On Thursday, a scathing article by Ron Fournier titled, "Obama’s Image Machine: Monopolistic Propaganda Funded by You, at National Journal, took the White House to task for shutting out press photographers from presidential events in favor of official White House photos taken by White House photographer Pete Souza. The article, which received wide play on Thursday, included numerous examples of the superior access Souza has over the press photographers, such as this:
The frustration is exemplified in the opening anecdote in Fournier's piece:
New York Times photographer Doug Mills strode into Jay Carney's office Oct. 29 with a pile of pictures taken exclusively by President Obama's official photographer at events the White House press corps was forbidden to cover. "This one," Mills said, sliding one picture after another off his stack and onto the press secretary's desk. "This one, too – and this one and this one and … ."
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."
Late on Thursday, the White House, as if in response to the criticism, released a photo by Pete Souza -- a photo of photojournalists covering the signing of two bills, the Streamlining Claims for Federal Contractor Employees Act, and the Veterans' Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustments Act of 2013, neither exactly marquee legislative achievements for the president:
Perhaps the next time Doug Mills enters Jay Carney's office, he'll find a framed print of this photo on Carney's desk.
The White House has admitted that it was wrong to promise that people would be able to their health care plans under Obamacare. "With respect to the pledge I made that if you like your plan you can keep it, I think -- you know, and I’ve said in interviews -- that there is no doubt that the way I put that forward unequivocally ended up not being accurate. It was not because of my intention not to deliver on that commitment and that promise. We put a grandfather clause into the law but it was insufficient," President Obama said at a recent press conference
White House spokesman dodged questions today about whether Attorney General Eric Holder told the truth when testifying in front of Congress. The questions arise amid new developments in the story of the Justice Department's snooping on Fox News reporter James Rosen.
"I would refer you to the Justice Department," says Carney.
White House spokesman Jay Carney said today that the White House is satisfied with the responsiveness of the IRS in face of the growing scandal:
Referring to IRS officials testifying in front of Congress, a reporter asked, "Are you satisfied, is this White House satisfied, with the responsiveness of people it sends up to testify about matters of congressional interest?"
"Well, that's a broad question," said Carney, "but the answer is yes."
White House spokesman Jay Carney said that questions about Health and Human Services secretary Kathleen Sebelius for Obamacare fundraising are similar to questions about President Obama's birth certificate:
A reporter confirmed with Jay Carney, today at the press briefing, that President Obama met with his chief of staff and the treasury secretary many times over the last month and that neither official told the president of the IRS scandal:
White House spokesman Jay Carney says that the president's counsel and chief of staff knew about the investigation into the IRS's targeting of conservative group. But, Carney says, they didn't see it fit to tell President Obama about the investigation.
The White House counsel heard about the investigation on April 24. Obama maintains that he found out about the IRS's targeting of conservatives through the press.