Obama White House Already Putting Media in its Place

Day two of the Obama administration, and already the world's largest wire services are playing chicken with the White House—journalistically refusing to be wooed by Obama's kindly photo PR.

Before the inauguration even rolled around, the Obamas thoughtfully released heartwarming photos of Sasha and Malia going off for their first day at school, in an effort to sate the paparazzi so that their children would not be crushed.

But while that would certainly satisfy OK! magazine's DC bureau forevermore, the actual news services aren't fans. Obama's administration released official photos of him in the Oval Office yesterday, rather than allowing the media to come in and take pictures themselves. Now the wire services are on a boycott mission!

The Associated Press, Reuters and Agence France-Presse said the White House was breaking with long-standing tradition in not allowing news photographers to capture the president at work in the Oval Office on his first day.

"We are not distributing what are, in effect, visual press releases," said Michael Oreskes, managing editor for U.S. news at the AP.

They're absolutely right. Of course, by making this a news story they're giving these throwaway official photos ten times more attention than they would otherwise get. Soon the White House will allow the wire services in and say it was all a misunderstanding. Obama's PR remains impeccable. [AP]