That wasn't the case for two other highly visible public officials elsewhere in the world, who carried confidential documents out in the open and found that the cameras picked up not just the pages in their hands, but the writing on them. They put the documents out in the open without thinking about the technological capacity to zoom, resize and publish the contents. Just this month alone, two prominent examples have occurred in England and France:
- In March, The Guardian published text from UK plans to exempt the City of London from any European Union sanctions against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, with a photo yielding nine substantive bullet points from the memo in question; and
- French justice minister Christiane Taubira, at a news conference to deny prior knowledge of government phone taps on former French president Nicolas Sarkozy, used actual memos as props that upended her own argument: "internal papers she strangely chose to flash before reporters to prove her point were captured in news photographs, and closer observation of the documents suggests Ms. Taubira was far better informed than she claimed."
What are you doing, communicators, to make sure your principal spokesperson isn't flashing the facts around in advance--and that her prepared statement matches the memos she's brandishing in public?
(White House photo)