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Dear Leader Now Issues Own Propaganda Photos, Angers Fellow Leftist Media Comrades
by Betty Butter • 23 November, 2013 • Politics • 1 Comment

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From National Journal:

Obama’s Image Machine: Monopolistic Propaganda Funded by You
 News organizations protest White House restrictions on independent photo coverage.

By Ron Fournier

The red-faced photographer, joined by colleagues on the White House Correspondents’ Association board, finished his 10-minute presentation with a flourish that made Carney, a former Moscow correspondent for Time, wince.”You guys,” Mills said, “are just like Tass.”
“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,” reads a letter delivered today to Carney by the WHCA and several member news organizations including The Associated Press and The New York Times.
The irony is that Obama is using technology that democratized and flattened the media to centralize and strengthen the powers an institution, The Presidency.That was the sentiment behind Mills’ crack about Tass, according to people who attended the Oct. 29 meeting. Carney took offense.

“Oh, so now we’re like Stalin?” the White House press secretary replied, laughing at the veteran New York Times photographer.

Olivier Knox, a Yahoo reporter and long-time White House correspondent who attended the meeting with Mills, shot an angry look at Carney and said, “It’s not funny, Jay.”

Here are just a few examples of how the White House uses your taxes to manipulate Obama’s image.

AP Photo/Evan Vucci (left), Pete Souza/The White House (right)

Before the 50th anniversary of the “I Have a Dream” speech delivered by Martin Luther King Jr. at the Lincoln Memorial, the White House image team met with photographers covering Obama and agreed that the media could shoot pictures from behind the president and first lady – the best place to capture the magnitude of the crowd and moment. When the photographers arrived, a White House aide reneged on the promise. “Sorry it’s not going to happen,” he sniffed. The photo on the left was taken by the AP. The one on the right came from Obama’s photographers who were given exclusive access to a position that virtually ensured their photos would go viral. The White House had a monopoly on the day’s most potent image.

Doug Mills/The New York Times (left), Pete Souza/The White House (right)

Chief White House photographer Pete Souza gets exclusive access to Obama, often at the expense of photographers who don’t get paid to make the president look good. The picture on the left is taken by a news photographer while Souza hogs the center frame, where he holds up a camera to take the picture at right. White House photographers have had exclusive access for decades, but before social media their photos were not distributed widely. Many news organizations publish and broadcast the White House photos (often without realizing it), which is akin to distributing a White House press release disguised as a news story.

Doug Mills/The New York Times (left), Pete Souza/The White House (right)

Media photographers were able to take photos of Obama visiting Nelson Mandela’s former jail cell (see left). They were told his visit with Mandela’s family in the cell would be “private.” And yet photos of Obama and the family, taken by the government-funded White House photographer, were made public and went viral. This passes as “private” in the Obama White House.


The White House

Official White House photographers are paid to document the president of the United States for posterity. So why do they take and distribute so many photos like this – ones with no sign of the president? Hint: The crowds are always big, happy and adoring of Obama. All on your dime.

The White House/Flickr

When the Obama family adopted Bo, media photographers were allowed to take pictures of the dog. Not so when Sunny arrived. This photo was taken by the official White House photographer – a small sign of how far the White House is moving to push independent photographers out of the picture.


Obama meeting his former secretary of state and potential successor Hillary Rodham Clinton is a newsworthy event, perhaps even a historic one. In the past, the White House press corps would have been brought into the meeting for a few pictures and questions. Not so with Obama. He fiercely controls his image.

Flickr livestream video

The same goes for this official White House picture of the Obamas meeting with Americans after the White House was re-opened for tours. By excluding the media, Obama ran no risk of being asked about the controversial suspension of the tours, or of having a tour member speak ill of his White House.

AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais (left), Pete Souza/The White House (right)

These two photos illustrate how a president committed to transparency has instead restricted access. At left is President Bush touring the crypt containing the birthplace of Jesus Christ. It was taken by an AP photographer. Obama barred photographers during his visit to the exact same spot, and released the exclusive image at right. It was taken by photographer paid by taxpayers to make flattering photos of the president.

Constitutions are not designed for metaphysical or logical subtleties, for niceties of expression, for critical propriety, for elaborate shades of meaning, or for the exercise of philosophical acuteness or judicial research. They are instruments of a practical nature, founded on the common business of human life, adapted to common wants, designed for common use, and fitted for common understandings.

Joseph Story

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