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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

OT (?): Bush Campaign Insists on Knowing Race of Photog'
Joshua Gibney, Photographer
Danbury | CT | USA | Posted: 11:42 AM on 08.01.04
->> I found this this morning:
http://www.azstarnet.com/dailystar/dailystar/32301.php
I certainly don't want to start any kind of political discussion, this is not the place, but I'm wondering if anyone has heard any other stories similar to this, and what some thoughts are. Have any photographers run into any difficulties because of their name/background?
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andrew wilz, Photographer
Aspen | CO | usa | Posted: 12:15 PM on 08.01.04
->> no... but perhaps i may have issues if we don't get the Bush situation taken care of....pronto...
(i can ALMOST not believe it... but then.. again...)
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Mike O'Bryon, Photographer
Ft. Lauderdale | FL | USA | Posted: 12:30 PM on 08.01.04
->> I "believe" the Teri Hayt mentioned is the former Teri Daubner of Sports Illustrated's picture department...and sister in law to Andy Hayt.

It helps to have been around a long time
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Andrew Brosig, Photographer
Nacogdoches | TX | USA | Posted: 12:48 PM on 08.01.04
->> That's more than a little scary. That's just sick! I'm probably going to get crap for this next statement, but suppose the photographer had an African-American "sounding" name? What would the consequences been then? How much more of a stink would be raised. It's clearly racial profiling. Is this really the great democracy President Bush and his administration want to give us for four more years?
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George F. Lee, Photographer
Honolulu | HI | USA | Posted: 4:59 PM on 08.01.04
->> Having covered GW Bush and Bill Clinton (2x) and undergoing the meticulous background check and physical inspection of person and equipment by the Secret Service. I can't imagine what difference knowing the race of photographer would make. I guess they're scared that someone might chuck a lens at him.
"Dude, where's my country?"

Aloha
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John Burns, Photographer
Archdale | NC | USA | Posted: 5:01 PM on 08.01.04
->> It's not just photographers. When Cheney spoke the other night anyone trying to get in to hear him that ware not known had to provide personal info AND then sign a pledge to support Bush.

"Vietnam veteran Michael Ortiz y Pino said he refused to sign the pledge and was refused tickets.

Ortiz y Pino said he was asked if he associated with veterans, pro-life, gun rights or teacher groups.

Neither man wanted to give driver's license numbers but did so."

Story is here if you are interested.
http://www.casperstartribune.net/articles/2004/07/30/news/wyoming/63b4fcb92...
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Scott Sewell, Photographer
Topeka | KS | USA | Posted: 6:23 PM on 08.01.04
->> Wow. These two links are unbelievable!

George, you said it right..."Dude, where's my country?"!!
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Kyle Ericson, Photographer
St. Peters | MO | USA | Posted: 9:44 PM on 08.01.04
->> Are you reading everything in the stories, or just the part you want to hear?
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David Martin Olson, Student/Intern, Photographer
Sacramento | CA | | Posted: 11:25 PM on 08.01.04
->> Kyle:

Please explain.
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Jeff Stanton, Photographer
Tucson | AZ | USA | Posted: 12:49 AM on 08.02.04
->> It would seem to me Ms. Hayt rushed to a conclusion that this was a race issue.

Our newspaper is right across the courtyard from them and it could be easily assumed that we would be covering VP Cheney's visit - and we did.

The fact is, we were also telephoned by the Bush-Cheney camp to verify my race and gang, my name is as anglo as they come. When I arrived at the event, I was subject to name verification. I was searched, they used a metal detector on me, two secret service guys searched my bag and a bomb/drug dog inspected my bag as well. I do not believe race had a thing to do with it.

These are the times we live in folks. Security was tight and the federal government is not taking any chances when it comes to the safety of the President and VP. This was absolutely blown out of proportion.
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Scott Sewell, Photographer
Topeka | KS | USA | Posted: 1:30 AM on 08.02.04
->> I'd like to hear Kyle's explanation, too.

