Obama’s Inauguration Closed To The Press?
White House reporters are concerned that the President’s official Inauguration will be closed to the press:
The White House Correspondents Association is strongly urging the Obama administration to allow press access to the president’s official swearing-in ceremony on Jan. 20, following indications from inauguration committee officials that the event could potentially be closed to the press.
“Mindful of the historic nature of this occasion, we expect the White House will continue the long tradition of opening the President’s official swearing-in to full press access, and we as an organization are looking forward to working with the administration to make that happen,” Ed Henry, the Fox News correspondent and president of the White House Correspondents Association, said in a statement.
Because inauguration day falls on a Sunday in 2013, Chief Justice John Roberts will officially administer the official oath of office in a private ceremony that day. The public inauguration on the Capitol Building’s West Front — at which Roberts will administer a second, symbolic oath of office — will take place the next day.
In early meetings with the inaugural committee, officials privately indicated to reporters that the Jan. 20 event could be closed to reporters and cameras, with an official photograph supplied to press by White House photographer Pete Souza, sources familiar with the meeting told POLITICO.
Fears of such a scenario were reignited this week when the Presidential Inauguration Committee sent out a press release referring to a “private” inauguration.
Both the White House and the PIC note that “private” simply means the event is not open to the public and that press arrangements have not been formalized.
“There is no truth to any rumors that decisions have been made about media access to this year’s Inaugural events,” Rachel Racusen, a spokesperson for the PIC, told POLITICO. “The 2013 Presidential Inaugural Committee announced its launch yesterday and is just beginning its planning. Any announcements about media access and credentials will be made in the coming weeks.”
I remember when this happened in 1985 for Ronald Reagan’s second Inauguration. The official swearing-in took place in the White House on Sunday January 20th, although it was televised. The public ceremony took place the next day although, due to the fact that the East Coast was experiencing a bitter cold spell at that time (it reached -4°F in New Jersey that day), the ceremony ended up being held inside in the Capitol Rotunda.