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White House Correspondents Association blasts White House for censoring media coverage

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George Bush accused the media of treason, and they're surprised he took a photo op away from them.

It seems the White House is now making the rest of the media cover the White House like bloggers do - being forced to use still photos made from a TV screen, the same way our very own Joe in DC does. The mainstream media has aided and abetted the White House's little un-American activities for six years now, and finally it's biting them in the ass. Some guy loses habeas corpus and the media yawns. They lose their little photo ops and suddenly it's a high crime.

In fact, this is a serious issue because it's part of the larger imperial White House that Bush has created. They are above the law, above public accountability. And it's about time the media started noticing. Perhaps some day our top reporters will realize that then loss of rights goes far beyond losing a photo op.

January 12, 2007

Mr. Dan Bartlett
Counselor to the President,
The White House
Washington, D.C.

Dear Dan,

On behalf of the White House Correspondents’ Association, and in conjunction with the White House News Photographers Association, we are writing to express our outrage that still pool photographers were denied access to the White House library on Wednesday evening. As you know, following weeks of preparation and the White House build-up leading up to the presidential address, this was a significant foreign policy speech. Forcing newspapers and magazines to rely on a “screen grab” photo from the Fox News network pool feed is simply unacceptable.

In recent months, there has been a growing pattern of restricting pool photographers to White House events, but the situation Wednesday night for this important speech to the nation is the most glaring.

We expressed our concern to Tony Snow and Dana Perino earlier today, and join the WHNPA in asking that this practice end. These photographers provide a vital service to wires, magazines and newspapers around the world, while also serving as a lasting historical record to the events of our times. In addition, a White House photo release is never an acceptable substitute for independent news coverage. Therefore, in our strongest terms possible, we want to express our disappointment that a decision was made to keep even a single pool photographer from the room, and ask that it never happen again.


Board of Directors - WHCA
Steven Scully, C-SPAN
Ann Compton, ABC News
Jennifer Loven, Associated Press
Peter Maer, CBS News
Steve Holland, Reuters
Doug Mills, New York Times
Ken Walsh, US News & World Report
Ken Herman, Cox Newspapers
Mike Allen, TIME

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