"...the times we live in." Now isn't that a great slogan for someone's campaign?
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Ramin Rahimian, Photographer
San Rafael | CA | USA | Posted: 2:23 AM on 08.02.04
->> this was not blown out of proportion....whenever you shoot the president, they only ask for you SS number, name, and DOB.....this administration is very shady
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Noah Bryant, Photographer
Lakewood | CO | US | Posted: 2:48 AM on 08.02.04
->> Threads like this make me want to stop coming to this site.

"but perhaps i may have issues if we don't get the Bush situation taken care of....pronto..."

"Dude, where's my country?"

"this administration is very shady"

Joshua, either you had every intention of turning this into a "political debate" or you're very naive.

Security sucks for everyone, deal with it.
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Ramin Rahimian, Photographer
San Rafael | CA | USA | Posted: 3:35 AM on 08.02.04
->> why would this make you stop coming to this site? i don't understand? what's wrong with people saying these things? i agree that this site should be for photography only but when we do speak of politics, this site is not only for a certain political inclination....
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Jim Comeau, Student/Intern, Photographer
Los Angeles | CA | USA | Posted: 5:34 AM on 08.02.04
->> I'm sure they'll ask for more than your SS number if you shoot the president.

Oh and these are very similar
http://www.sportsshooter.com/funpix_view.html?id=1831
edit: I cant seem to find the "probing" of Robert Caplin at Clinton's book signing
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Richard Orr, Photographer
Longmeadow | MA | USA | Posted: 5:51 AM on 08.02.04
->> Whats wrong with this thread is that you assume immediately that the VP's staff is going to use the personal information for bad things. Even when they tell you the truth, you dont believe it. You dont want to believe it.

The point of a discussion is to ask a question and be open to an answer. When you ask a question and are NOT open to the answer, or just assume the answer is a lie, then its not a discussion. Its a speech.
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Jeff Stanton, Photographer
Tucson | AZ | USA | Posted: 6:06 AM on 08.02.04
->> Well put, RIchard. Here is the thing. The editor of our competitor could have very easily picked up the phone, called our editor and said, "hey, did the Bush-Cheney campaign telephone and ask for the ethnicity of your staff members covering the event?" I mean, she could have yelled across the courtyard to us from her office, it is that close. It would have been easy to verify that information.

Instead, it was made into an issue which should have been a non-issue. I don't like these invasions anymore than the next person, but saying that this was racial profiling when our reporter is a white male and I am a white male, well, I just don't see it, folks.
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Ken Carozza, Photographer
Bronx | NY | USA | Posted: 7:10 AM on 08.02.04
->> I know the media in this country is completely libral, but do we have to turn this into a Busch bashing contest. This is a web page for "spots photographers" not an online issue of "Crossfire." I once recall that I was pummeled on this site fot bringing up a thread on "Nikon Rumers" because I wanted to know if anyone heard anything about upcoming Nikon products. I was told that as professionals, there was know place for that on this site. What a crock! But talking or should I say "comenting" on the president is totally fine. People really need to get there priorities set. This whole thread is very disappointing.
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Saul Loeb, Photographer, Student/Intern
Washington | DC | USA | Posted: 8:59 AM on 08.02.04
->> Jim,

They usually just ask for DOB, SS# and once in a while, place of birth.
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Geoff Miller, Photographer
Portage | MI | USA | Posted: 9:11 AM on 08.02.04
->> Jeff,

I totally agree. As for the Pino "incident". Sorry, but campaign rallies are often times PRIVATE functions. The campaigns can allow in, or deny enter, whoever they wish. Campaigns will be vigilant to try and keep hecklers out and prevent embarassing and potentially politically damaging incidents from taking place. There's a name for the technique when people attempt to politically harm a candidate they oppose in such a manner. It's called "Bird-Dogging". There are a whole slew of web sites devoted to the art.

