Video from Contentious Pressers with Scott McClellan Withheld from Website Despite Promise of Posting to Come 'Shortly'
Site 'scrubbed' in past, but this seems to be first 'pre-emptive' scrubbing --- [UPDATE] WH FINALLY POSTS VIDEO AFTER BRAD BLOG ARTICLE!
By Brad Friedman on 2/16/2006, 3:26pm PT  

Since the announcement of Dick Cheney's shooting of Harry Whittington during a hunting outing over the weekend, the White House has failed to post the video of its daily Press Briefings on their website, The BRAD BLOG can report.

The video of briefings given by White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan in the James S. Brady Briefing room are usually posted along with the written transcript of those briefings. So far, despite daily promises on the front page of the White House website that the video will be posted "shortly", none of the posted text transcript pages since the shooting have included the promised video from the recent contentious briefings.

"Today's Press Briefing with White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan has concluded. Video from the Press Briefing will be available on the web site shortly," says the front page each day (see screenshot below), and yet as of today, 2/16/05, the video of the briefings from both 2/13, 2/14 and 2/16 have not been made available on the White House website. We wonder why

Video from briefings held for the White House Press Corps in the main James S. Brady Briefing Room, as opposed to teleconferenced briefings or "Press Gaggles" aboard Air Force One, are routinely posted along with the text transcript.

In October of 2004 --- just prior to the November Presidential Election --- The BRAD BLOG discovered that the White House had been removing or "scrubbing" various embarrassing information from their website. The information surreptitiously removed, in apparent violation of the Presidential Records Act of 1978, included a web page listing countries described as part of the "Coalition of the Willing" in Iraq. A massive amount of audio and video, such as George W. Bush's press conference in which he said he was "not that concerned" about Osama bin Laden, was subsequently discovered to have been removed as well.

The Washington Post picked up on our reporting at the time, and eventually, after pressure from the MSM, the White House restored all of that audio and video in the week just prior to the election. Though they never restored their list of "Coalition Member" countries reportedly fighting with the United States in Iraq.

When we contacted the White House for comment at approximately 6:15pm ET, the switchboard operator informed us that there was nobody available to give comment on the matter since "office hours are 9 to 5pm Eastern time" and that we'd have to call back tomorrow. We were told she could not take a message for us, "since nobody is in the office."

When the operator asked where we were from, and we told her BradBlog.com we were immediately put through to a woman in the Media Affairs office.

When we asked about the reason for the missing video, we were put briefly on hold before she returned to report that a "spokesperson" in the Media Affairs office said, "They're actually working on getting that video up right now," but she was able to receive no explanation for the delay. The woman identified herself as "an intern" in the office.

UPDATE: Within an hour of our contact with the White House, they have now added the video from Monday and Tuesday's (2/13 & 2/14) briefings to the transcript pages. Presumably video from today's briefing (2/16) will be added as well, though we didn't catch the front page of the website this morning to see if it had been promised as the previous ones had been.