Inside baseball: Media drama over Prez Afghan trip
December 3rd, 2010
03:16 PM ET
12 years ago

Inside baseball: Media drama over Prez Afghan trip

(Updated at 3:53 p.m. ET with statement from ABC News)

(CNN) - Members of the White House press corps are pointing fingers at ABC News after the network reported President Obama's surprise trip to Afghanistan, while others held back to respect White House security concerns.

ABC News was the first to report the news Friday morning on its website. The network is serving as the "pool" for the trip; "pool" is the one broadcast network assigned to cover the trip. The television pool is a group of five media outlets - ABC, CBS, CNN, FOX and NBC - that share the responsibility of covering the president, White House and major events on a rotating basis. In working together, each organization pledges to share information they gather as pool with their colleagues at the same time so no one gains a competitive advantage.

Due to intense security surrounding Obama, the other networks that make-up the "pool" were not informed of the president's whereabouts until after he landed in Afghanistan. ABC functioning as pool did not communicate the president's arrival to the other four networks until well after they started reporting the news on their website.

In fact, CNN had independently confirmed the president was on route to Afghanistan but chose to abide by the White House requests for secrecy.

The delay in the dissemination of the pool information by ABC resulted in e-mail blasts from other networks.

CBS News producer Jeff Goldman sent an e-mail to the other network's Washington bureaus, saying that the story posted on the ABC News website broke the embargo.

"ABC apparently must be along for the travel pool with POTUS (President of the United States)," Goldman wrote.

Replying to Goldman, ABC News' Martha Raddatz said ABC did not break the embargo. The Defense Department's video service had put out a signal early from the hangar at Bagram Air Base where the president spoke later. ABC's pool reporter (who was not Raddatz), correspondent Jake Tapper, eventually filed dispatches for all pool members once the White House secrecy restriction was lifted.

"It was DVIDS (Defense Video and Imagery Distribution System) that broke the embargo, putting out that he was meeting with troops and telling us there was no embargo," Raddatz wrote.

NBC News correspondent Chuck Todd responded to Raddatz with this terse "reply-all" e-mail response: "Thanks for the pool note with that info after the fact."

An ABC News spokesperson issued this statement to CNN:

"Last night ABC's Martha Raddatz, who has been on the ground in Afghanistan for the past week, had the story from sources on the ground that the president would be in Afghanistan today. For security reasons ABC News did not report the story at that time.

DVIDS sent an advisory to reporters in Washington at 10:04 this morning with information on the live video feed of the president's trip. DVIDS informed ABC that the information was not embargoed. After DVIDS broke the embargo, ABC News at 10:49 a.m. reported on the president's trip citing 'sources told ABC News' Martha Raddatz."

Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (22 Responses)
  1. Nancy Pelosi, the wicked witch of the west, the DemocRAT gift that just keeps on giving

    Unemployment through the roof and going HIGHER, country is dead broke, millions unemployed or under employed, million more too discouraged to look anymore, millions of homes being foreclosed,....

    obozo's answer.... ROADTRIP!!!

    Hurry 2012!!!

    December 3, 2010 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  2. S. In California

    America: No respect, no professionalism. It's ALL about who can make the quickest buck.

    December 3, 2010 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  3. Time Grows Short

    President Barack Assange Obama has nothing in common with our military people. He has not one jot or tittle of integrity.

    December 3, 2010 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  4. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Time Grows Short

    President Barack Assange Obama has nothing in common with our military people. He has not one jot or tittle of integrity.

    First of all, you whackjob, what the hell is a "tittle"?
    Secondly, the Commander-in-chief's middle name is HUSSEIN.
    Lastly, he has a lot more respect, and concern for the military than Bush Jr. EVER did when he sent our military men and women (many of whom, you might be surprised to know, LOOK JUST LIKE OUR PRESIDENT) off to die in his unnecessary oil war, looking for crap in the desert that was never there to begin with.
    Stuff it until 2016!!

    December 3, 2010 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  5. Duck Fallas

    Criticizing the Commander in Chief during a time of war is treason. Mission accomplished, dirtbags.

    December 3, 2010 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  6. William

    I am not a fan of the President but do not fault him for spending time with the troops as he is POTUS. All that has occurred since November 2nd has me more concerned for our nation than ever before. No great republic has lasted more than 200 years and even though my side won in November I think we are imploding from within. I have been financially blessed beyond what I ever thought and if giving 60-70% away like my grandfather did in the 70's would help our country I am there. To be honest I don't know but I think the next 2-5 years are going to change our country forever and hopefully people will work together. I have successfully invested in a lot of things and am not bullish on America.

    December 3, 2010 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  7. John Boehner is the dumbest person to become speaker

    The GOP and Fox are not suitable to those whose IQ is over 80. @Nancy Pelosi . . . How are you going to keep the baggers from kicking the congressional GOP members to the side of the road now that they have voted to increase everyone's taxes?

    December 3, 2010 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  8. Peter s

    This President is amazing he surely do love this country! but there is always someone willing to stab his back!!. Look we have freedom of speech but we don't have the right to compromise his security details.
    BRAVO S. In California you just put it as it is!!! "America: No respect, no professionalism. It's ALL about who can make the quickest buck." THAT SAME GROUP COMPROMISING HIS SECURITY WILL BE THE SAME GROUP CRYING CROCODILES TEARS IF ANYTHING GOES WRONG AND GOD FORBID!!

