This is a tale of two events, with said events being only three days apart.
Let us begin with Sunday’s coverage of Barack Obama’s address announcing Osama bin Laden had been killed:
How Photos from Obama’s Speech on Bin Laden’s Death Were Staged
By Ujala Sehgal on May 4, 2011 2:08 PM
There is a fascinating piece at Poynter that describes how since the Reagan era (and possibly before) it has been the standard operating procedure that during a live presidential address, like the one President Obama gave announcing the death of Osama bin Laden, still cameras are not allowed to photograph the actual event.
Photojournalists from Reuters and AP described how President Obama basically had to silently re-enact part of his speech for the still cameras after giving it.
As President Obama continued his nine-minute address in front of just one main network camera, the photographers were held outside the room by staff and asked to remain completely silent. Once Obama was off the air, we were escorted in front of that teleprompter and the President then re-enacted the walk-out and first 30 seconds of the statement for us.
The reason still cameras are not allowed during live presidential addresses is because of the noise from the camera shutters and the placement of the teleprompter, not for any sinister conspiracy-type reasons like we were hoping. And it’s been going on a long time.
The problem, according to Poynter, is that while many newspapers disclose that the photo they use is a re-enactment, some do not. And publishing these photos goes against the National Press Photographers Association Code of Ethics, which includes this relevant passage: “Resist being manipulated by staged photo opportunities.”
We had no idea there was an ethics code for photojournalists, and we’re thrilled to find out there is one. How dare the White House force them to abandon it! We feel shocked and lied to! This practice of re-staging must come to an end.
So to whatever extent that there is an “ethics code” for journalists, they were only to happy to waive it for their liberal messiah-in-chief.
But let’s see how willing they were to waive the exact same “ethics code” only three days later, for Wednesday’s first Republican debate in South Carolina:
AP, Reuters to sit out South Carolina GOP debate
by Jim Romenesko
Published May 5, 2011 8:07 am
Updated May 5, 2011 8:11 am
The Associated Press cites “restrictions placed on media access.” Debate sponsors Fox News and the South Carolina Republican Party will only allow photos to be taken in the moments ahead of the debate tonight and not during the event itself, says the news service. “This is about whether visual journalists will be treated with the same respect that text journalists are treated,” says AP senior managing editor Michael Oreskes.
Keach Hagey writes:
Reuters confirmed that it would not be covering the event photographically, because it shared concerns about access. However, Reuters did not confirm whether it would be going as far as AP and not filing text either.
Nope. The self-righteous high-horses were out and promenading across the dance floor when the mainstream media got a chance to denounce the same conditions that they gladly overlooked for their messianic hero Obama.
The same exact issue was at stake: Fox News, the host of the debate, said there would be no still camera photography allowed during the debates. And the same people who rushed to overlook their “ethics” the one time determined to rigidly adhere to them only three days later. And, I suppose, it was nothing more than a complete coincidence that they were so willing to overlook their “ethics” for a liberal president and so determined to rigidly adhere to them for Republicans who want said liberal president’s job just three days later.
Just remember that most of the people who “report” the news are hypocrites and liars who are far more interested in distorting the news than they are in reporting it.