White House Brawling With Boston Herald

Paper up in arms over being 'shut out,' but White House denies
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted May 19, 2011 8:36 AM CDT

(Newser) – Two months after the Boston Herald ran a full, front-page promo for a Mitt Romney editorial that bashed Barack Obama during the president's visit to Boston, the White House and the newspaper are still sparring, reports the LA Times. The Boston Herald says it was "shut out" of covering President Obama's visit yesterday to Boston, and released an email from a White House spokesman questioning the paper's fairness. The White House contends that the decision was simply about pool reporters, and the Boston Globe was already selected for one of the limited slots. Romney was quick to enter the fray, saying the White House violated "the spirit of the First Amendment."

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“My point about the op-ed was not that you ran it but that it was the full front page, which excluded any coverage of the visit of a sitting US President to Boston," wrote a White House spokesman to the Herald. "I think that raises a fair question about whether the paper is unbiased in its coverage of the president’s visits.” Media experts say that while the White House is within its rights to control access to the local press pool, it made a big mistake explicitly connecting access to this visit with the Herald's editorial. "[T]o have put those two strands together was quite amateurish," said a longtime veteran of four administrations, "and created a story where a story didn’t exist." (Read more Boston Herald stories.)

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