The news website Vocativ was at Martha’s Vineyard over the weekend filming a piece about the island’s African-American community when they accidentally spotted First Lady Michelle Obama. They were then asked to turn off their camera for 15 minutes.
In the video, the first lady was taking what appeared to be a power walk, with a rather large security team surrounding her. A member of the Secret Service goes up to the cameraman and says, “Come on really?”
The first lady mouthed “Don’t do that” when the agents blocked the crew, and the crew wasn’t sure if it was meant to tell the Secret Service to stop trying to shut them down or to tell Vocativ to stop filming.
“Come on sir, she’s having a private moment right now,” a secret service member can be heard saying to the cameraman.
Another secret service member can be heard saying that it’s not illegal “but we can restrict your distance to her.”
Costrel wrote they weren’t sure what the problem was, and praised Michelle Obama for “practicing what she preaches.”
“Vocativ isn’t part of the establishment press, and the closest we’ve ever been to the official “pool” of reporters who follow around the Obamas is the pool back at the hotel,” Costrel explained. “So maybe we just never got the memo about the rules of engagement while POTUS and FLOTUS are on holiday.”
White House Dossier reporter Keith Koffler, who describes himself as a “veteran White House reporter,” did not approve of the Secret Service’s actions.
“If Michelle wanted a private moment, she could have taken it on the estate she rented for her vacation,” Koffler wrote. “That an armed federal security officer was bullying reporters trying to photograph the first lady in a public place is an unadulterated outrage. It is a violation of our basic principles.”