Joe Biden Staffer Orders College Journalist to Delete Photo

Joe Biden Press Secretary Kendra Barkoff, who refuses to go on the record about a Biden staffer who ordered a college journalist to delete a photo.


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.

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.

About Carlos Miller

Carlos Miller is founder and publisher of Photography is Not a Crime, which began as a one-man blog in 2007 to document his trial after he was arrested for photographing police during a journalistic assignment. He is also the author of The Citizen Journalist's Photography Handbook, which can be purchased through Amazon.

Check Also

Martin Stites

Oklahoma Judge Dismisses Sexual Molestation Charges Against Ex-Cop; Jails Victim’s Father for Year for Yelling Obscenities in Courtroom

An Oklahoma judge dismissed three felony child sex abuse charges against a retired cop Monday …

  • Joseph H Palmer

    Don’t you just love it when someone either wants to know what your going “to do” with a photo or presumes they are entitled to money from it.

  • io-io

    I believe that the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland, needs to have a course on Constitutional Law and Photography for their students. Perhaps the professors and instructors need to attend also.

  • Bill Rhodes

    yeah, and an Iphone was a really big advantage over the d4’s with 300 2.8 lenses 10 feet further away

  • Steve Steves

    People are so quick to give away their property. There will always be overbearing press flacks and power tripping cops, maybe we need to work on the other half of the equation. There needs to be an educational campaign to inform people that your pictures are YOURS. Period.

  • rick

    Are student journalists not being taught the law any more?

    Carlos should spend one class period per semester and collect a fee for speaking at these schools. He would cover some basics about the theory of freedom of the press and the reality of its execution.

    • steveo

      Yeah, and Carlos, start off the talk, “Can anyone here in the audience please tell me why I have to go to jail to protect your freedoms?”

  • steveo

    All of us have to learn the constitutional principle of prior restraint. This is our best argument against the state censoring newsgathering. Prior restraint is simple.
    Govt doesnt’ want you to record their activity. Govt stops you from recording their activity. Govt hides the notes or recordings of the newsgatherer because the message contained within is not beneficial to the govt.

    You decide, is this prior restraint? When a leo grabs a recording device and says you can’t record us?
    The Scotus has never ever, in 226 years, upheld a prior restraint. do you think they are going to do it now for some lamebrain leo who doesn’t want to be recorded in a public place?

    When I have brought up a prior restraint argument in court: the judge and the prosecutors look at me with deer in the headlight eyes and turn into mush because they know that they have no precedents to offer to the court. The SCOTUS has never upheld a prior restraint even when the publication may be a clear and present danger to the national security of the US and when the facts and totallity of the circumstances point to that the information was collected illegally. In other words, what the SCOTUS is saying, go ahead and film away in a public place.

    So, anyway, you prosecutors: Write me a brief with precedent legal citings that allow your Leos to confiscate newsgathering devices like we have here. Carlos will take your email and your briefing.

    No really, I’m serious, please tell me if I’m wrong!!!”

    And besides that when has Biden ever run away from a camera? He’s always the first one there sticking his foot in his mouth.

  • Publius Federali

    What the heck is wrong with people these days? Are they are so willing to be slaves? This guy did not even protest for one second when told to delete the photos? Have we become so domesticated that we bow down to anyone who pretends to have authority? Then like a little child she tells him that she needs to check his phone to make sure he deleted the photos.

    I have no sympathy for people who refuse to even question authority when their rights are violated, and we’re not even talking about someone who had any authority at all, just some punk woman staffer. What kind of man is does not have the balls to tell some useless politico to go F**K herself?

    • LBrothers

      Thank you. You’re absolutely right.

  • benanov

    PhotoRec FTW.

  • steveo

    Also, certainly a censorship demand, cannot be based on content: “like: I don’t like you taking pictures because I don’t want to be on youtube”. Or, you can film the parade but not us. Or “you can film all you want, out of sight of us govt agents.” . or “These are clandestine leos here, so we don’t want their faces shown in public because we leos believe that there are certain rights given implicitly to the US secret police even though you may easily find their pictures in the police academy commencement exercises or their high school yearbooks.

    These are examples of content based censorship.

  • Benjamin Greenberg

    “I assumed that I’d violated a protocol,” Barr said. “I gave her the benefit of the doubt that she was following proper procedures.”

    I’m sure that Mr. Barr’s unquestioning subservience to authority figures will serve him well when he’s reporting on national affairs with the Washington press corps.

    Seriously, I hope that he learns from this experience and doesn’t immediately capitulate [ed.] the next time he’s ordered around by some flunky.

  • Rob

    That kid is training for the wrong profession. If he gave up his phone that easily, the real world will eat his ass alive. Then again, this is the type of journalists the government wants nowadays… Sheep that will do whatever the big wolf says.

  • steveo

    Personally, I like Dropbox. It’s a free app and it will automatically save photos and vids to their cloud program. It’s user/name and password protected, so a leo or some other govt agent wouldn’t be able to delete the file. So the file is saved on the sd card and at the server in the cloud. So, even if the govt agent demanded that the file be erased or did it himself. Sorry, got a copy.

    “And, ok, mr/ms govt agent you are technologically capable of figuring out how to delete my file, but do you seriously think this is the only copy I have? And by the way, when the doctors come up with cure for fkfaceitis, I’ll let you know.”

    I also like the simple answer “OR?”. Delete your pictures. OR? Give me your camera. “OR?” Stop filming. “OR?”. You could even make it a multiple choice question. OR? 1) am I under arrest? 2) Am I free to leave? 3) are you going to grab it out of my hand 4) Are you going to shoot me, tase me, hit me with your flashlight? 5) or in this dingbats case, cry until I do it.

  • DocRambo

    For this type of overreaction, Mr. Biden must have said something that they did not want to get out, something that may not have been audible or visible from where the rest of the “press” were sitting. I would love to have been able to go over what was removed!

  • Ryan French

    Freedom of the press and photography rights were NEVER covered during my studies. Not one time. I expect that to be the case with most public (government) run institutions, it’s not in their best interest to teach that.

  • Rebecca Jones

    He is a young college student, still finding his way. I understand why he turned it over,,, BUT,,, I think a “first amendments rights” class is one of the first classes a person in Mass Communications should take. At our college, we did take up a first amendment class,,, it would have helped him to know that he was not in the wrong.

  • Baddscorpio

    Pussy smh…