Biden’s office forces reporter to delete photos, apologizes

Capital News Service
A staffer for Vice President Joe Biden demanded that a reporter delete photos he’d taken at an event in Rockville, Md., Tuesday. The vice president’s office later apologized to University of Maryland J-school Dean Lucy Dalglish after she complained about the incident in a letter.

Jeremy Barr, a reporter with the University of Maryland’s Capital News Service, was seated in a non-press section for the event, at which the vice president announced an anti-domestic violence initiative. Biden staffer Dana Rosenzweig approached Barr after the event and ordered him to delete photos.

“She said, ‘I need to see your camera right now.’” Barr said. The staffer called Barr’s presence in the non-press area an “unfair advantage” over the other members of the media at the event.

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 told Capital News Service. “I gave her the benefit of the doubt that she was following proper procedures.”

In her letter, Dalglish said: “Rockville is not a third-world country where police-state style media censorship is expected.” Biden press secretary Kendra Barkoff apologized to Dalglish and Barr in phone calls but wouldn’t speak on the record to Capital News Service’s Lucas High.

This isn’t the first time Biden’s office has taken a heavy hand to the press. After the vice president made a remark during the presidential campaign that Republicans would put voters “back in chains,” Politico’s Jonathan Martin reported the veep’s staff “tried to edit media pool reports for any potential landmines that could be seized on by Republicans and even hovered at close range to eavesdrop on journalists’ conversations with attendees at Biden rallies.”

Previously: After ‘chains’ remark, Biden’s staff tries to edit press pool reports

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  • Marco64

    More evidence that the “most transparent administration in history” is anything but.

  • Dusty Thompson

    Our “intelligent” media once again proves its worth.. ZERO…

  • Bill Marvel

    Yeah, comatus, but ‘she” is a he. You and Knudsen both missed it. Read first, then comment.

  • Trip Engler

    When I was a college j-school student, we were taught in Journalism 101 to question all authority and the higher on the food chain that authority is, the tougher the questioning should be. Not so much anymore.

  • Dick Beninya

    Barr, you beta male…You should have told that lady to kiss your grits. You are a reporter for petessake. Act like one! 1st A.

  • mattb47

    This is why having Dropbox or some other image auto-uploading utility on your phone is a good thing.

    So when the Democratic party brownshirts order you to delete your photos, you do…

    Except you have copies at your computer at home, and online. Which you then immediately post online when you get back home. F%^$ you, you facist scum…

    (And for liberals out there, I’m sure you can some idiots on the right with goon squads and an unhealthy disdain for the 1st Amendment as well. And phones also break, get lost, stolen, etc. Auto-uploading is a good thing just period.)

  • Pug-Pug McPug

    I didn’t think that mattered anymore in leftist circles…well, unless there’s some graft involved.

  • Pug-Pug McPug

    Dang, great point, almost forgot about that one…but there are so many…

  • Pug-Pug McPug


  • Pug-Pug McPug

    That’s exactly what I was thinking. Linux has some outstanding free-ware recovery, like Photorec for example.

  • comatus

    “Journolist” is a word. There’s a little joke there, and you missed it. I do respect your concern for our mother tongue, though. How frustrating proof-reading web comments must be for you. It must have affected your sense of humor. That’s a pity.

  • comatus

    Gosh, I sure never thought of it that way. Now that you’ve pointed it out, sort of like a revelation, I will never vote for President Bush again. Honestly, I don’t know how I could have been so blind. Without your help, I’d have never realized how like photographing a casket it must be when you take a picture of Vice President Biden. Say, just as a matter of passing interest, do the words “tu quogue” mean anything to you?

  • mbh2mt2d

    I would have raised hell then and there. Let them haul me away. I would see them in court.

  • autarchist

    The proper response is: μολὼν λαβέ

  • john s

    Transparency! Oh…wait.

  • FJ

    Based on your grammar and spelling, you are just as pathetic and stupid.

  • FJ

    He’s a college student, idiot. Chances are he doesn’t have the experience to know when he is or isn’t getting BS from the PR goons.

  • Burton Dow

    What “apology”? A real apology would involve firing the staffer.

  • Burton Dow

    Well, maybe this one reporter will wake up & smell the bacon. OTOH, any reporter who obeys a directive to delete his, her or its photos should be fired for not doing the job.

  • Michele

    I think some of the commenters here could lay off the name-calling directed at the student reporter who deleted the photos. He shouldn’t have complied with the demand, but he’s a student, which by definition means he’s still learning. This happens to be a lesson he learned by making a mistake. Let him put it in his collection of “should have known better” experiences and get past it without Internet flame-throwers piling on.

  • 1389AD

    Joe Biden may get his comeuppance if the new Pope denies him Communion on Tuesday. This is a real issue – it didn’t come from the Onion.

