Franco Nuschese hosted one of the most memorable people in modern history at his Georgetown restaurant, Cafe Milano, on Sunday, November 24, 2013. Clint Hill is the Secret Service agent, assigned to Jacquie Kennedy, who jumped on the back of President Kennedy’s car when he was shot in Dallas on November 22nd, 1963. Franco Nuschese introduced Mr. Hill and co-author Lisa McCubbin, to talk about the 50th Anniversary of the assassination of President John Kennedy and their new book, Five Days in November. He told the story to the rapt crowd that included White House aides Jeremy Bernard, Ellie Schafer, and the State department’s Evan Ryan. Media stars Jim Lehrer, Wolf Blitzer, Polson Kanneth, Jonathan Capehart and Ruth Marcus lined up to shake the hand of the man who tried in vain to save President Kennedy’s life. The Vice President’s son, Hunter Biden, former congresswoman Ellen Tauscher, former protocol chiefs Ambassador Lloyd Hand and Lucky Roosevelt, Ted Greenberg and Diane Jones watched the video of the iconic photos as Mr. Hill described each second.
The crowd was meserized by his personal heartfelt recitation of that day and the days after. Agent Hill was assigned to protect Mrs. Kennedy and he demonstrated some of the same grace that she showed the world on that terrible day.
He told the story of how Mrs. Kennedy had asked the secret service agents to teach John John how to salute and how he would not use his right hand. Before the funeral a Marine colonel was asked to help entertain the young boy and he taught him to salute with his right hand a his father’s funeral, a moment no one can ever forget. The president and first lady promised John John that he would have a birthday day party when they returned from Dallas, so after the funeral she gathered their close family and had a party for him. Mr. Hill has not given interviews prior to this year and the pain and suffering he felt all these years was palpable to the respectful crowd.
Dog Tag Bakery is only months away but you can support our efforts to create a bakery for veterans and their spouses to learn to bake and become successful entrepreneurs with classes thru Georgetown Unversity’s continuing education program. Father Richard Curry SJ and Connie Milstein, one of the founding members of Blue Star Families, are creating an innovative program to support veterans and create a destination for anyone looking for a yummy treat in Washington, DC. CLICK here to order now
Read Father Curry’s Huffington Post blog and join our efforts to hire and inspire disabled veterans and their spouses.
Father Rick Curry SJ at the Dog Tag Bakery launch with Katherine Kallinas from Georgetown Cupcakes at Cafe Milano in July 2013.
It’s only the 5th year of the Obama Administration but the White House Correspondents’ Association has had enough. The Obama White House has been pushing White House coverage limits by having their own photographer,the great Pete Souza, cover most of his events and distributing his photos instead of the press getting access.The White House communicators are fighting back saying previous administrations have done the same. FishbowlDC’s new editor Patrick Tutwiler shows us the letter.
November 21, 2013
The White House
VIA HAND DELIVERY
Dear Mr. Carney:
We write to protest the limits on access currently barring photographers who cover the White House. We hope this letter will serve as the first step in removing these restrictions and, therefore, we also request a meeting with you to discuss this critical issue further. Journalists are routinely being denied the right to photograph or videotape the President while he is performing his official duties. As surely as if they were placing a hand over a journalist’s camera lens, officials in this administration are blocking the public from having an independent view of important functions of the Executive Branch of government. To be clear, we are talking about Presidential activities of a fundamentally public nature. To be equally clear, we are not talking about open access to the residence or to areas restricted, for example, for national security purposes.
The apparent reason for closing certain events to photographers is that these events have been deemed “private.” That rationale, however, is undermined when the White House contemporaneously releases its own photograph of a so-called private event through social media. The restrictions imposed by the White House on photographers covering these events, followed by the routine release by the White House of photographs made by government employees of these same events, is an arbitrary restraint and unwarranted interference on legitimate newsgathering activities. You are, in effect, replacing independent photojournalism with visual press releases.
All of the following events, with the exception of the McCain-Graham meeting, were reported as “read-outs” by the White House with “official” White House photo(s) attached. They illustrate the troubling breadth of the restrictions placed upon newsgathering by the White House to record governmental activity of undisputed and wide public interest:
• On July 10, 2013, the President met with members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.
• On July 11, 2013, the President met with the Co-Chairs of the U.S. – China Strategic and Economic Dialogue.
• On July 29, 2013, the President met with former Secretary of State Clinton (White House photo also distributed via Twitter).
