A Joe Biden staff member ordered a student journalist to delete his photos in a university-sponsored event at a Maryland college, prompting the vice president’s press secretary to issue an apology.
But only after dean of the journalism program fired off a letter in protest.
The staffer, Dana Rosenzweig, walked up to the student and ordered him to delete his photos off his iPhone because he had been sitting in a “non-press seating area,” giving him an “unfair advantage over other members of the press” who apparently had a more restrictive vantage point to take their shots.
The student, Jeremy Barr, a journalist for Capital News Service, a student-run news site operated out of the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland, deleted his photos with the woman standing over his shoulder.
Fortunately, Lucy Dalglish, dean of the university’s journalism program, sent a letter of protest to Biden’s press secretary, Kendra Barkoff, complaining about the incident, calling it a “ridiculous argument” that Barr had an unfair advantage.
Barkoff reportedly apologized to Dalglish and Barr, calling it a “miscommunication,” which is flack talk for “we screwed up.”
Barkoff also refused to speak on the record with Capital News Service, which is flack non-talk for “we screwed up.”
The incident took place at an event where Biden, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and Maryland Senator Ben Cardin were speaking on domestic violence.
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According to CNS:
After the event was over, Barr was questioned.
“(The staffer) asked, ‘Did you take any photos during the event?’” Barr said. He told the staffer, yes, he had taken a few 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 said. “I gave her the benefit of the doubt that she was following proper procedures.”
Barr was then asked to wait while the staffer contacted her supervisor. After approximately 10 minutes of waiting, the staffer made contact with her supervisor, apologized to Barr for the delay and permitted him to leave the venue.