  • RLC

    Hat tip to Dalglish for cracking the whip on these PR flack/neo-Nazi’s in the Obama administration.

  • JTFloore

    exactly. and it’s amazing how many people turn — or try to turn — everything into a liberal v conservative issue.

  • Bill Marvel

    Too bad you didn’t read the story, Jimbo. The “she” was a “he.”

  • Bill Marvel

    The common assumption linking this thread of comments is that the Rockville incident was somehow unique to the Obama Administration or to Biden’s staff or to liberal politicians, or whatever.
    Any veteran reporter or photographer can attest that such incidents can arise from the Right or the Left. The problem is not this party or that party. The problem is politicians and their handlers.

  • Bill Marvel

    at last, someone who went to the trouble of actually reading the story.

  • Bill Marvel

    This has nothing to do with “liberal”or “conservative.” Almost everybody who has ever covered politics with pen or camera has had one of these run-ins with one party or the other — or, most likely, both.

  • Bill Marvel

    He’ll do fine in p.r. and flackery.

  • Bill Marvel

    In all fairness Republicans have been every bit as zealous in controlling press coverage, banning cameras, etc., as the Democrats. It’s the nature of politicians, not the vice of one particular party or administration.

  • Michael Throne

    They also wanted us to pay for access when Biden made an “unscheduled stop” in our town during the campaign. We refused and got a better story by working sources until we found out where the stop was going to be held. #nothanks

  • Rob Ramcharan

    “Rockville is not a third-world country where police-state style media censorship is expected.”

    It is now.

  • Bill Gryan

    Maybe specify which Bush you’re talking about, Einstein.

  • Bill Gryan

    Just another one of those stories where if Bush and Cheney behaved that way, they’d be held to a different standard. This story will not make it into any major news outlet.

  • Collamore

    The college journalist didn’t realize that the press is supposed to obey without question The New Messiah and His Apostles.

  • apple_sauce_butter

    You say “Communists don’t tolerate a free press” so is that your explanation for President Bush’s ban on photographing returning military caskets?

  • Belial Issimo

    The so-called “reporter,” that is, who according to the dean’s letter didn’t manage to get the name of the functionary who was browbeating him. Apparently this “journalism school” not only doesn’t teach its students the First Amendment, it doesn’t teach Who What Where When.

  • John James

    Biden staff would have cancelled the student’s college loan .

  • Jason Wesch

    We hear of this case. I wonder how many confrontations have taken place that we didn’t hear about because the liberal media was happy to comply.

  • Don Surber

    As Glenn Reynolds said, the reporter should apologize for complying.

  • CO2isGood

    First they came for your photos and you said nothing…..

  • david d

    I’d’ve just swapped cards out. Later on, run recovery software to pull the deleted images off the card.

  • DrDean

    You are correct. The example of compliant behavior set by the major media in covering this administration has many effects, not the least of which is to set an example for the behavior of young liberal apparatchiks.

  • Ronin

    A future MSNBC employee. “Chris, you’ll love this new hire! Have them cover Fast and Furious or the Benghazi hearings!”

  • Michael Reed

    Jackboots of Crazy Uncle Joe’s image police strike again! Wonder where the apology would be if the general public hadn’t been informed? Most Transparent Administration in History, and friends of the little guy.

  • bobofromtexas

    This is the Hope&Change! that America voted for.

    Most Transparent Administration Ever.

  • DrDean

    Whomever the power-mad little dictator was that “ordered” the photos deleted should have been fired immediately and publicly. Will. Not. Happen.

    He/she will probably be commended and given a promotion. That is how this administration and its many departments work.

    Measured on a scale of: “Servant of The People” ….. “Ruthless Tyrant”, the Obama administration is closer to the latter and moving more in that direction daily.

    Can anyone honestly imagine President Obama saying and actually believing anything like this:

    “This idea — that government was beholden to the people, that it had no
    other source of power — is still the newest, most unique idea in all
    the long history of man’s relation to man. This is the issue of this
    election: Whether we believe in our capacity for self-government or
    whether we abandon the American Revolution and confess that a little
    intellectual elite in a far-distant capital can plan our lives for us
    better than we can plan them ourselves.”

    One of our presidents, within the last 40 years, said this, and all (save perhaps Jimmy Carter) indicated strong support for Madison’s idea that: “We base all our experiments on the capacity of mankind for self government.”

  • bankerdanny

    He’s a college student, not Bob Woodward. He probably hopes to be invited to events like this again. If he stuck to his guns he could quite easily have been blackballed. It is completely unreasonable to expect him to stand up to a member of the VP’s staff in this situation.

    Fortunately his dean stood up for him and Joe You Idiot is once again exposed as an incompetent who shouldn’t be a selectman for a small town much less a Senator or VP of the United States.

  • A Smith

    I understand the Biden team’s position: the press is considered an arm of the Democratic party, so when they don’t fully cooperate, the VP team freaked out.

