An 'unnerving' story: Malia Obama in Mexico articles scrubbed from sites

Why did President Obama allow his daughter Malia to go on a spring break trip to Mexico?

The State Department has warned Americans not to travel to the violence-ridden country, a few American parents would dream of sending their kids into the free fire zone that much of Mexico has become.

But beyond that is another question: Why did the White House ask news outlets to scrub the story from their websites? And another question: Why did so many news outlets comply?

Brian Doherty at Hit and Run:

Completely divorced from the question of whether a politician's children are fair game for political attack, or even having their existence and life mentioned, this unfolding incident--stories from earlier today about Malia Obama and a gaggle of buddies spring breaking in Mexico (a place normal American kids are advised to avoid) with Secret Service protection disappearing from news sites--seems to indicate the White House can get a wide range of sites to take down stories, even if it is just with gentle persuasion or appeals to some higher standard. And that is highly unnerving.

The White House told Politico:

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.

OK, fair enough. But doesn't Obama sending his child into a virtual war zone constitute "news interest?" I would think that questions about the president's judgment might be in order, as well as the cost of security when a perfectly good alternative trip was available just about anywhere else in the US.

Yes, let's leave Malia out it. It's hard enough for a kid to grow up with a father who's president that she doesn't need a voracious news media hounding her every step when she's outside the White House.

But there are lots of parents out there asking a single question of the president: Mr. Obama, what were you thinking?

Why did President Obama allow his daughter Malia to go on a spring break trip to Mexico?

The State Department has warned Americans not to travel to the violence-ridden country, a few American parents would dream of sending their kids into the free fire zone that much of Mexico has become.

But beyond that is another question: Why did the White House ask news outlets to scrub the story from their websites? And another question: Why did so many news outlets comply?

Brian Doherty at Hit and Run:

Completely divorced from the question of whether a politician's children are fair game for political attack, or even having their existence and life mentioned, this unfolding incident--stories from earlier today about Malia Obama and a gaggle of buddies spring breaking in Mexico (a place normal American kids are advised to avoid) with Secret Service protection disappearing from news sites--seems to indicate the White House can get a wide range of sites to take down stories, even if it is just with gentle persuasion or appeals to some higher standard. And that is highly unnerving.

The White House told Politico:

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.

OK, fair enough. But doesn't Obama sending his child into a virtual war zone constitute "news interest?" I would think that questions about the president's judgment might be in order, as well as the cost of security when a perfectly good alternative trip was available just about anywhere else in the US.

Yes, let's leave Malia out it. It's hard enough for a kid to grow up with a father who's president that she doesn't need a voracious news media hounding her every step when she's outside the White House.

But there are lots of parents out there asking a single question of the president: Mr. Obama, what were you thinking?

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