Irked news organizations challenge White House taxpayer funded ‘monopolistic propaganda’

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Oh, the acrimony. Close to 40 major new organizations are protesting an increasingly insular White House which exercises control over its brand and image with the finesse of a Madison Avenue PR shop.

“We write to protest the limits on access currently barring photographers who cover the White House. We hope this letter will serve as the first step in removing these restrictions,” says The Associated Press, Fox News and the White House Correspondent Association - among many - in a letter hand-delivered to White House press secretary Jay Carney.

Naturally, Mr. Carney and company rejected the premise, and the journalists covered their own story. The hubbub, in fact, prompted some 200 assorted accounts within a few hours.

The journalists and photographers cite seven major events in 2013 when photography was prohibited and an official image was supplied. The restrictions, they say, mar transparency.

“Imposing limits on press access, as your office has done, represents a troubling precedent with a direct and adverse impact on the public’s ability to independently monitor and see what its government is doing. We consider this a most serious matter,” the group notes in their letter.

Veteran National Journal reporter Ron Fournier, meanwhile, has this observation, directed to the public: “Obama’s image machine: monopolistic propaganda funded by you.”

And the news organizations represented:

ABC News

Agence France-Press

American Society of News Editors

American Society of Media Photographer

Associated Press

Associated Press Media Editor

Associated Press Photo Managers

Association of Alternative Newsmedia

Association of Opinion Journalists

Bloomberg News

CBS News

CNN

Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

Fox News Channel

Gannett Co., Inc.

Getty Images

Lee Enterprises, Incorporated

The McClatchy Company

McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

National Press Club

National Press Photographers Association

NBC News

New England First Amendment Coalition

News Media Coalition

Newspaper Association of America

The New York Times Company

Online News Association

Professional Photographers of America

Radio Television Digital News Association

Regional Reporters Association

The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press

Reuters

Society of Professional Journalists

Tribune Company

The Washington Post

White House Correspondents Association

White House News Photographers Association

Yahoo! Inc.

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