Sunday, December 28, 2008

Reporters Mad Obama Ditched Them

The press gets in a revenge story. (see an update below)

Seems Obama ditched the press to be alone with his family for a while and a Politico reporter writes that Obama is "bristling." I'd be bristling too.

News to the press: We don't have to know what flavor of shaved ice Obama buys for his daughters or what color pants he's wearing. It's interesting but not a need to know kind of thing.
Politico: HONOLULU – The media glare, the constant security appendage and the sheer production that has become a morning jog or a hankering for an ice cream cone – it’s been closing in on Barack Obama for some time.

Now the president-elect appears increasingly conscious of the confines of his new position, bristling at the routine demands of press coverage and beginning to chafe at boundaries that are only going to get smaller.

Obama even took the unusual step Friday morning of leaving behind the pool of reporters assigned to follow him, taking his daughters to a nearby water park without them. It was a breach of longstanding protocol between presidents (or presidents-elect) and the media, that a gaggle of reporters representing television, print and wire services is with his motorcade at all times.

Then when reporters finally caught up with Obama at Koko Marina Paradise Deli and he acknowledged them for one of few times since arriving in Hawaii last Saturday, he sounded resigned.
This is a funny update. CNN is bragging that it was the only press that got photos and witnessed the Obamas at the sea park:
CNN was the only news organization to witness the park outing.

After the park visit, the Obama group was joined by the press pool -- which arrived at the park about an hour after the Obamas but was not allowed in -- as they stopped for a sandwich and shaved ice. The reporters declined an offer from Obama to buy them some shaved ice.

The press was allowed to take photographs for more than 20 minutes -- much longer than the typical photo opportunity at such an event -- before Obama asked the crews and the large crowd that had gathered to "let me eat in peace."

The traveling press pool that accompanies high-ranking officials like the president-elect or the president is made up of about 15 representatives from all types of media -- newspaper, magazine, radio, television. Those representatives report back on their subject's movements for the rest of the media.
I especially like this paragraph explaining why the media has to haunt Obama when he's with his kids:
Their purpose is to provide a public record of the official's activities, a vital service in a functioning democracy.