider the Herald for local pool duty for future visits."

    A White House aide also noted that while the White House thinks staff at the Boston Herald are routinely unfair to it, the Herald has served as the travel pool for presidential visits in the past, including to Martha's Vineyard.

    With the White House offering varying explanations, media analysts said they were unclear exactly why the Herald request was denied but questioned the logic in bringing up the months-old Romney column.

    Dan Kennedy, a Northeastern University journalism professor and media critic, noted that the White House has the "right" to pick and choose who goes in the pool, and that the Herald is not entitled to be in the pool every time.

    However, Kennedy said the Herald should get its crack at pool coverage occasionally and the White House should not factor in political considerations when making those decisions.

    "You would like to think that they're going to do it in an apolitical way, without regard for who they think their friends are and who they think their enemies are," he said. "The thing that the White House did that I thought was the most stupid was to put in writing why they weren't in the pool."

    Kennedy also questioned why the Herald chose to run the Romney op-ed on the front page back in March, but noted that Romney has gotten grilled on the Herald's tabloid front plenty of times.

    "Everybody gets their turn ... on the front page of the Herald," Kennedy said.

    Tim Graham, a media analyst with the conservative Media Research Center, also said that while the White House has the right to decide pool coverage, citing political considerations makes them look "small."

    "They're looking to manage the press down to the smallest detail," Graham said. "If you're not willing to suggest that Obama is some combination of Lincoln and JFK, you're not allowed in."

    In this case, the Herald was trying to assign one of its reporters to cover parts of Obama's Democratic National Committee fundraiser in Boston Wednesday evening that aren't open to the rest of the media. The Herald claimed it had been "bypassed" for pool duty the last two times Obama visited the area.

    In a written statement, Herald Editor Joe Sciacca said: "We will always fight for fair access to presidential visits and other important events and we will not be intimidated by attempts to affect our news decisions."

    This isn't the first time the Obama White House has had run-ins with pool reporters. The White House chided The San Francisco Chronicle last month after its reporter videotaped and posted a mini-protest at an Obama fundraiser, apparently in violation of the pool rules.

    Another reporter for The Orlando Sentinel was kept in a storage closet during a Florida fundraiser attended by Vice President Biden in March. Biden's office afterward apologized, calling the decision to hold the reporter a "mistake."
    "Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.Ē -- Gen. George S. Patton

 

 

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