A feud erupted Sunday between journalists and the White House over the lack of access to President Obama’s secluded golf weekend in Florida.
For the second straight day, Mr. Obama played golf with friends — and Tiger Woods — at the Floridian Yacht and Golf Club in Palm City, Fla., while photographers or correspondents assigned to the White House were barred from witnessing the president.
The president’s isolation prompted Ed Henry, president of the White House Correspondents Association, to lodge a complaint with the White House.
“Speaking on behalf of the White House Correspondents Association, I can say a broad cross section of our members from print, radio, online and TV have today expressed extreme frustration to me about having absolutely no access to the president of the United States this entire weekend,” Mr. Henry said. “There is a very simple but important principle we will continue to fight for today and in the days ahead: transparency.”
White House deputy press secretary Josh Earnest, who is in Florida keeping the press at bay, defended the president’s seclusion.
“The press access granted by the White House today is entirely consistent with the press access offered for previous presidential golf outings,” Mr. Earnest said. “It’s also consistent with the press access promised to the White House press corps prior to arrival in Florida on Friday evening.”
The issue came to a head Sunday when Tim Rosaforte, a writer with Golf Digest magazine, began posting reports from inside the golf compound about Mr. Obama’s round with legendary golfer Tiger Woods. Meanwhile, the pool of White House correspondents who had traveled to Florida with the president were prevented from gaining access to the golf course.
A White House pool reporter asked for access to the president’s game for a photo-op, “like this administration and previous ones have granted in the past,” but the pooler says “we were told that we were free to travel to the Floridian but wouldn’t get access to POTUS.”