Sunday, September 21, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Please, No Pictures Or Questions At This Press Conference

We here at PhillyClout have been at this journalism game for a while now but we can still be surprised from time to time. Take for instance today's press conference at the City Controller's Office, where the most interesting photographs and questions were strictly forbidden. No hard feelings because it was all for a good cause. Controller Alan Butkovitz was hosting a group from Iraq's National Auditor's Office with a three hour seminar on how we watch the books here in the USA.

Please, No Pictures Or Questions At This Press Conference

Alan Butkovitz
Alan Butkovitz

We here at PhillyClout have been at this journalism game for a while now but we can still be surprised from time to time.  Take for instance today's press conference at the City Controller's Office, where the most interesting photographs and questions were strictly forbidden.  No hard feelings here because it was all for a good cause.  Controller Alan Butkovitz was hosting a group from Iraq's National Auditor's Office in a three hour seminar on how we watch the books here in the USA.

Like most press conferences, television and newspaper photographers arrived and started setting up their equipment.  That prompted concerns for the Iraqis, since working for their government is very dangerous, especially when people know what you look like. "You know, personal security is a huge consideration," said Philip Farah of the U.S. Government Accountability Office.  GAO officials are traveling the country with the Iraqi auditors, who are here for five weeks.

Butkovitz welcomed the Iraqis and noted that their office was one of the only branches of government that stayed open and operating during the 2003 U.S. invasion.  Butkovitz then warned that questions about politics and the war, which the Iraqis described as the "2003 events," were off limits to reporters.

Zuhair Toma apologized for the restrictions and said his group was delighted to be in Philadelphia, learning about the Controller's Office.

About this blog
Chris Brennan, a native Philadelphian and graduate of Temple University, joined the Daily News in 1999. He has written about SEPTA, the Philadelphia School District, the legalization of casino gambling, state government, the mayor, the governor, City Council and political campaigns. E-mail tips to brennac@phillynews.com
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Jenny DeHuff is a 2005 graduate of the University of Rhode Island, where she cut her teeth in journalism. A South Philly transplant from New England, she joined the Daily News City Hall Bureau in 2013. For the past several years, she has worked as an investigative reporter exposing corruption in suburban politics, covering sometimes ghastly criminal court cases and following the people’s money and how its spent. In addition to being a dogged news hound, she enjoys reading and writing about travel, animals, Irish whiskey and aviation. E-mail tips to dehuffj@phillynews.com
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