The United States has always prided itself on its free media, but the Obama administration increasingly seems to prefer the Russian model of government control of the president's image. Alarmingly, propaganda is being passed off as news.
The administration will declare a presidential event "private" to shut out the media, then immediately make public on social media sites photos taken of President Obama by the White House photographer. Or the White House photographer will get the choice spot at an event, and press photographers will be keep much farther back.
The problem is, the White House photographer's job is to make the president look good, not to objectively report news. Previous administrations have granted the press greater access to the president; why won't the Obama administration do the same?
Thirty-eight news organizations sent a letter last week to the White House asking for more access to the president; many news organizations including the BND and other McClatchy-owned newspapers have decided to not run photographs issued by the White House.
Paul Osmundson, the editor of the Rock Hill, S.C., Herald, said it best: "The leader of the free world should be willing to be photographed by a free news media."