• On July 30, 2013, the President and Vice President met with Israeli and Palestinian negotiators.
• On August 26, 2013, the President met with African-American Faith Leaders.
• On September 2, 2013, the President met with Senators McCain and Graham.
• On October. 11, 2013, the President and family members met with Pakistani human rights activist Malala Yousafzai, a person of great public interest.
While certain of these events may appear “private” in nature, the decision of the White House to release its own contemporaneous photograph(s) suggests that the White House believes these events are, in fact, newsworthy and not private.
The right of journalists to gather the news is most critical when covering government officials acting in their official capacities. Previous administrations have recognized this, and have granted press access to visually cover precisely these types of events, thus creating government transparency. It is clear that the restrictions imposed by your office on photographers undercut the President’s stated desire to continue and broaden that tradition. To exclude the press from these functions is a major break from how previous administrations have worked with the press.
Moreover, these restrictions raise constitutional concerns. As the Supreme Court has stated, the First Amendment protects “the public and the press from abridgment of their rights of access to information about the operation of their government,” Richmond Newspapers Inc. v. Virginia, 448 U.S. 555, 584 (1980). The fact that there is no access whatsoever only heightens those concerns. As one court has noted in considering a similar restriction: “The total exclusion of television representatives from White House pool coverage denies the public and the press their limited right of access, guaranteed by the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States.” Cable News Network, Inc. v. American Broadcasting Companies, Inc., et al. 518 F.Supp. 1238, 1245 (N.D. GA 1981).
The organizations and individuals signing this letter strongly believe that imposing limits on press access, as your office has done, represents a troubling precedent with a direct and adverse impact on the public’s ability to independently monitor and see what its government is doing.
We consider this a most serious matter and urge you to provide appropriate access for independent photojournalists to all public governmental events in which the President
participates. Again, we see this letter as the first step toward restoring full press access to these events. Accordingly, we request an immediate meeting with you in order to resolve this very serious situation. We ask that you contact Steve Thomma, President of the White House Correspondents’ Association, and Sam Feist, current television pool chair, to set up the meeting.
American Society of News Editors
American Society of Media Photographers
Associated Press Media Editors
Associated Press Photo Managers
Association of Alternative Newsmedia
Association of Opinion Journalists
Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
Fox News Channel
Gannett Co., Inc.
Lee Enterprises, Incorporated
The McClatchy Company
McClatchy-Tribune Information Services
National Press Club
National Press Photographers Association
New England First Amendment Coalition
News Media Coalition
Newspaper Association of America
The New York Times Company
Online News Association
Professional Photographers of America
Radio Television Digital News Association
Regional Reporters Association
The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press
Society of Professional Journalists
The Washington Post
White House Correspondents’ Association
White House News Photographers Association
Alexis Doyle hasn’t graduated from St. Andrew’s Episcopol School, yet she’s already able to confidentanly state she’s a published author. A three-time published author and her latest with a forward from the internationally acclaimed neurosurgeon, Dr. Benjamin Carson,Jr. who performed surgery on her when she was just 3 months old.
That’s no small feat for any author, especially one that’s still handling school work and grades. As The Sentinel reported Alexis wrote her first book at the age of 13.
Alexis’ books are inspired by her own struggles, having been born with craniosynostosis, a condition that fuses cranial bones together at birth, and with differences in her hands and feet. Spanning five major surgeries over the next 17 years, Alexis has certainly experienced the challenge of overcoming major adversity.
“I have found that one of the best ways I have been able to overcome my challenges is to help others overcome theirs,” she said. “That is why I decided at a very young age to author books for kids to help them deal with their own challenges and to let them know they are not alone. I have published my third book in the series that I hope to continue throughout my life.”The books (“Jesse and His New Baby Sister,” “Ethan the Big Brother” and the most recent, “Alexis And Her Hospital Friends”) illustrate the challenges dealt with by, not only Alexis’ family, but also the families of 2 close friends. They show in a very simple format, easily understood by young children, how the families overcame their challenges and, further, they provide reassurance for other children who struggle with any condition or difficult life situation. In the forward to her newest book, her neurosurgeon, Dr. Benjamin Carson, Sr. provided:
“In this book, Alexis Doyle who has had many experiences as a patient during her early years of life, uses those experiences to help children see that the people working at the hospital are their friends and are there to make their lives better. She also helps children use their imagination. I hope this book finds its way into the children’s library of every hospital and into the offices of many pediatricians.”
Alexis Doyle’s books can be purchased at Lexy’s Books on Facebook.