Site icon Virgin Islands Free Press

First Lady Jill Biden Arrives In St. Croix Today

First Lady Jill Biden Arrives In St. Croix Today

FREDERIKSTED — First Lady JILL BIDEN is expected to land on “Air Force Two, a United States Air Force C-32 airplane in St. Croix today.

It is the FLOTUS’ second visit to Henry Rohlsen Airport on the Big Island in the last three months.

Details were sketchy about the purpose of BIDEN‘s visit. The White House did not immediately return a request for comment.

When BIDEN went on a five-day Africa trip last month, she drew the ire of the national press corps for giving exclusive photos and interviews to just one news company.

BIDEN traveled to Kibera, a large settlement at the center of Kenya’s capital city of Nairobi, she interacted with locals as she walked through the slum. But only a CNN TV crew was there to capture it.

That’s because the press pool — the small group of reporters and photographers traveling with the first lady and tasked with sharing information with journalists who aren’t there — was positioned hundreds of feet away. The pool was stuck behind large palm trees, out of sight of the first lady who had allowed CNN to shoot exclusive footage of her interactions.

The pool members were livid.

“The rest of the U.S. and Kenyan pool missed at least four minutes of her visit because, again, we were being held at least a hundred feet away and behind several trees,” The Washington Post’s JADA YUAN, one of the print poolers on the trip, wrote in an email distributed to the larger press corps. “Pool vehemently objected. The pool had also asked to send two representatives, one US and one from Kenya, to witness the movement and were told no.”

First Lady Jill Biden

It’s not unusual for press outlets to get exclusive interviews, often while the traveling pool holds in a van or room. But the issue on the trip was considered different: The first lady abroad having interactions in a public place — and the pool being held back. The incident raised questions about the East Wing’s communication and the approach it permits to covering her. Those questions were raised during a strained meeting at the White House last Friday afternoon.

Attendees included CNN Washington bureau chief SAM FEIST, NBC Washington bureau chief and White House TV pool chair KEN STRICKLAND, NPR’s TAMARA KEITH, president of the White House Correspondents’ Association, as well as other WHCA representatives. In addition there were senior East Wing aides and reporters who went on the trip. Some of the journalists in the meeting acknowledged that pool coverage rules for the first lady — who unlike the president does not always have a protective press pool nearby — are far less clear and formal than those used to track the president in real time. But the consensus that emerged was that the first lady’s pool should have access when she’s in a public space.

POLITICO contributed to this report

Exit mobile version