White House bans Boston Herald from covering Obama visit

This is not new, and it’s been happening since the White House announced Fox News would be banned from the press pool since they are not a real news outlet in Oct. 2009. Back then, the press pool stood up for Fox, but is the White House-approved media in Boston keeping their collective mouth’s shut concerning the Herald being shut-out yesterday?

Looks that way so far. The Obama administration is actively scoring political coverage around the country, and if they feel your coverage has not been fair to the president, you’ll be punished. They are the lone definers of “fair reporting.”

So, what got the White House in such a hissy-fit? A Mitt Romney Op Ed piece that was in the Herald more than two months ago. From the Herald.

The flap over press access to the president began with a White House aide’s e-mail denying a Herald reporter pool duty, citing a front-page Mitt Romney op-ed story during Obama’s March 8 visit as an example of bias.

White House spokesman Matt Lehrich, an Arlington native whose uncle is top Obama adviser David Axelrod, told the Herald: “I tend to consider the degree to which papers have demonstrated to covering the White House regularly and fairly in determining local pool reporters. . . . I think (the Romney op-ed) raises a fair question about whether the paper is unbiased in its coverage of the president’s visits.”

The Obama administration is providing two different stories … as usual. Story one…

According to emails published Wednesday in the Herald, when the newspaper tried to sign up for pool reporter duty ahead of Obama’s visit to Boston, a White House spokesman questioned whether the newspaper could cover the president fairly.

“I tend to consider the degree to which papers have demonstrated to covering the White House regularly and fairly in determining local pool reporters,” spokesman Matt Lehrich told the Herald in response to its request, according to the newspaper. “My point about the op-ed was not that you ran it, but that it was the full front page, which excluded any coverage of the visit of a sitting U.S. President to Boston. I think that raises a fair question about whether the paper is unbiased in its coverage of the President’s visits.”

Story two…

However, the White House said Wednesday that the reason the Herald wasn’t picked was because the Boston Globe had already signed up as part of the travel “pool,” which lets one local reporter cover the news for all local media outlets so as to limit the number of people in the room.

“In this particular instance, the Boston Globe had arranged with the White House Correspondents Association, independent of the White House press office, to be part of the traveling press pool. As such, there was no need for an additional local pooler,” said White House spokesman Josh Earnest. “As we have in the past — including the multiple occasions on which the Herald has supplied local pool reporters — we will continue to consider the Herald for local pool duty for future visits.”

So … I’m wondering … what did the Boston Globe have for an op-ed piece on the day of President Obama’s visit in March? Oh goodness, it was a critique of Obama written by Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.). As compared to Romney’s piece in the Herald, you might say Brown’s piece is a little more tempered, but the overall message was the same.

The president did not arrive on his scheduled visit to Boston until after 2 p.m. local time, and the White House is complaining about Romney’s piece being on the front page of the dead-tree version put to bed almost 12 hours before?

I’m wondering if the White House considers the March Boston visit a wash even though they got dinged by a couple of op-eds. They raised about $1 million at a big-ticket fundraiser at the Museum of Fine Arts that night before winging back to D.C. after the six hour visit.

Investor’s Business Daily asks why other media outlets won’t stand up to the White House.

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Steve McGough

Steve's a part-time conservative blogger. Steve grew up in Connecticut and has lived in Washington, D.C. and the Bahamas. He resides in Connecticut, where he’s comfortable six months of the year.


  1. Dimsdale on May 19, 2011 at 8:21 am

    This just proves that it is Fox (and the Herald) that are truly fair and balanced.? Add transparent to that as well.
    I just wonder where all the screeching voices that decried the “secrecy” and “storm trooper tactics” of the Bush administration went?
    And presidents should at least pay for half the cost of getting AF1 into the air if they are going to go on funding junkets.

  2. Plainvillian on May 19, 2011 at 8:53 am

    Administrations in our early history regularly installed news outlets masquerading as newspapers with stridently partisan “reporting” to publish and lend credence to their policies.? The out of power party of the times did the same.? The supposedly fair, balanced, and neutral press of our mythical middle history created “professional journalism” as the arbiter of public discourse and has proven to be as valid as the science of phrenology and the concept of public service.
    Had Al Gore not invented the internet, we might still be hearing about George W. Bush’s military dereliction, duly reported by a professional journalist.? Just as the overwhelming majority of juries find the truth in spite of lawyers, people can decide what is the truth, if they are allowed access to all the facts.

