White House Kicks Reporter Out of the Pool

Friday, 29 Apr 2011 04:47 PM

By Martin Gould

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The San Francisco Chronicle’s political reporter, Carla Marinucci, who used her cellphone to videotape protesters at rally for President Barack Obama in California, has been removed from the White House pool of reporters, the Chronicle reports.

Marinucci has been told she no longer will be allowed to cover the president’s visits to the Bay City because she broke the rules of “pen and pad” reporting when she whipped out her phone, writes Phil Bronstein, the Chronicle’s editor at large.

“Video is every bit a part of any journalist's tool kit these days as a functioning pen that doesn't leak through your pocket,” wrote Bronstein, while attacking the administration for its “hypocrisy.”

“More than a few journalists familiar with this story are aware of some implied threats from the White House of additional and wider punishment if Carla's spanking became public.

“That's a heavy hand usually reserved for places other than the land of the free.”

Bronstein said Obama’s press secretary, Jay Carney, and his staff refuse to speak on the record about Marinucci’s ouster, although Politico reports that the White House has denied that it banned her.

The White House accredits pool reporters to provide coverage for several news outlets when it is impractical for large numbers of journalists to be at an event.

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