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WP: Don't Mind Me. I'm Just Doing My Job (Minders at Inauguration) [View All]

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Pirate Smile Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 06:08 PM
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WP: Don't Mind Me. I'm Just Doing My Job (Minders at Inauguration)
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Edited on Sat Jan-29-05 06:19 PM by Pirate Smile
Don't Mind Me. I'm Just Doing My Job

By Paul Farhi
Sunday, January 30, 2005; Page B02

Reporters who cover the White House are accustomed to being spun by administration officials. The modern presidential toolbox includes carefully rationed press conferences, say-nothing spokesmen, dead-of-night releases of unfavorable news, and phony "town hall" meetings composed solely of sycophantic supporters. More recently, government agencies have issued fake-news videos and secretly contracted with two pundits to promote the administration's policies on education and marriage.
But now the art of press handling has evolved into actual manhandling. The Bush team has expanded the use of "minders," employees or volunteers who escort journalists from interview to interview within a venue or at a newsworthy event.

-snip-
I had arrived early to get a head start on mingling among the roughly 6,000 people eating and dancing to celebrate the president's reelection. Unaware of the new escort policy (it wasn't in place during the official parties following the 2001 inauguration), I blithely assumed that in the world's freest nation, I was free to walk around at will and ask the happy party goers such national security-jeopardizing questions as, "Are you having a good time?"

Big mistake. After cruising by the media pen -- a sectioned-off area apparently designed for corralling journalists -- a sharp-eyed volunteer spotted my media badge. "You're not supposed to go out there without an escort," she said.

-snip-
As I was dictating from my notes, something flashed across my face and neatly snatched my cell phone from of my hand. I looked up to confront a middle-aged woman, her face afire with rage. "You ignored the rules, and I'm throwing you out!" she barked, snapping my phone shut. "You told that girl you didn't need an escort. That's a lie! You're out of here!"

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A46409-20...

This is the article we thought we were going to get on Friday (per Newsjocks thread). It will be in tomorrows WP.
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