USA Today Calls Out White House Propaganda, Will No Longer Publish Obama Admin’s “Official” Press Photos
One major newspaper is putting their foot down for moral reasons, and it’s making the rest of the mainstream media look like they might have a case of Stockholm Syndrome for the current administration.
USA Today has officially become the first major paper to take a principled stand and has declared that they refuse to publish the “official” photos offered to media outlets from the Obama Administration, according to Tea Party News Network.
Just last week, over 35 news organizations, including ABC, CBS, CNN, Fox News, The Associated Press, The New York Times, and The Washington Post, joined the White House Correspondents Association (WHCA) to protest the stifling of journalistic standards by the White House.
The organizations signed a letter to the White House that points out that the media has been disallowed to photograph, and has been given pre-approved photos for their use.
The letter reads,
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. To be clear, we are talking about Presidential activities of a fundamentally public nature. To be equally clear, we are not talking about open access to the residence or to areas restricted, for example, for national security purposes.
The apparent reason for closing certain events to photographers is that these events have been deemed “private.” That rationale, however, is undermined when the White House contemporaneously releases its own photograph of a so-called private event through social media. The restrictions imposed by the White House on photographers covering these events, followed by the routine release by the White House of photographs made by government employees of these same events, is an arbitrary restraint and unwarranted interference on legitimate newsgathering activities. You are, in effect, replacing independent photojournalism with visual press releases.
In short, the letter accuses the administration of hindering an unbiased, independent viewpoint by allowing journalists unassociated with the Obama Administration to photograph events.
What’s more insulting is that the Obama Administration released the approved photo below just one day after the letter was penned.
Mickey Osterreicher, general counsel for the National Press Photographers Association, who worked on a draft of the letter, said, “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?” He said that the White House was trying to say, “See, we give everybody access, what’s the problem?” According to the Gateway Pundit.
TPPN reported that in response to the escalating disregard for transparency and a free press emanating from the Obama Administration, USA Today Deputy Director of Multimedia Andrew P. Scott issued the following memo to all staff.
We do not publish, either in print or online, handout photos originating from the White House Press Office, except in very extraordinary circumstances. In those very rare instances where a handout image from the White House image has been made under legitimate national security restrictions and is also of very high news value, the use needs to be approved in advance by consulting with Dave Callaway, David Colton, Owen Ullmann, Susan Weiss, Dave Teeuwen, Patty Michalski or me prior to publication.
The functions of the President at the White House are fundamentally public in nature, and should be documented for the public by independent news organizations, not solely by the White House Press Office.
The journalistic community feels so strongly about this that 38 news organizations, including Gannett, have sent a letter of formal protest to the White House.
While it’s unusual to see such a turn in news standards, it may begin catching on with other news networks in response to the administration’s ignoring of journalistic standards.