Friday, January 12, 2007

Afflicting The Comfortable

Seems that the Serious Media have finally found a reason to get upset.

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

I think we all just vomited a little in our mouths. They've let these guys treat them like something they scraped off the bottom of their shoes for six years and now they're outraged? Seriously? Well, never let it be said that these hard-jerkin'workin' folks don't stand for anything.

This is the long-suffering battered wife, finally standing up to her asshole husband, not because he beats the shit out her once a week, not because he's a useless alcoholic sack of shit, not because he molests the kids, but because he grabbed the remote and turned the channel while she was watching her favorite rerun of Nanny 911.

Consider the events of just the past week, not to mention the context of the past six years (or even the past six months). After the hype campaign for Bush's bright "surge" idea, it was instantly apparent that they were more concerned about appearance than substance, even as Bush demonstrated his utter contempt for the clear message voters and polls have consistently sent by initiating a potentially catastrophic strategic plan, which apparently involves covert aggression on Syria and Iran, to goad one or both into a pretext for full-scale attack. And he even had the gall to go and lie to the troops about his rationales, and the experts' opinions on the viability of this week's master strategery.

But goddammit, the Serious Media will not put up with pool feed press photos. Make no mistake, they are On The Case. Great job, folks. Enjoy the cocktail weenies.

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