A single designated pool photographer will snap shots of the president during certain momentous speeches and make the photos available to news organizations, replacing the controversial practice of reenacting speeches for photographers, a White House spokesman confirmed Wednesday.
Though the practice of reenacting speeches for photo-ops has only cropped up occasionally during Barack Obama’s presidency, it’s “safe to say that it’s something that even after doing it a couple times we concluded it was a bad idea,” said White House Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest.
One of the concerns surrounding photographer access to White House speeches, the noise generated by cameras, will be mitigated by a shutter silencer, according to the Washington Post, which first reported the agreement.
A Reuters photographer brought the long-common practice back into the spotlight after he wrote about the staged photographs that followed the president’s announcement of Osama bin Laden’s death in Pakistan. Earnest said other reenactments occurred after the president announced that the U.S. was pulling combat troops out of Iraq, and after addresses concerning last year’s BP oil spill and this year’s potential government shutdown.
The White House announced that it would end that practice May 12 and said a new arrangement would be hammered out between the press and the White House. The new rules were agreed to last week, according to Post reporter Paul Farhi. Earnest told POLITICO the negotiations between the press and the White House were “not contentious at all.”