Vice President’s Press Office Apologizes for Forcing Reporter to Delete Photos


Vice President Joe Biden’s press secretary has apologized to a student reporter at the Philip Merrill College of Journalism’s Capital News Service after the journalist was forced to delete photographs he shot at a domestic violence event featuring Biden and other politicians.

In incident happened this past Tuesday. After credentialed reporter Jeremy Barr arrived at the event in Rockville, he mistakenly sat in a non-press area of the room. Over the course of the event, Barr shot a number of photos of each speaker.

Afterward, he was confronted by Biden press office staffer Dana Rosenzweig, who asked if he had taken any photos. When he said that he had, Rosenzweig informed him that he had gained an unfair advantage over other reporters by sitting in the non-press area, and that he would have to delete all of his photos. Capital News Service writes,

“She said, ‘I need to see your camera right now.’” Barr said. […] The staffer then requested to watch as Barr deleted the photos from his camera to ensure his compliance, Barr said.

After deleting the photos from the camera, the staffer asked Barr to show her his iPhone to make sure no photos were saved. Barr complied.

“I assumed that I’d violated a protocol,” Barr said. “I gave her the benefit of the doubt that she was following proper procedures.”

When what had happened came to light, the journalism school’s dean, Lucy A. Dalglish, filed a formal complaint with the press office. Here’s the letter:

Barr and Dalglish were quickly contacted by Biden’s press secretary Kendra Barkoff, who apologized for Rosenzweig’s actions and said that it was an example of “total miscommunication” rather than their press office’s policies.

Dalglish says that while the apology does help “remedy” the situation, Barr is legally entitled to file a lawsuit over the forced deletion and violation of his First Amendment rights.

(via Capital News Service via Poynter)

  • asdf

    Liberal are not in the business of holding up the constitution, just changing it to their fancy.

  • qwer

    And the republicans are just trying to further line their pockets with more billions at the expense of the struggling rest. There. Can we now please return to a more intelligent form of interaction?

  • Neda

    If you delete and don’t write anything to the disk you can probably recover them right away using software. I know it’s the point of the actions of the person telling them to delete them.

  • Joshua Morin

    Shhhhhh, don’t tell everyone.

  • Terry Clark

    Whether it was by accident or initiative the student went outside the “press area” to cover the VP his rights were violated. I hope he sues the crap out of whoever he can, that would be the ultimate teachable moment. The more zeros on the settlement check the better the lesson, too.

  • Mansgame

    when was the last time Bush or Chaney apologized for anything?

  • Tom Waugh

    You’re right of course. I wrote a bit about it here:

  • p.rock

    Haha I was going to say that. I hope the day never comes that these uninformed enforcers learn how easy it is to retrieve deleted photos.

  • Neoracer Xox

    LOL so much for the Libs ‘transparent’ administration. Half the crap they do is behind closed doors on a friday afternoon..;)

  • fotoDogue

    Can someone explain why the press should have less access than the general audience?

  • ScottnLaguna

    Did the deleted photos show a foot in Biden’s mouth?

  • Robert

    Card recovery is one way but to really get them annoyed have a wireless memory card transmitting those photos to your iPad or smart phone which in turn is uploading them to a secure web server on fly.

  • Steven Barall

    So what exactly was the miscommunication? I bet the reason that Biden’s office responded so quickly to the letter is that they were expecting it because Rosensweig must have told everyone who would listen about what a great job she did by having that poor sap of a kid delete his photos. This kid should sue Biden’s office for what they did to him, at least for the embarrassment they caused him. If Biden’s office really wanted to do something nice for Jeremy Barr they should get him a sit down interview with President Obama.

  • Zos Xavius

    Agree…make them pay!

  • John Kantor

    Give a tw*t a badge and she becomes Heinrich Himmler.

  • Duke Shin

    >hurr hurr not transparent

    Implying the Conservatives aren’t

  • bob cooley

    Seriously, this is bad human judgement – don’t try to co-opt it into a political /partisan argument, there’s already too much of that nonsense on the net.

  • bob cooley

    And Godwin’s law comes into play in only 10 comments. nice.

  • Zach D Roberts

    While, yes the transparency of this administration is terrible (see Truthout’s coverage on the subject) – this is not an example of it. This is just an idiot press person taking advantage of a scared student journalist.

    I hope that the NPPA has been made aware of this.

  • Zach D Roberts

    How about we just say give someone a position to screw with the press and they become a member of the New York Police Department.

  • Josh R.

    No where does it say less. It’s different access.