If you want to see why it's important to guard against such incidents, you only have to look at the implosion of Howard Dean's campaign in Iowa. Analysts point to Dean's angry response in front of the cameras to the guy, a Republican, who asked him about the lack of civility towards Bush in his campaign as the turning point for Dean. From there it was all down hill until "I Have A Scream".

During Bush's last two campaign stops here (in 2000 and 2004) there were groups of people not admitted. In 2000 it was a private elementary school class that showed up and day of the event, with no tickets, and many of them waving Nader signs and were SHOCKED that they were turned away. Last May a group from one of the local Campus Democrats organizations was asked to leave, even though they had tickets, when they were recognized by members of their counterparts of the Campus Republicans. Both events were private functions that took place on private property. As such, you attend at the campaign's pleasure. And that's not just a "Bush" thing.
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Joshua Gibney, Photographer
Danbury | CT | USA | Posted: 9:18 AM on 08.02.04
->> Noah,
If I said, "I certainly don't want to turn this into a political discussion", that's what I meant. Politics is not something I care to discuss, if you knew me (as a few people on here do) you'd know that. I saw an article regarding photographers, which I'm sure a few of you are, and thought it was interesting, and wonderd if it was something that anyone here may have had to deal with. I'm not anti-bush, pro-kerry, so I don't have an agenda here. If it was inappropriate to post that article, I am sorry, and don't mind if someone takes the post down. Not a big deal to me!
-gib
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Jason Orth, Photographer
Lincoln | NE | USA | Posted: 10:54 AM on 08.02.04
->> When I first read this article, my first inclination was that the Cheney bunch wanted to know the race for identification purposes, and the paper blew it out of proportion making an issue out of a non-issue. I agree with my initial assumption.

It's like giving a description of the guy who robbed a liquor store. If you can identify them as white or black or asian or martian or whatever, it helps narrow the group down.
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Daniel Bersak, Photographer, Photo Editor
Medford | MA | USA | Posted: 11:31 AM on 08.02.04
->> Hey-

Maybe someone has posted this before, but it's never wise to use the words shoot and President in the same sentence (even in the context of photography). Photograph, cover, or take pictures of are better verbs. Having just hung out with SS agents at the DNC for the past week, they're very appreciative when you make their job easier. We now return to your regularly scheduled political debate.

--Dan
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Kyle Ericson, Photographer
St. Peters | MO | USA | Posted: 12:46 PM on 08.02.04
->> I can't add to what others have said. I had a long oratory written but I don't want to exhaust the Sportsshooter webmasters space on a topic that won't resolve in the near future.

My point was that if you read the stories, you'll see that the event organizers were trying to protect their own interests. Why would you want to allow people into your party event, that: 1) may lie and decieve to gain access 2) hate your guts. (Ref: the Star Tribune story for item#1)

Racial profiling........happens. I'm a caucasian male, and it's happened...not to the negative degree suffered by so many others, but it happens. There are many places I can't go or feel safe because of how I look. I may have gotten jobs or gained friends because of my race. I don't know.

You can't MAKE a person think differently than he has believed all of his life. You can't make a judgement on a person based on what you THINK he was thinking. Democrat or Republican. Both racial profile with different outcomes.

In this day and age, why would you act surprised or angry when someone is profiled based on their surface. Based on their clothes. Based on their hair. Based on their car style. Based on the size of their lens. If they use Nikon or Canon. People intentionally dress themselves up in certain ways in order to get a desired reaction from others. That's a type of profiling that's encouraged and desired.....however it doesn't necessarily tell you about that persons character. People make a prejudicial profile based on history between races. In one way or another, prejudgements occur in all facets of life.

If you can tell me what was going on in the head of the event organizer that asked the question about race, then I'm sure many of us would be curious to know.

