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."