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Red Dawn alert? Cranky policeman boots reporters from White House protest

April 20, 2010 |  7:32 pm

04-20-park-police

A protest outside the White House? Yawn.They happen all the time. Usually they're ignored.

What's the best way to get some attention for it?  Don't let the press cover it. Even better, have some loudmouth policeman boot the reporters away. But whatever you do, make sure videocameras are rolling.

If this was the plan, it was executed flawlessly Tuesday afternoon. An old time East German judge might even give the performance a 10.  Bravo!

That's not to say today's protest du jour wasn't notable. Six members of the military did handcuff themselves to the north fence of the White House this afternoon to protest "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."  It's of heightened interest, of course, because of the heckling Obama received last night on the same issue.

Now, there's no evidence to suggest the White House was to blame. Not only would such an....

...order be unbelievably stupid, but the Secret Service is already saying it was the Park Police's doing.


But due to its very location, people start to wonder. Reporters start to wonder. We don't know what was going through Politico blogger Ben Smith's head.  But his headline didn't pull any punches.

In fact, it seemed to openly mock White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs.

"Most transparent White House ever" it sneers.  Sound familiar?  Gibbs used similar words just yesterday when discussing openness at the Obama White House.
 
Although Smith didn't point fingers at Obama in the text of his blog post itself, the headline was all it took.  Everyone who picked up the story linked right back to Smith.  And they all repeated the headline.  Twitter traffic went crazy too. 

"Did the Obama White House censor the media today in order to try to kill a story about Don't Ask Don't Tell?" asked John Aravosis of Americablog Gay. "It looks as though they did. By the time the reporters were finally let in, security had already taken 3 of the handcuffed vets away. Mission accomplished."

What about the Secret Service's explanation?  Nyet, says Aravosis.

"We know from the last protest that the White House is intimately aware of what is taking place," he continued. "There is simply no way that they weren't in the loop on what was done to the media today. And in any case, when reporters are forced to leave the Obama White House, forced to stop covering a political event, the Obama White House is responsible, period."

No surprise here, but Andrew Breitbart's Big Journalism site agrees it was Obama-directed and predictably, ratchets up the criticism just a tiny bit.

"It is just sad that the White House increasingly looks like the Soviet-era Kremlin when it comes to tolerating different points of view," writes Bruce Carroll.

We've embedded the video below.  And yes, the policeman is rather cranky.

-- Jimmy Orr

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