As Twitchy reported, White House correspondents were led into a basement filing room Saturday while President Trump played a round of golf with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe at Mar-a-Lago. Being stuck in a basement on a sunny Florida morning was bad enough, but reporters found that black garbage bags had been taped over the windows to prevent them from taking pictures.
Trump's press corps has been placed in a basement suite at Jupiter golf club. Black plastic over windows to give Trump privacy as he golfs. pic.twitter.com/8zbqi5HGSD
— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) February 11, 2017
Photographers were directed not to take photos of the grounds of what is a private club. Hmm …
Whoa. Was President Trump up to no good with his Putin connection and relying on some trash bags and tape for privacy? The short answer is “no.” But has the press every been treated like this before? Well, yes. Remember way back in 2011, when an Orlando Sentinel pool reporter was made to wait in storage closet at a Democrat fundraiser until Vice President Joe Biden arrived?
Reporter Scott Powers is covering the #Joe Biden fundraiser today, but was consigned to a storage closet http://bit.ly/c7IHU
— Orlando Sentinel (@orlandosentinel) March 23, 2011
Biden apologized to the reporter in a letter, but that story aside, the relationship between President Barack Obama and the press was not always as smooth as it ended up being.
Everyone knows how much the White House loved to tweet photos of Barack Obama to commemorate every occasion, but don’t forget that as late as 2013, professional media organizations were formally protesting the White House’s ban on photographers during events at which the White House has its own official photographers and videographers present. The White House had its own photographer; wasn’t that enough?
— Toby Harnden (@tobyharnden) November 22, 2013
That wasn’t the end of it, though: months later, the White House News Photographers Association again complained when news photographers were shut out of President Obama’s closed meeting with the Dalai Lama and given an official souvenir photo after the fact, though many papers refused to run it in protest.
Maybe the White House was camera shy after news photographers in 2010 captured shots of the Dalai Lama being led out through the back door, past piles of trash bags — “the easiest, quickest, and most convenient way” to reach the waiting press, Tommy Vietor explained.
But back to today:
Yes tweeps, we could have ripped down window covers & been booted from where POTUS golfed. Then no record of where he is/what doing. Better?
— Julie Davis (@juliehdavis) February 11, 2017
Mr. Trump, tear down these trash bags!
This is a metaphor for access journalism: They would literally prefer to sit around in the dark and be close rather than see something. https://t.co/V4WkWNMw1p
— Gavin Schmidt (@ClimateOfGavin) February 11, 2017
Obama put the press in a broom closet once. Did you think to say "oh, the horrors," then?
— Pam (@19Pam56) February 11, 2017
But seriously, folks, here’s some much-needed perspective.
Yeah, well that's gonna be a little tough with black trash bags taped over the windows, ya know what I'm sayin'? #theresistance
— Notinmyname (@NastyNana16) February 11, 2017
The struggle is real.
Permit me one more "If Hillary did this…"
Just imagine Andrea Mitchell, Chris Cillizza, Maureen Dowd and the Morning Joe crew. Imagine. https://t.co/SZizRfKuew
— Peter Daou (@peterdaou) February 11, 2017
Oh, come on.
— Ed O'Keefe (@edokeefe) July 4, 2015
— Ed Henry (@edhenry) January 6, 2016