Do You Want Your OTV?

May 20, 2009 5:56pm

On April 27, President Obama welcomed the University of Connecticut Lady Huskies, who had just won the NCAA women’s basketball championship.

After the event, President Obama went to the White House basketball court to shoot hoop with the Lady Huskies. The White House press corps was not allowed to attend.

Reads the print pool report from that day: "After shaking hands with the team’s parents and members of Congress who showed up, the president walked the team over to his basketball court and shot hoops. The pool was held back from the stroll down the drive and around the corner, and couldn’t see the court. Poolers could hear periodic cheering coming from the other side of the bushes."

Read the TV pool report: "Your Pool was not allowed to go over and shoot POTUS with the team shooting hoops.  We protested loudly."

Now we know why: Obama White House officials decided to do their own media report on the visit, complete with cuts, interviews, and chyrons identifying who’s speaking.

Also, just like a network, they have their own little logo!

Cute!

It’s perfectly fine, of course, for the White House to put out its own version of events — but is it right to do so by preventing actual reporters from covering something? (Even something like a pickup basketball game).

Do Obama White House officials think their media coverage isn’t flattering enough?

Is the goal to ultimately replace the pesky photographers who film what they want to and not what they’re told to (not to mention the annoying reporters who ask uncomfortable questions about, say, detainee policy and bank bailouts)?

Do you want your OTV? (I’ll bet there are a few takers out there.)

- jpt

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