The openness administration says it has the right to limit the access of the Boston Herald to the press pool covering President Obama’s trip to the city today because it regards its reporting as unfair, the Herald writes.
From today’s Herald piece:
“I tend to consider the degree to which papers have demonstrated to covering the White House regularly and fairly in determining local pool reporters,” White House spokesman Matt Lehrich wrote in response to a Herald request for full access to the presidential visit.
“My point about the op-ed was not that you ran it but that it was the full front page, which excluded any coverage of the visit of a sitting US President to Boston. I think that raises a fair question about whether the paper is unbiased in its coverage of the President’s visits,” Lehrich wrote.
But Lehrich said the Herald wasn’t purposefully barred from the press pool, saying local pool duty by the Boston Globe was arranged earlier with the White House Correspondents Association. And Lehrich insisted the Herald may yet be allowed into Obama events.
“As we have in the past — including the multiple occasions on which the Herald has supplied local pool reporters — we will continue to consider the Herald for local pool duty for future visits,” Lehrich wrote.
I can tell you, I’ve covered the White House for many years and I’ve never heard of a publication being excluded from pool duty owing to its politics.
The in-town pool in Washington, which follows the president around and is allowed into small scale events at the White House so they can report back to the rest of the press corps, features many publications that lean right or left, including the Huffington Post, the Washington Times, the Daily Caller, Talking Points Memo, and the Washington Examiner, to name a few.
Mr. Lehrich has no basis to use access to the president to try to control coverage. In China, yes. Not here.
This all comes on the heels of a report the White House banned a San Francisco Chronicle reporter from the press pool for using a camera to record a protest at one of his fundraisers.
H/T to one of our readers, Granny Jan, who blogs at Granny Jan and Jihad Kitty for letting us know about this.