The office of the Vice President issued an apology to a University of Maryland student over staffers forcing the young man to delete photographs he took of Joe Biden at a public event.
Jeremy Barr, a student reporter for University of Maryland’s Capital News Service, attended Biden’s announcement of another new domestic violence initiative but sat in a section meant for the general audience, not reporters.
The reporter was seen taking photos of the Vice President speaking from the podium. After the speech, he was confronted by a Biden staffer, who demanded that he delete the photos and wouldn’t leave until he watched Barr do so.
In short order, Lucy Dalglish, dean of the University of Maryland’s journalism school, filed a formal complaint with Biden’s office.
Biden’s office claimed it was all a mistake by an over-zealous staffer.
Insisting Biden’s office has a policy of “open press events,” spokeswoman Kendra Barkoff said the incident was an “unfortunate mistake” made by a staffer “who does not regularly interact with the press.”
“Once we learned about it I immediately apologized to the Dean of the College of Journalism at the University of Maryland, the reporter involved and to the newspaper. It will never happen again,” Barkoff said.
Dean Dalglish said the action was “clearly illegal,” but was satisfied with the immediate apology.
“Somebody really screwed up. The vice president’s office probably knows that it’s illegal and certainly knows that it was a stupid thing to do,” Dalglish said.
In March 2012, Biden’s staff was criticized for stuffing a journalist from the Orlando Sentinel in a closet during a Democrat fundraiser he was attempting to cover.