posted at 11:10 am on March 20, 2012 by Howard Portnoy
The Obamas’ older daughter, Malia, is headed to Mexico for spring break. That is not, however, the story’s “hook”—the angle that makes it newsworthy. That would be the item’s vanishing act from half a dozen Internet news sites that initially carried it.
The Daily Caller notes:
AFP, the French news agency, first reported around mid-day Monday that Malia Obama was vacationing in Mexico with 12 friends under the protection of 25 Secret Service agents and a number of local police officers.
Since the story was first reported, it appears to have been scrubbed from a number of news outlets. The Huffington Post, International Business Times, The Australian, The Telegraph and Global Grind have all removed the article. AFP, which initially reported the story, now links to an unrelated story on ‘Sengalese superstar Youssou Ndour.’
No explanation for why the item was pulled is being advanced, which invites speculation. Is the First Couple uncomfortable with the release of a story that shows them spending additional tax dollars on yet another family vacation? Are they concerned that a State Department report recommending that Americans avoid travel to all or parts of 14 or 31 Mexican states will make them look like irresponsible parents? Does the image of a 13-year-old member of the First Family jetting off on a luxe vacation send the wrong message at a time when most Americans, the president keeps reminding us, are struggling to put bread on the table?
So far the White House is remaining mum.
UPDATE (3-30, 11:19 a.m.): Politico reports: “Kristina Schake, Communications Director to the First Lady, emails to confirm this was a White House effort:
From the beginning of the administration, the White House has asked news outlets not to report on or photograph the Obama children when they are not with their parents and there is no vital news interest. We have reminded outlets of this request in order to protect the privacy and security of these girls.”
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