Media attacks Obama’s ‘Soviet-style’ publicity policy

by Jon Swaine, New York  |  published on December 2, 2013

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Barack Obama’s White House has been accused of producing Soviet-style propaganda by press photographers who are furious at being denied access to the US president.

Mr Obama’s aides routinely block independent photographers from capturing him at work, before distributing flattering pictures shot by Pete Souza, his official photographer.

During a tense meeting at the White House, the practice was described by Doug Mills, a veteran photographer for The New York Times, as “just like TASS,” the Soviet Union state news agency.

More than 30 major US media organisations and the leading US press photographers’ union have protested against being barred from covering Mr Obama in an open letter to his press secretary.

“Journalists are routinely being denied the right to photograph or videotape the president while he is performing his official duties,” said the letter, which was delivered to Jay Carney.

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