Arun Chaudhary’s book “First Cameraman” was released Tuesday; it’s about about his stint as the White House’s first official videographer. The book seems to be packaged with a certain Gen-Y knowingness, as a blurb from Rahm Emmanuel on Chaudhary’s website indicates: “So interesting to finally learn what whatshisname’s job actually was, I used to just ask him if he knew where the president went.”
In an interview about the book, Chaudhary told Jake Tapper his job, from 2009-2011, “did allow us to communicate in a different way with the American people than we can with the press and, I think, to do things that you guys covering the White House can’t do.” Chaudhary said the White House gave him a lot of room to develop his role, something he said allowed him to draw more on his training as a filmmaker than a political operative:
I am showing a more realistic view of the presidency. I mean these, you know, smelling loading docks, you know, the kind of endless drudgery of travel. Like, making something that is fantastic and breaking it down into the mundane…rather than making the president’s mundane policies seem amazing and fantastic and sparkly.”
“It’s tough being an artist making a living in this town,” Chaudhary said in a 2010 New York Times profile.
Chaudhary told Tapper he thought Chris Christie and John Boehner both had personalities that would lend themselves well to having full-time videographers on staff.
I haven’t seen the book, so I don’t know how deeply it dives into mundanity, but on “Morning Joe” Tuesday, Chaudhary told a funny story about passing out from jet lag in Prague and allowed that french fries on Air Force One are “often a soggy affair.”