No More Reenactments at the White House

The buzz generated from a blog post by Reuters’ Jason Reed two weeks ago was stunning – individuals and organizations across the country came out against the idea of shooting reenactments of presidential speeches, a practice that has gone on since at least the Truman administration.

Now, according to an Associated Press story, the White House has said they will stop the practice.

“We have concluded that this arrangement is a bad idea,” Obama spokesman Josh Earnest said late Wednesday. He said the administration is open to working out some new arrangement with photographers.

Great news. And to all my colleagues in Washington and elsewhere who also railed against this – nice work. I have always said that the impropriety is bad, but even the appearance of an impropriety is dangerous when it comes to ethical issues. While all of the organizations involved moved images with accurate captions (stating it was a reenactment), not all publications included those notices.

Mark E. Johnson

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