  • Belial Issimo

    The behavior of officials in this administration is as usual disgusting, but there are multiple points of failure here. One of those points is Dean Lucy Dalglish, who needs to implement in her J-school an introductory course for students in the First Amendment and what it protects for them. That ought to be part of orientation. If some fancy “journalism school” isn’t teaching its students what every unschooled cub reporter learned from his seniors in the newsroom 50 years ago, then there is no point in having the school.

  • earthtone55

    >>This isn’t the first time Biden’s office has taken a heavy hand to the press.

    No kidding.

    How about the time, Biden’s staff forced a reporter to stand in a CLOSET for an hour?

  • bankerdanny

    Are you really so stupid as to think that the only kind of force is actual physical force?

  • Jim_Michalowski

    So much for a “more transparent” Obama/Biden administration. This appears to to an example of two amateurs and doesn’t reflect well on either organization – unprofessional intimidation on Biden staffer’s action and “under-educated” journalism student.

  • amenhammer

    If you work for Biden you you know he is a landmine waiting to be stepped on. I’m surprised they don’t keep him in a soundproof room.

  • jimbo96

    Too bad that she didn’t say…go to hell you fascist pig…but to willfully attend any event in which Biden is speaking means you are, in all likelihood, a liberal Democrat and have been indoctrinated to easily give up your rights without any complaint…

  • Gordon Richens

    Biden staffer lies, student believes her. Pretty pretty fair analogy to the entire Obama administration.

  • Kimmy84

    More importantly, after the issue was resolved, why didn’t he just recover the pictures? Pressing “delete” on a camera doesn’t permantly remove the pictures, just mark them as no longer needed. Unless he went out an immediately filled up the memory card, the pictures are easily recoverable, usually with freeware.

  • David Pittelli

    Indeed, although “coerces” or “threatens force” may be accurate.

  • Kimmy84

    Yes, force was used:
    Definition of FORCE (from Merriam-Webster)

    a (1) : strength or energy exerted or brought to bear : cause of motion or change : active power (2) capitalized —used with a number to indicate the strength of the wind according to the Beaufort scale

    b : moral or mental strength

    c : capacity to persuade or convince


    A member of the Vice President’s staff telling a student reporter what to do? Force.

  • Steve Darby

    dude is in the wrong line of work. stenographer/white house photog would be better for someone with such an acute sense of ‘protocol’ in regards to his betters.

  • timmaguire

    Sounds like this reporter has a great future at nearly any of the major media outlets.

  • AD_Rtr_OS

    Will Rosenzweig be terminated?

    And if not, why not?

    This excrement has got to stop.

    You people in DC need to relearn that you are PUBLIC SERVANTS!

    Rosenzweig needs to be publicly humiliated over this attitude that she has, over and over and over; though she seems to be perfectly qualified to work for Anna Wintour.

  • Rich Knudsen

    Maybe Biden’s Staff could educate her on “Rules for Rape” too while they are at it.

  • menloman


  • Kelly Martin

    Once more the media arm of the current administration gets to say “mother may I” to the government before any attempt to create “urinalism” Real journalism is reporting these abuses by the government.

  • Rich Knudsen

    She is a Journolism Student who does not know the 1st Amendment sweetheart,and that make her just Pathetic as well as Stupid..

  • Rich Knudsen

    Banana Republic here?, Naaa, never happen,,,,,,,,,,,,

  • Trip Engler

    Just following orders like any good little media lap dog who wants his tummy rubbed. The kid’s future is made: He has demonstrated he has the Deference Reflex that makes court stenographers such useful idiots.

  • Trip Engler

    Who cares? The little dolt probably voted for Obama/Biden.

  • Sarah Rolph

    The headline is incorrect. No force was used. The reporter was stupid enough to agree. That’s an important part of the story that is being downplayed here.

  • Butch Blosc

    Welcome to Comrade Obama’s totalitarian government, Jeremy. He controls the press by force and threats (just ask Bob Woodward). Communists don’t tolerate a free press.

  • Bill Marvel

    the point is well-taken. there is no law anywhere that requires a photographer to delete his or her photos.Those who comply with these requests are endangering freedom of the press for everyone.

  • Jeff A. Taylor

    Example #68754 why pools should be eliminated. Inculcates the view that there are court stenographers through which one can shape and control content. And that anything outside the pool is illegitimate, “unfair,” and merits suppression.

  • Tracie Powell

    Sounds like the reporter is a student who either didn’t know any better or felt intimidated.

  • Mallary Tenore

    The reporter told Capital News service: “I assumed that I’d violated a protocol. … I gave her the benefit of the doubt that she was following proper procedures.”

    ~Mallary Tenore

  • thisisacomment

    Student reporter, easily intimidated.

  • steve849

    Why did the reporter comply with the request to delete the photos?