Politicians want to control their image - and that means controlling the media when they can. And when they can't, that means removing a highly respected journalist in one of the most liberal cities in the country, one that voted 80% for Barack Obama during the 2008 election - and even re-elected Nancy Peloso in 2010.
Part of the press' job is to strip away the cloaks and veneers politicians and their media flaks create. But they have rules and one of them is that if you are a 'pen and pad' reporter, you shouldn't take video with your phone, it seems - especially if the video is a protester of Pres. Obama.
A 2009 blog by the White House Director of New Media stated that "President Obama is committed to making his administration the most open and transparent in history."
The day before the reporter was banned for filming a protest a week earlier, Pres. Obama sat with confirmed misogynist yet wealthy Democratic donor Mark Zuckerberg and said, "The main reason we wanted to do this is, first of all, because more and more people, especially young people, are getting their information through different media. And historically, part of what makes for a healthy democracy, what is good politics, is when you've got citizens who are informed, who are engaged."
And the White House Press Correspondents' Association guidelines say, "Print poolers can snap pictures or take video. They are not obliged to share these pictures...but can make them available if they so choose."
So why were S.F. Chronicle Carla Marinucci and possibly other Hearst reporters from the press pool covering the President in the Bay Area under threat of being banned? No one knows, because Press Secretary Jay Carney and his staff refuse to discuss it on the record - but off the record, Marinucci's associates confirm the banning was put in place and, if it was reported, they were told, the ban would extend to all of Hearst.
Presidents can certainly create mythologies. One of those is that they care about transparency and openness. The last President who didn't talk about it, but actually let some new media air into the room? Republican Dwight Eisenhower, when he allowed cameras in 1952.
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