And then, why would there be so many stories about Islamic Americans that are concerned that they may be negatively profiled? Why are so many Islamic Americans feeling pressure?
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David M. Russell, Photographer
New York | NY | USA | Posted: 12:56 PM on 08.02.04
->> A long time ago in a state not to far away I was pulled over for speeding.

They kept me on the side of the road for 45 minutes while every cop in town suddenly appeared and drove by over and over again. Finally, two officers approached my car -- the original officer who took my license and a back up -- hands on pistols.

"How tall are you?"

"I'm 6'5". Why?"

"I told you he was too tall!"

Seems there was another David M. Russell with my same DOB that was wanted for some felonies. The only thing between me and a ride downtown was the fact that I was much taller than the other guy.

That said, I've never had a problem with the secret service.
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Greg Ruffing, Photographer
Cleveland | OH | | Posted: 1:25 PM on 08.02.04
->> Greetings Sportsshooter comrades,
I would like to reiterate the comments of those who said that this discussion is about photography, not politics. This is an issue about a photographer's ability to do his/her job, and how that can be negatively affected by gov't influence. This is NOT an issue of our political views or subjective feelings about the Secret Service, Bush, Cheney, et. al. I think we'd all probably agree that the current security measures are a hassle to all photographers (and media in general), and we could argue endlessly about the necessity and severity of the security procedures. What is at issue here is security, not politics. Security will always be there, and it will likely continue to get tighter. But that's not to say we should roll over and say "these are the times we live in," as some of you have. This complacency does nothing to improve our working conditions as they relate to security. What we should do is have discussion--and take that discussion beyond just the Sportsshooter message board. I completely disagree with those of you who claim that this discussion is irrelevant or out of place on this site. This discussion is imperative. But again, its about security measures and how they affect our work, NOT about politics. Security to cover the Kerry-Edwards ticket is tight as well (although I've yet to hear of such an incident there). Maybe some of us are so heated about being on one side or the other b/c this is one of the most politically charged and polarized election years in recent history. But I would imagine that the gov't restrictions would likely be the same if we had a Democrat as president.
But in addition, I think we all need to be a bit more sensitive when considering the POTENTIAL racial connotations of this situation (emphasis on the word "potential"). Some people are implying (either directly or indirectly) that this is a case of racial profiling. And maybe that's right, and maybe its not. But I think its way too easy for people to ignore or discredit racial profiling when you're a middle-aged white male. Let's not make that mistake. For all the rhetoric and lip service and nice-talking in our society, race relations is still a major problem. And, just like tight security is considered a facet of post-9/11 America, so too is racial profiling and general mistrust of people of Middle Eastern descent--my understanding is that the photog in question is of Indian descent; this also relates to an incident from within the last month or so in Seattle, where a photog (may have been a student, amateur, or tourist, I don't exactly remember) of Middle Eastern descent was harassed and interrogated for photographing tourist landmarks. This is ridiculous and unnecessary.
I'm a supporter of vigilence just as much as the next guy, but I am NOT a supporter of knee-jerk paranoia and discrimination.
If you've read down this far, thanks.
Regards,
--Greg Ruffing
photojournalist
Lorain Journal
Lorain, OH
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Hans Kilian, Photographer
Frederiksberg | Denmark | Denmark | Posted: 2:25 PM on 08.02.04
->> I don't know how it is in the US, but here in Denmark the registration of an individuals race or religous belief is illegal - as part of anti-discriminatory legislation. So asking what race someone is would also be illegal.

And I can understand why someone would be offended by the question - even if it is asked of everybody.
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Jeff Stanton, Photographer
Tucson | AZ | USA | Posted: 4:59 PM on 08.02.04
->> Hey Greg ... Sir, these ARE the times we live in. It's post 9/11. This isn't 1955 and Ike isn't running the country. Those people who flew those planes into the WTC and Pentegon were not born and raised in Kentucky or Pennsylvania. They were of middle eastern decent with dark faces. And people who look similar to that are going to get second and third looks by federal law enforcement types. That's not going to change regardless of how much bitching about racism or profiling that anyone does.

