Let no one again say that the White House is too mean to reporters. On Wednesday, a Biden staffer tried to assure fairness among the media pool, albeit in an unorthodox way: by making a reporter delete photos he'd taken at an event.
As spotted by Poynter, the incident occurred at an event in Rockville, Maryland. The vice president joined Attorney General Eric Holder to announce grants awarded to a dozen municipalities to launch initiatives combatting domestic violence.
In attendance was Jeremy Barr, a reporter for Capital News Service and a student at the University of Maryland. According to Capital News Service, Barr "unknowingly sat in a section of the crowd designated as a non-press area." He took pictures. And when the event ended, a Biden staffer confronted him.
“(The staffer) asked, ‘Did you take any photos during the event?’” Barr said. He told the staffer, yes, he had taken a few photos.
“She said, ‘I need to see your camera right now.’” Barr said. The staffer called Barr’s presence in the non-press area an “unfair advantage” over the other members of the media at the event.
The staffer then requested to watch as Barr deleted the photos from his camera to ensure his compliance, Barr said.
The dean of the University of Maryland's journalism school wrote a letter to the vice president's staff, and both she and Barr received phone calls and apologies from Biden's office, which called the incident a "total miscommunication."
There are no reports of how the rest of Wednesday's press pool responded to Team Biden's thoughtfulness. Needless to say, their photos from the event — like the one above — turned out quite nicely.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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