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article imageOp-Ed: Joe Biden's staff forces student reporter to delete photos

By Larry Clifton     Mar 14, 2013 in Politics
Rockville - Staff members of Joe Biden, Vice President of Barack Obama’s “most transparent administration,” had to apologize Thursday for forcing a student reporter to delete photos he took of Biden.
Jeremy Barr snapped the photos Wednesday during a Biden speech given from a public venue at the University of Maryland, College Park concerning domestic violence.
After the event, a female staffer approached Barr and demanded he delete photos he took from the non-press section of the audience, claiming he had an “unfair advantage” over other reporters. So much for transparency.
This led Lucy Dalglish, dean of the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland, to file a letter of complaint with the vice president's office. Dalglish said the staffer's demands "not only violated fundamental tenets of freedom of press freedom, but directly violated the law set forth in the Privacy Protection Act."
"Rockville is not a third-world country where police-state style media censorship is expected," she added.
Biden's bunch belatedly agreed. Biden himself remained mum about the photo flap, preferring to let his posse soak the press with a shower of apologies.
Biden's press secretary Kendra Barkoff called Dalglish as well as Barr to apologize, saying the incident was a "total miscommunication."
"It is our policy that all of our open press events are open press even if a reporter is not in the designated press area," Barkoff said in a statement to CBS News. "This was an unfortunate mistake by a staffer who does not regularly interact with the press."
Transparency notwithstanding, this was not the first trouble between Biden staffers and the press. Last year during the campaign after an event where Biden made some controversial remarks the vice president's aides reportedly tried to edit pool reports to show Biden's speech in a more favorable light.
In another blow to transparency and free press, Biden's staff had to apologize another time after making a reporter sit in a storage room before a fundraising event.
Meanwhile, the White House launched an audio series on Thursday called "Being Biden," in which the vice president will tell the story behind carefully selected photos of the VP.
"From meetings at the White House to travels around the country, the Vice President will share his perspective in candid, behind-the-scenes snapshots," the White House said in its description of the podcast.
"In other words, he'll explain what it's like 'Being Biden,'" the audio says.
It’s not clear whether the Philip Merrill College of Journalism will produce an audio in response explaining what it’s like for a student reporter to be censured by a Biden staffer.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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