    December 3, 2010 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  9. John Boehner is the dumbest person to become speaker

    The republicans have voted time and again against the VA and our troops. They put them in harm's way, and then ignore them. I think most people know that the president supports the troops with supplies, education, and health benefits. The worthless GOP scum only filibusters.

    December 3, 2010 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  10. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Whether you right wingnuts want to admit it or not, those serving in our military here and abroad are still US citizens, and as such they are entitled to the occassional visit from their Commander-In-Chief (their and our President). As a matter of fact, the very fact that they are putting their lives on th line under his leadership makes trips like these OBLIGATORY for our President.
    Stop with the pettiness of referring to this as a "roadtrip". The truth is that as far as some of you are concerned you wouldn't want this particular man to enjoy the same things that your Bush Jr. misses being President.

    Insofar as the RethugliKKKlan's answer to unemployment, taxes, and national security, here's their answer: CRICKETS.
    Oh, and their rally cry: Save America's Millionaires, Grow the Deficit!

    December 3, 2010 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  11. Wes B.

    I don't understand the bashing of the president (by those making comments) on this article, or any of the articles about his trip to Afghanistan.

    Some people refuse to allow this president to do ANYTHING without extreme criticism. Really. If he stops to tie his shoe, people would blame him for wasting time on something unimportant while the economy tanks.

    Making overseas trips is part of his job. Further, faulting him for visiting troops is beyond ridiculous. And I don't want to ever hear from any Repubs about how Obama doesn't know anything about military service–blah blah blah. These are the same people that voted for Bush–whose service was questionable at best–instead of a war HERO John Kerry. They spread lies about John Kerry's honorable and heroic military career. Those lies that were made up were absolutely disgusting. And that's a fact.

    December 3, 2010 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  12. Bill from Baltimore

    President's trip to Afganistan was right on...I love seeing the troops give him The Rock Star Treatment...

    December 3, 2010 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  13. gary

    Breaking news is getting to be bull crap. Everyone wants to get on the air first, so they report the errorous stories and then spend the next ten hours correcting the story. You can watch the same story being aired twenty times throughout the day on different channels with completely different so called facts. Most political news channels (they should be called entertainment channels) are laughable. The majority of most news hosts do not have the guts to ask the tough questions, because if they did, no one would want to come on their shows. Love to watch the so called news channels where the entertainment host has two or more guests on and they all shout at each other at the same time. Good for a laugh, but not good for any realible political news.

    December 3, 2010 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  14. thor

    But doesn't he look cute in his leather bomber jacket.

    December 3, 2010 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  15. Bring Sanity Back

    I find it sad that when people talk bad about The Commander in Chief , President Obama, going to visit troops that are fighting are to ensure America's freedom. I also find it ironic that when President Bush visited the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, he was hailed as a patriot – seems like a pretty big double standard.

    I think we all can agree that visiting troops, boosting their morale, and showing them that the American People are behind them is a positive thing regardless of being a Democrat or Republican. Show some respect; not only for the President as this is his job, but also for the troops that would greatly welcome their Commander in Chief.

    As far as Nancy Pelosi, the wicked witch of the west, the DemocRAT gift that just keeps on giving's comments, why dont you ask the republicans if they are willing to vote on anything besides what they want? Compromise hinges on the fact that both parties come to the table with an open mind. It doesn't seem to open minded when they decide to filibuster anything that doest fit what they want.

    December 3, 2010 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  16. T'sah from Virginia

    I guess this was an A B network advantage and everyone else else had to C their way out of it!!!!!!!!!!!!! LMAO

    President Obama is RIGHT ON and should be there!!! He blends right in and the LQQK on everyone's face shows they are enjoying themselves!!! GOBAMA!!

    December 3, 2010 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  17. Augustus

    News outets are a lot like lawyers in that they would cut your throat for a dollar. I did not vote for nor ever will vote for Obama but his security is paramount.

    December 3, 2010 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  18. Dominican mama 4 Obama


    But doesn't he look cute in his leather bomber jacket.
    On a lighter note? YES HE DOES!!!! Goodgagamooga!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    December 3, 2010 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  19. Anonymous

    Hey, righties. You all might want to improve the conversation by starting to back up your rants with cold hard facts. Many of you are starting to come across as cranky old farts with too much time on your hands.

    December 3, 2010 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  20. NC

    To Wes B. Thank you sir for your post. Some of you people need to think before you post. President Obama is our Commander In Chief. He has every right to visit our troops. Pray for our troops, our President and our country. Yes I said pray. I am 75 years old and have not seen such hate since the Civil Rights movement.

    December 3, 2010 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  21. In the West

    Keep posting, right-wing nutcases. Let America know just how bitter, impotent and disrespectful you are. I guess it's easier than doing anything constructive...

    December 3, 2010 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  22. Carney

    Good for the President – I like he is with the troops. Its good the liberals are seeing that bashing a President for spending time wiith out fighting men is ridiculous.

    December 3, 2010 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |