The Chronicle isn’t the only newspaper the White House is punishing for unfavorable coverage. The Boston Herald reports this morning that its access to an Obama fundraising event has been limited because it put a Mitt Romney op-ed on its cover.
“I tend to consider the degree to which papers have demonstrated to covering the White House regularly and fairly in determining local pool reporters,” White House spokesman Matt Lehrich wrote in response to a Herald request for full access to the presidential visit. “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 U.S. president to Boston. I think that raises a fair question about whether the paper is unbiased in its coverage of the president’s visits.”
Lehrich said that despite the administration’s beef with the Herald, the paper wasn’t purposely barred from the press pool, and that the White House Correspondents Association picked the rival Boston Globe to serve as the local reporter.
Obama’s speech in Boston is open to all media, but only a selected pool can attend other aspects of his fund-raiser. Pool reporters must share all their material with other press. The Herald said it has been bypassed for pool duty during Obama’s last two visits despite asking the White House to be the local pool reporter.
Last month, the White House barred Chronicle reporters from pool duty after the Chron’s Carla Marinucci shot video of protesters mocking Obama at a fund-raiser at the St. Regis Hotel. Unlike the Herald, the Chronicle declined to identify the White House official who made the threat.