Aides to Vice President Biden edited press pool reports during Vice President Biden’s two day trip to Virginia this week, an unheard-of practice that amounts to censorship of the press.
The pool reports are entirely the property of the press. They are written by reporters who are on hand at presidential or vice presidential events where access for the press corps is limited. The reports inform other reporters who were excluded from the event about what happened, and those reporters then use the information in their stories.
As a convenience, pool reports are sent via the White House to reporters on the White House press list. The White House has nothing to do with the reports other than serving as a conduit to get the information out to reporters. For vice presidential or presidential aides to edit the reports is no different than if they had edited a story written by a reporter.
I’ve covered the White House for 15 years, and I’ve never heard of aides to the vice president or president touching the reports, except perhaps to helpfully suggest a change to a grammatical or spelling error.
Here’s a discussion about the pool report editing by Jonathan Martin of Politico, who wrote about the practice, NBC White House correspondent Chuck Todd, and Washington Post political reporter Chris Cilizza.