The Daily Caller

The Daily Caller

UPDATED: White House asked California paper to take out unflattering remark about first lady

Update: response from FLOTUS office posted below

A small weekly paper in California claims that a White House official asked it to remove a sentence from a “benign” feature about Marine One because it reflected poorly on first lady Michelle Obama.

In an email to The Daily Caller, Gina Channell-Allen, president of the Pleasanton Weekly in Pleasanton, California, said that her paper “received a call from the White House asking us to take out part of the story because it reflected poorly on the First Lady.”

The story in question was a soft feature about Marine One titled, “Inside Marine One, President Obama’s helicopter,” that ran in the paper on April 20. Pleasanton staffer Amory Gutierrez “didn’t get to ride in ‘Marine One,’” she wrote in her story, “but I did get the VIP tour and took photographs of the otherwise unseen aircraft.”

She also wrote a sentence that the White House thought made FLOTUS look snooty.

“Basically the reporter said that the First Lady didn’t speak to the pilots but acknowledged them by making eye contact,” Allen wrote in her email.

UPDATE: Katie McCormick Lelyveld, FLOTUS’ press secretary, wrote the following in an email: “Our office has never interacted with the Pleasanton paper, and not knowing the story existed, we never asked for such a line to be removed.”

Allen says she “complied” with the White House’s request “because it was not worth making a fuss over.”

She added, “I thought it was interesting, though, that the [White House] was concerned enough about image to contact a little weekly paper in Pleasanton.”

The White House communications office did not return requests for comment.

Allen said she emailed TheDC after reading about the San Francisco Chronicle’s recent spat with the White House communications office.