Biden Staffer Forces Journalist To Delete Pictures and Search His iPhone After Maryland Speech

225px-joe_biden_official_photo_portrait_2-croppedRecently, I felt Vice President Joe Biden was unfairly quoted in a speech that he gave at the University of Maryland on domestic violence. I am less supportive however about what followed the speech. A Biden aide proceeded to threaten a student journalist about taking pictures of Biden and Dana Rosenzweig proceeded to demand that the student delete his pictures and show her his cellphone. While the Biden office has apologized to the university, it is unclear why this staffer still has a job after such a thuggish confrontation with a journalist. It is doubtful that she would have done this with someone from USA Today or the New York Times. The Biden staff have been accused of limiting press and interviews due to the Vice President’s reputation as a perpetual gaffe-machine in public comments.

Jeremy Barr is a credentialed student journalist from the respected Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland. He had been snapping pictures of Biden and suddenly found himself facing an irate Rosenzweig. She reportedly demanded “Did you take any photos during the event . . . I need to see your camera right now.” She then made him delete his photos and to show her his iPhone to confirm he did not save any of the photos. Barr complied and neither Biden’s Press Secretary Kendra Barkoff not Rosenzweig would speak on the record after the confrontation.

It was not until a formal complaint was lodged by the Phillip Merrill College of Journalism’s dean, Lucy A. Dalglish that Biden’s office responded. Dalglish rightfully called the incident “pure intimidation.”

Barkoff later insisted to Dalglish (still not making any public comment) that the incident was a “total miscommunication.” Miscommunication? A miscommunication is sending press to the wrong bus. Forcing the deletion of photos and search a journalist’s iPhone is a bit more than a miscommunication. It is an act of intimidation and abuse. So why is there no confirmation of Rosenzweig being disciplined?  Even if this reporter was sitting in the non-press section, he identified himself.  Moreover, I would be equally upset with citizens being treated in this fashion.

Biden’s staff has previously been criticized for their efforts to protect him from the media, like locking a reporter in a storage room.

Frankly, I am bothered by any politicians banning photos and recording of public speeches.  This also includes justices like Scalia who use federal marshals against citizens and reporters.

Source: CBS

104 thoughts on “Biden Staffer Forces Journalist To Delete Pictures and Search His iPhone After Maryland Speech”

  1. What you want to bet that 90% of the journalism school faculty at MD still votes Democrat next time?

  2. ARE:
    Evelyn Bryan Johnson was from our area. She flew until she was 96, and only gave up flying because she was in a serious auto accident and lost a leg. She continued to manage the municipal airport for several more years. She had 57,635.4 logged flying hours, more than any pilot in the world. She was also the oldest flight instructor in the world. She trained more pilots and gave more FAA exams than any other pilot. Male or female.

    “Mama Bird” passed away last year at the age of 102.

    1. I am only surprised that she gave up flight instructing, but I imagine she still flew. Having just one leg could be a real problem if the student really screws up. Hell Sir Douglas Bader had NO legs at all when he became an ace and fought in the Battle of Britain. He had one of the all time great stories of overcoming adversity. After he was shot down and captured, they flew him new legs from Britain and the Luftwaffe gave them to him in the hospital. He promptly waited until dark, put the new legs around his neck, and slid down a drainpipe and was on the loose for two weeks in France. The Luftwaffe was NOT amused, nor were they when he was judged such an escape risk in the Stalags that they sent him to the supermax prison at Colditz Castle.

      She sounds like a wonderful aviator and person, and it is too bad I never got to meet her too.

  3. ARE,

    Oooo. Quotes out of context! Let me provide some. What I said (“The fact that an agent of the principle threatened and then made the student journalist delete photos is prime facie evidence that someone under Biden”) was in response to your statement “you have failed to show any fact that the photo was against the interests of Biden”. I illustrated presumed intent base upon action by your introduction of intent as somehow relevant, thus showing that even if intent was relevant – which it isn’t – that the action of threatening and forcing the deletion was sufficient evidence to prove intent absent some evidence to the contrary. Evidence to the contrary you failed to provide. Do you have psychic access to the mind of this agent who deprived the student journalist of their 1st Amendment rights?

    Again, the burden of proof is still upon you to prove the intent wasn’t there.

    In the alternative you could try to prove intent is relevant, but I’ve already shown that intent is irrelevant but plausibly inferable.

    Try again.

    You lost this argument the instant you started it based on a bad definition.

