As Twitchy reported, National Journal’s Ron Fournier published a powerful piece Thursday arguing the importance of access to the president for photojournalists. Fournier’s piece, “Obama’s Image Machine: Monopolistic Propaganda Funded by You,” arrived alongside a letter to press secretary Jay Carney in which numerous news organizations called for more open access to the president.
“As surely as if they were placing a hand over a journalist’s camera lens, officials in this administration are blocking the public from having an independent view of important functions of the Executive Branch of government,” the journalists wrote. That letter was hand-delivered to Carney Thursday. Did Carney or the White House respond? That depends on what you think of the White House’s photo of the day, sent out by official White House photographer Pete Souza.
Nikki Schwab writes at U.S. News and World Report:
Some journalists interpreted Friday’s photo as the White House attempting to sweep the issue under the rug, while others figured it a subliminal “screw you.”
Julie Mason, SiriusXM POTUS press pool host and former White House Correspondents’ Association board member, saw Friday’s photo and suggested it was an equivalent to a middle finger, a snub and an eye roll. “All of that, plus a drop of anxiety,” Mason wrote in an email. “Behold how sensitive the White House is to claims they shut the press out.”