  3. TomL on May 19, 2011 at 9:04 am

  4. drewsco on May 19, 2011 at 9:09 am


    What kind of backwoods logic are you exerting? How exactly does this proves that FOX news corporation is fair and balanced in thier ?news reporting?

    There is a huge distinction between excluding a media outlet from a news story and distorting a news story, like what FOX news does on a regular basis.

    The first act isn’t an act of biasism, yet the other act is.

    ?I think you’re confusing the White House’s actions as an act of bias…it’s not, although I would concede that it could be deemed discriminatory.

  5. PatRiot on May 19, 2011 at 12:07 pm

    When a differing or dissenting opinion is missing from any communication, then we have moved from fair to?biased?to dictatorial brainwashing.? From being openminded to being myopic.?
    Hardly reasonble and not liberal at all in the true sense of the word.
    Sounds like voting Democrats have lost their party to the progressives – or should I say opressives.

  6. OkieJim on May 19, 2011 at 12:10 pm

    Obama’s mentor, Fidel Castro, is likely giving him a standing ovation at this moment. There you go, Barry, get that “news” under control.

  7. PatRiot on May 19, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    Is the Herald being marginalized to make?room for more Ezra Klein’s.?

  8. vish on May 19, 2011 at 1:57 pm

    The press is not concerned with the truth. President Obama gets a pass on everything.

  9. GdavidH on May 19, 2011 at 3:04 pm

    When you can’t cancel elections, this is how a tin-pot?dictator gets re-elected.

    http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/tin-pot_dictator…?Perfect description of?our “president” IMHO.??

  10. ricbee on May 19, 2011 at 10:55 pm

    Is this not a violation of the First Amendment?? Is he not a “public” official?

  11. JollyRoger on May 19, 2011 at 10:55 pm

    What do you expect from the fairness doctrine people?? And Obama wants to know about your employer’s political contributions?? It’s trickle down fascism; and when they eventually come knocking, knocking your door down, in the middle of the night- you’d better go willingly.? Trust the government:????????? http://www.cafepress.com/+sitting_bull_trust_government_bumper_sticker,411182357

  12. Dimsdale on May 20, 2011 at 7:58 am

    While I don’t want to make this a back and forth, I wish to address drewsco’s comments.
    1) by deliberately excluding the Herald and regularly doing so to Fox (see interview exclusions etc.), it shows that there are parts of the media that are “approved” by the gov’t and those that are not.? That is unfair, except by liberal standards.? If Fox provides aspects of a story that the approved media chooses (or is told) not to, then Fox provides balance by default.
    2) excluding an “unapproved” news source is de facto distortion of the news.? Claiming that Fox “distorts” the news, because you have swallowed the partially reported, gov’t approved “news” stories (read it: pablum)? as fact, merely demonstrates your own biases.? Just because Fox doesn’t give ?bama a pass on things that would, if Bush did them, be pounded by the liberal (now gov’t approved) press for weeks (if you would like examples, I can provide scores of them).? How many “approved” news sources reported on the Herald’s exclusion?? How many report on Fox’s exclusions?? How many would dare?
    “Backwoods logic” trumps lefty spoon fed beliefs any day.?? Critical thinking, and multiple sources, are your friend.? Why do you think Fox is crushing the other news outlets?

  13. Don Lombardo on May 20, 2011 at 9:07 am

    Oh, and David Gregory – the one whose wife was a VP at Fannie Mae – is a legit reporter??

  14. drewsco on May 20, 2011 at 5:54 pm


    You make an interesting point, yet I believe it?s flawed. Here is why: ?I do believe that it is discriminatory on the government?s behalf to exclude FOX News, or in this instance, the Herald, from access to interviews. However, that doesn?t prove or disproves that a form of bias or one-sided news reporting exists amongst the other media outlets.? You overlook the possibility that the other media outlets could in fact be fair and balanced in their journalism and they report both the positive and negative aspects of a story. The mere fact that conservative media outlets, such as the Wall Street Journal, had access to this forum suggests that the problem was solely with the Herald news, not with a desire to censor negative news reporting.

    You appear to have this belief that FOX and certain other news outlets are the only ones who don?t give President Obama a pass. This is where you and I take issue. I disagree. I have seen many liberal and moderate news outlets such as MSNBC or CNN report negative stories on Obama as well. However, they also report positive stories. In the final analysis, I think you and I can agree to disagree on our perspective of media bias. ??????

  15. Steve M on May 20, 2011 at 6:01 pm

    “While I don?t want to make this a back and forth..”

    It is already.


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