Obama Threatens to Ban Carla Marinucci, Chron Reporter, from White House Press Pool

Categories: Media
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Matt Smith
Separated At Birth?
Is President Barack Obama Cosmo G. Spacely, the tyrannical chairman of Spacely Space Sprockets who banished George Jetson whenever he misused technology? Obama aides recently threatened to deny presidential access to a Chronicle reporter, after she used a cellphone camera to videotape protesters during a San Francisco fundraiser.

Here is the moral (according to Chronicle editor Phil Bronstein): Obama doesn't "get"  space-age news technology.

"The Chronicle's Carla Marinucci -- who like many contemporary reporters has a phone with video capabilities on her at all times -- shot some protesters," Bronstein wrote in today's Chronicle. "By banning her, and by not acknowledging how contemporary media works, the White House did not just put Carla in a cage, but more like one of those stifling pens reserved for calves on their way to being veal."

Frankly, we're proud of our Chron brethren -- despite Bronstein's veal metaphor -- for refusing to buckle to presidential demands, and instead producing blanket coverage denouncing Obama's move.

Not all journalists were happy. One Willamette Week freelancer denounced the Chron for failing to name the whining Obama flack who gave Marinucci the boot.

Did the Chronicle grant the complaining official the privilege of complaining without taking responsibility for their words? Why would any journalist do that? All complaints (excluding psychiatric cases) should be heard, but never anonymous complaints from government officials. To let government officials complain anonymously is to treat the government as a power unto itself rather than a creation of the people (see Constitution, preamble).
Good lord. During a reporter's daily grind, she encounters public officials attempting to obstruct access and conceal information, thus denying the public its right to know. To a reporter, each one of these instances viscerally feels like a great story. But she realizes that readers would be bored by daily stories recounting a reporter's work travails; they would rather read real news about public life. So that's probably why you don't read many politicians-denying-public access stories in the paper, despite the fact that it happens all the time.

In this case, Chronicle editors and reporters had the good sense to realize it really was big news when the president's staff attempted to punish a reporter for letting viewers see a video of a public protest.

So Carolyn Lochead flubbed a little by failing to name the offending flack; but noble acts aren't always perfect.

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3 comments
svenboogie
svenboogie

So we don't remember the name of the administration official who allegedly attempted to obstruct access to our reporter. So what if we apparently can't tell you what that actually means, what threat was made, whether it was made by "aides" (as we state in one sentence), "an offending flack" (in a different sentence,) etc. Take our word for it, it happened! We never break our word... unless you ask us to agree in advance not to shoot video at an event, and we decide we want to anyway.

firedup49
firedup49

banning the free press..wow even his own.. you are only to report sunshine and lollipops...about the chief...nothing else

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