Of course, I'm sure they would welcome any suggestions you might have regarding the issue of how not to racially profile members of the media. I don't believe it will happen.

In 1985, we were covering a Reagon visit to Indiana. The Secret Service were going through one photographer's camera bag and came across a marijuana roach. The agent looked at it, smelled it, then tossed it back in the camera bag and waved the photographer on in. Do you think that would happen now? No way. And that's because a lot has changed.

By the way, security may be tight for the Kerry campaign, but he's not the president and there is a huge difference.
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Alan Look, Photographer
Bloomington | IL | United States | Posted: 5:06 PM on 08.02.04
->> If we all keyed our decisions off a name, would Barack Obama ever get a vote? If Kerry gets elected and Obama makes it to the US Senate, will the same question be asked by the Secret Service before he can join the John's for dinner?
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Colin Corneau, Photographer
Brandon | MB | Canada | Posted: 5:18 PM on 08.02.04
->> "...Those people who flew those planes into the WTC and Pentegon were not born and raised in Kentucky or Pennsylvania. They were of middle eastern decent with dark faces..."

Hey Jeff, I bet Timothy McVeigh would have got a big laugh out of your post.
Whatever happened to the media acting as a check & balance against excesses by the state? It's a big responsibility, IMHO.
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Jeff Stanton, Photographer
Tucson | AZ | USA | Posted: 6:03 PM on 08.02.04
->> Colin ... Well, perhaps he would have got a big laugh about it. I don't really know. It was before 9/11, though. And the law prosecuted Mr. McVeigh and a jury sent him into enternity - where he belongs.
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Nik Habicht, Photographer
Trenton | NJ | USA | Posted: 8:54 PM on 08.02.04
->> A relative of mine lost his green card at the airport in Germany one day. After getting a letter from the American Consulate in Frankfurt, he was readmitted to the US. Even after having his Green card replaced, he is stopped at immigration every time he tries to re-enter the country. Immigration detains him in a separate office for a little while, access his records, ask him a few questions and then admit him to the country. Why? Well, the concern is that someone might have picked up and copied (with a different fingerprint and photo) his green card; that there could in fact be two individuals seeking admission to the country --- one of whom has no business being here. What does this have to with the original question? Asking for the photographers' or reporters' races simply adds one more layer to the security equation. Think this is bad? Biometrics is around the corner.....
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Jeremy Harmon, Photographer
Salt Lake City | UT | USA | Posted: 4:22 PM on 08.08.04
->> "...Those people who flew those planes into the WTC and Pentegon were not born and raised in Kentucky or Pennsylvania. They were of middle eastern decent with dark faces..."

Using that same logic, I am now afraid of white southerners because they might be in the KKK.
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Michael Fischer, Photographer
Spencer | Ia | USA | Posted: 4:49 PM on 08.08.04
->> This is one of the more interesting posts. Is it political? Gib says he had no intention, so I'll give him the benefit of the doubt.

What IS interesting is the heightened responses from what appears to be both sides of our political spectrum.

I've said before that politics and religion don't belong on here. If there's a silver lining to all of this - it's that more Americans seem interested in this election. Regardless of race, color, creed, the founding fathers would be happy to see that - that's when the system works the best.

Don't forget to register if you aren't - don't forget to vote if you are.
Michael
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Isaac Davis, Photographer
Saugus | CA | USA | Posted: 7:46 PM on 08.09.04
->> Just to throw a little sanity into this thread, do you think they could be asking these questions just to see who stutters at them. I mean they are things you should know about yourself. If you are assuming a fake identity, and are asked where you were born, if you pause to think about it, then chances are you are up to something. Maybe they aren't compiling a database as much as asking things that you shouldn't have to think about to answer, and if you pause, gotcha..
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Thread Title: OT (?): Bush Campaign Insists on Knowing Race of Photog'
Thread Started By: Joshua Gibney
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