22 January 2009

The Press Gets Some Backbone, Finally

President Obama in the Oval Office on Wednesday (21 January 09).
Photograph ~ Pete Souza/The White House.

It is safe to say that major news outlets fell down on the job during the eight years of BushCo. Arguably, they allowed the administration to restrict access to and distribution of information and visuals to an unprecedented extent. They failed, in other words, on matters of global import - like war and torture and terrorism. Now, with the advent of the Obama administration, they clearly have mended their ways. They've decided to draw a line in the sand, take a stand, and all that. The issue? Whether they have access to ceremonial 'first day in office' photo-ops or whether they will simply distribute images from the White House photographer. 'Hell no!' say Associated Press, Reuters and Agence France-Presse. They are saying 'Here I stand, I will go no further!' and have refused to distribute the official images. It's a matter of principle, after all. Finally. The story is here in The International Herald Tribune.

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