'Prisoners' of Vacation: Press Stressed Covering Obama Vacation

Monday, 19 Aug 2013 09:53 AM

By Alexandra Ward

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Members of the White House's traveling press team opened up this week about what it's like trailing the president 24/7 during his family trip in Martha's Vineyard, likening the experience to being "prisoners of his vacations."

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Jim Watson, a photojournalist with Agence France-Presse, created a behind-the-scenes video, "Prisoners of Vacation," about the reporters who travel alongside President Barack Obama during his vacations. 

"The travel pool are the closest journalists in the world to the President’s daily activities; be it news or recreationally, the world has a desire to know what the most powerful man in the world is doing every second of the day," Watson wrote in his description of the video. "For that reason, journalists are bound to his schedule no matter what it may be and become, in essence, prisoners of his vacations."

Steve Holland, Reuters' chief White House correspondent, said the most important thing to remember is that Obama is the one on vacation, not the media.

"We see him do all these wonderful things in all these wonderful places — out to eat, playing golf. Right now he’s out playing in the sand on the beach here at Martha's Vineyard, and we’re sitting in a bus on the side of the road," he says in the video. "So, it’s not always the most fun thing to do. We are in spectacular places, but are a prisoner of the White House even here on the road."

But some Internet users saw the video as nothing more than a pity party.

"Excuse me, am I supposed to feel bad or something?" one person commented on a Twitchy story about the clip.

"OMG, this is their JOB," another wrote. "So it gets a little boring. Some of them sound like they're half hoping for some 'incident' to happen, just to liven things up."

"I guarantee you, they just want to be included in Obama's golf games," someone else posted. "And they want to be that journalist who gets to sit next to Obama at the head table."

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Related stories:

Obama's Martha's Vineyard Vacation 'Very Disruptive' to Locals

Report: Obama's Christmas Vacation Likely to Top $4 Million

Perino: Obama's 17-Day Hawaii Vacation 'Looks Bad'  

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