Here is the latest edition of "West Wing Week," a White House produced propaganda-style video that reviews President Obama's week and touts the administration's accomplishments.
To me, it has the feel of state-run TV you might see in some Third World Banana Republic. It's one thing for the White House to release photos or raw video of events, but the way this is put together with narration gives it a really creepy feel that is unprecedented for a Presidential Administration.
The message control is rankling many in the media:
The Wasington Post:The message-control issue flared again this week when the White House posted its own video interview with Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan, bypassing reporters who have been seeking to interview her.
White House officials deny that they are attempting to end-run reporters. In fact, they say such initiatives as "West Wing Week" are evidence of greater candor. "These videos are just one part of the president's effort to have the most transparent White House in history," said Nick Shapiro, a spokesman, who added that "West Wing Week" "is yet another way for people to get a better sense of what's happening at the White House and why."
The White House wouldn't make Chaudhary, the videographer, available for an interview. But in a statement issued through Shapiro, he said the videos are "written, produced and edited by me." Chaudhary, a former film professor at New York University who extensively documented Obama's presidential campaign, added: "As the official White House videographer it's my job to document the president's activities, in motion pictures, for history. Though not as extensive as the still picture record of the president's routine, I found that every week I had a lot of interesting clips that couldn't really stand on their own but did when collected together and shown in context of the president's schedule. West Wing Week is essentially the vehicle for these moments. It's almost as if our flickr site could talk." . . . MORE