  4. OS Another woman of note in aviation is another Texas gal, Edna Gardner Whyte. We had some competions up near her place in Ft. Worth and from what I heard, she was so old that she was grandmothered in and did not need a medical certificate as she continued flying into her late 80s. I doubt the FAA even cared in fact. She was still flight instructing and doing aerobatics.

  5. Gene, here is your quote.

    The fact that an agent of the principle threatened and then made the student journalist delete photos is prime facie evidence that someone under Biden’s control if not Biden himself considered the photos unacceptable and ergo against his interests.

    You’re the one claiming it wasn’t. The burden of proof is upon you. Prove they weren’t against his interests.

    that more than proves your attribution of motive. Thank you. Plus your request to prove that they were NOT against his interests. That is nonsensical and impossible.

  6. “I have personal knowledge that car theft has a mens rea component as well.”


    Prove it. Because last time I checked car theft was malum in se. If he got a pass for returning the car it is only because his friend didn’t want to press charges if the car was returned. That lack of education is really showing. Intent to deprive is part of the elements of theft, but that does not mean that it is an element of censorship. If the alleged thief in your example had not returned the car or found before he returned it? His continued possession of the car would have been used to prove his intent absent some other evidence he did intend to return it (highly unlikely). Like I said, some crimes have both a mens rea and and a actus reus. That does not mean all crimes do. Or all torts for that matter. This is arguably a 1983 violation.

    “2 U.S.C. § 1983

    Every person who under color of any statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage, of any State or Territory or the District of Columbia, subjects, or causes to be subjected, any citizen of the United States or other person within the jurisdiction thereof to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws, shall be liable to the party injured in an action at law, Suit in equity, or other proper proceeding for redress, except that in any action brought against a judicial officer for an act or omission taken in such officer’s judicial capacity, injunctive relief shall not be granted unless a declaratory decree was violated or declaratory relief was unavailable. For the purposes of this section, any Act of Congress applicable exclusively to the District of Columbia shall be considered to be a statute of the District of Columbia.”

    It is a tort in most instances, can be a crime depending on the circumstances, but nowhere in that statute is intent mentioned. And it would only be mentioned if the violation rose the level of a crime and that crime proper had a mens rea component – like say they decided to kill the journalist instead of just delete his picture.

    “it was YOUR assertion that the photos were deleted because there was something on them that was damaging to Biden”

    Actually, re-read what I wrote. I didn’t attribute motive. I provided the definition of censorship. You didn’t understand it as broken down above. To wit:

    “The very act of forced deletion is – in itself – the censorship. I provided the definition of censorship. You obviously did not understand what the operative part of the action was by that definition: suppression.

    ‘an official [Biden’s staffer] who examines books, films, news, etc. [including photographs] that are about to be published and suppresses any parts [in this case by forced deletion] . . .’

    ‘Suppresses’ is a verb in that compound sentence. Verbs are action words. Action is what is at point here. Censoring isn’t about why. It’s about suppression; an action. The actions of Biden’s staffer. Why a censor censor’s is irrelevant to the action of suppression itself being improper. That is the heart of the contention and the core of the definition. By definition, what was done here is censorship whether you agree it is or not.”

    Your failure to comprehend is not my failure in logic. My logic is based upon the Law of Identity, one of Aristotle’s Laws of Thought. A=A. Censorship is censorship when an official examines some form of media pre-publication and suppresses it in part or in whole. This action was censorship by definition. The guilty act (actus reus) is the action of suppression itself.

    That is simply the facts of the matter as well as the logic.

    The burden of proof still falls on you to prove motive is relevant.

    It isn’t.

    Good luck.

  7. ARE

    Way off topic, but by any chance did you know Sabrina Jackintell? She died last year, and I am planning a diary about her on Daily Kos for National Women’s History Month. She was a friend. I am also going to do one on Betty Skelton, but did not know her personally. I am just trying to gather anecdotes and/or photos for the story. I would have gone backchannel, but do not have your email.

    1. No unfortunately I did not know or even meet either of those outstanding women aviators. I am sure it was my loss. I do know Debby Rihn pretty well since I was an observer at the WAC in 1984, and 1986. I also knew Patty Wagstaff as well, but I have been out of competition aerobatics for quite awhile. I got my glider rating when I was stationed at Yreka, CA for Ameriflight, and I met some of those folks, but Sabrina was not among those folks who used the Montague Airport. That was a great place for soaring and I did a lot of towing in the C-182 as well as my own flights. We even had a window with Seattle ARRTC for the higher performance gliders to go above FL 180.

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