When it comes to handing the news media, the president’s staff has a pernicious habit of punching below their weight class. Back in 2009, it was Fox News. Now the same folks who promised the most open and transparent administration in history are picking on a San Francisco Chronicle reporter who had the temerity to video some progressive protesters at a DNC fundraiser last week.
Citing a technical breach of so-called pen and pad pool reporting, the White House kicked Chronicle reporter Carla Marinucci off its pool access list and threatened to exclude other Hearst reporters from the pool, before well: Lying about it -
Sadly, we expected the White House to respond in this manner based on our experiences yesterday. It is not a truthful response. It follows a day of off-the-record exchanges with key people in the White House communications office who told us they would remove our reporter, then threatened retaliation to Chronicle and Hearst reporters if we reported on the ban, and then recanted to say our reporter might not be removed after all.
The Chronicle’s report is accurate.
If the White House has indeed decided not to ban our reporter, we would like an on-the-record notice that she will remain the San Francisco print pool reporter.
Openness and transparency. And change!