The White House normally rushes video of all the President’s speeches to the media. But they have not yet released video of last night’s teleprompter mishap in which the President mistakenly read the Irish Prime Minister’s speech and thanked himself for inviting himself to the White House.
As a result of the White House’s attempt to cover up Obama’s gaffe, IHateTheMedia.com is officially requesting a copy of the video through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed with the White House Office of Administration of the Executive Office of the President.
“We hope this action will force the White House to end its blatant cover-up and release the footage of the President’s faux pas,” a spokesman for IHateTheMedia.com said. “We know the liberal press would already be howling for congressional investigations if the Bush White House had delayed release of similar footage.”
“We didn’t want to take this action,” the spokesman continued, “but the Obama White House must learn that it is not above the law.”
Let’s see if this will force the White House to release the potentially embarrassing footage.
Check back at IHateTheMedia.com for the latest updates.
Here is the text of the FOIA letter:
— TEXT OF LETTER —
[personal names redacted]
March 18, 2009
Office of Administration
Executive Office of the President
725 17th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20503
Fee benefit requested
Fee waiver requested
Expedited processing requested
Dear FOIA Officer:
Pursuant to the federal Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. § 552, we request access to and copies of the video of the joint address of President Barack Obama and Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen at a St. Patrick’s Day celebration at the East Room of the White House on Tuesday, March 17, 2009.
There were two parties held at the Executive Mansion on the night of March 17, 2009. Irish Prime Minister Cowen and President Obama spoke at both. We are requesting a copy of the videos of the portion of both events that show both President Obama and Prime Minister Cowen speaking. On one of these videos–we believe it to be the second event — President Obama spoke first, followed by the Prime Minister who began reading the same speech from the teleprompter that the President had just given. Cowen stopped and looked back at the president to say, “That’s your speech.” President Obama laughed and then returned to the podium and began delivering what seemed to be Cowen’s speech, with the reported result that he thanked himself for inviting himself to the White House.
We would like to receive the information in the following format: video (CD-ROM or tape.)
Through this request, we are gathering information on the video of this joint address that has not surfaced, and appears to be hidden from the public, that is of current interest to the public because Barack Obama is the president of the United States and he was speaking with our ally Prime Minister Brian Cowen. Americans should be able to watch the video of any event to which reporters are allowed access. This information is being sought on behalf of IHateTheMedia.com for dissemination to the general public. IHateTheMedia.com is a news and commentary website, with up to a dozen stories and thousands of readers a day.
Please waive any applicable fees. Release of the information is in the public interest because it will contribute significantly to public understanding of government operations and activities. The information will be made available to the public immediately upon acquisition, on the IHateTheMedia.com website.
If our request is denied in whole or part, we ask that you justify all deletions by reference to specific exemptions of the act. We will also expect you to release all segregable portions of otherwise exempt material. We, of course, reserve the right to appeal your decision to withhold any information or to deny a waiver of fees.
As we are making this request as a journalist and this information is of timely value, we would appreciate your communicating with us by telephone, rather than by mail, if you have questions regarding this request.
Please provide expedited processing of this request, which concerns a matter of urgency. As journalists, we are primarily engaged in disseminating information. The public has an urgent need for information about the joint address of President Obama and Prime Minister Cowan at the East Room of the Executive Mansion because quite simply, the video of all events to which the media has access should not withheld from the public. We certify that our statements concerning the need for expedited processing are true and correct to the best of our knowledge and belief.
We look forward to your reply within 20 business days, as the statute requires.
Thank you for your assistance.
[personal names redacted]