- White House admits to asking media outlets to scrub Malia Obama spring break story
- Media ethics experts see outlets’ response as “a little bizarre” and “outside of standard practice”
- Experts agree that a story clarification would have been a viable substitute to ensure the public’s trust in media
- Malia’s trip leads to a number of journalistic questions surrounding government resources and citizen safety
On Monday, a curious pattern was observed and documented on The Blaze. Stories about Malia Obama – Barack and Michelle Obama’s eldest daughter — and her purported spring break trip to Oaxaca, Mexico, were mysteriously disappearing from various outlets’ web sites.
From The Telegraph to The Huffington Post, numerous news sites essentially deleted related stories, creating plenty of questions among observers. Following the removals, It didn’t take long for the Obama administration to admit to asking the media to scrub the stories. Earlier today, The Blaze spoke with Kelly McBride of The Poynter Institute and Jane E. Kirtley, a professor of media ethics and law at the University of Minnesota Law School, to gain expert insight on the ethics issues associated with this scenario.
As The Blaze has noted, the First Lady’s communications director, Kristina Schake, explained that the White House has requested, since the beginning of the Obama presidency, that the children not be photographed or reported on when they are without their parents. While this request is understandable, the sociopolitical situation in Mexico and the rapid removal of stories about Malia creates a litany of questions about media ethics and the appropriateness of outlets’ responses.