It appears the Washington Post on Friday revised the story about Barack Obama’s trip to Africa with no note to the reader about the changes.
The Washington Post on Thursday reported the White House canceled Barack Obama’s Tanzanian safari “following inquiries” from the paper “about the trip’s purpose and expense” – but the version online and in print on Friday offers a different take with no clarification or note that the story has been updated and changed.
In the first version, there’s a direct connection between the Washington Post’s inquiries and the canceled safari – and in the updated version, that link is no longer directly made. Readers to the item, meanwhile, were not told that any information in the story had been revised. The story states “published: June 13,” but not that it was updated and revised.
“Obama’s trip to Africa could cost $60 million to $100 million based on the costs of similar African trips in recent years, according to one person familiar with the journey,” the Washington Post reported.
In the first version of the story, posted online on Thursday, the reporters stated: “The president and first lady had also planned to take a Tanzanian safari as part of the trip, which would have required the president’s special counter-assault team to carry sniper rifles with high-caliber rounds that could neutralize cheetahs, lions or other animals if they became a threat, according to the planning document. But the White House canceled the safari on Wednesday following inquiries from The Washington Post about the trip’s purpose and expense, according to a person familiar with the decision.”
Friday’s version of the story – both online and in print – has the same set-up in the section about the canceled Tanzanian safari, but no longer includes the line that the White House canceled the trip following their inquiries. Instead, the story now reads that officials said the safari had been canceled in favor of a trip to Robben Island.
“When The Post first asked White House officials about the safari last week, they said no final decision had been made,” the story reads.
“A White House official said Thursday that the cancellation was not related to The Post’s inquiries.”
Spokesman Josh Earnest told the newspaper: “We do not have a limitless supply of assets to support presidential missions, and we prioritized a visit to Robben Island over a two-hour safari in Tanzania. Unfortunately, we couldn’t do both.”
It appears the Washington Post revised the story about Barack Obama’s trip to Africa with no note to the reader about the changes
The Washington Post, however, notes that “internal administration documents circulated in April show that the Obama family was scheduled to go to both Robben Island and the safari park, according to a person familiar with the plans.”
The story does not include any indication that it was revised and updated.
Document: Major resources needed for Obama Africa trip is currently #1 on the Washington Post’s “most popular” list for Politics.
President Barack Obama’s trip to Africa this month could cost the tax payers anywhere from $60 million to $100 million, according to the Washington Post, which obtained an internal planning document for the travel itinerary.
At the end of June, President Barack Obama and his family will take an eight-day trip to sub-Saharan Africa, making stops in Senegal, Tanzania, and South Africa in the name of reinforcing U.S. commitment to forging strong relationships with emerging democracies in the region.
Barack Obama will hold meetings with “a wide array of leaders from government, business, and civil society, including youth,” according to a White House press release announcing the trip, and seek to “underscore the [his administration’s] commitment to broadening and deepening cooperation between the U.S. and the people of sub-Saharan Africa to advance regional and global peace and prosperity.”
Presidential trips to foreign countries tend to be expensive in any administration: According to the Washington Post, former President Bill Clinton’s 1998 trip to Africa racked up a bill of at least $42.7 million, not including what were likely significant Secret Service costs. For his part, former President George W. Bush and his wife, Laura, took two trips to Africa in 2003 and 2008, involving significant resources as well. But there are also paper reports that, due to “a confluence of factors,” Barack Obama’s three-country trip could be “one of the most expensive” of his presidency.
“Obama’s trip could cost the federal government $60 million to $100 million based on the costs of similar African trips in recent years, according to one person familiar with the journey, who was not authorized to speak for attribution,” the Washington Post reported. The paper said that it received the internal planning document from a “person who is concerned about the amount of resources necessary for the trip.”
President Barack Obama’s trip to Africa this month could cost the tax payers anywhere from $60 million to $100 million
According to the Washington Post, the expenses listed on the document include: “Hundreds of U.S. Secret Service agents will be dispatched to secure facilities in Senegal, South Africa and Tanzania. A Navy aircraft carrier or amphibious ship, with a fully staffed medical trauma center, will be stationed offshore in case of an emergency.
“Military cargo planes will airlift in 56 support vehicles, including 14 limousines and three trucks loaded with sheets of bulletproof glass to cover the windows of the hotels where the first family will stay. Fighter jets will fly in shifts, giving 24-hour coverage over the president’s airspace, so they can intervene quickly if an errant plane gets too close.”
Other sources of expense include the use of 56 vehicles and hundreds of Secret Service agents, according to the Washington Post. The document, however, did not note specific prices.
President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama had reportedly been planning to go on a safari in Tanzania, but the Washington Post says that trip was canceled after reporters inquired into the cost and purpose of the trip.
At a press briefing on Friday, White House spokesman Ben Rhodes defended the trip, noting that “we have not traveled to Africa in the same way that we’ve traveled to other regions in the world” and that “Africa’s a critically important region of the world.”
“We have huge interests there… So for the United States to say, <<We’re a world leader except in this continent>> doesn’t make any sense,” Ben Rhodes told reporters.
“From a foreign policy perspective, in some respects, people believe this trip is overdue. And, frankly, there will be a great bang for our buck for being in Africa, because when you travel to regions like Africa that don’t get a lot of presidential attention, you can have very long-standing and long-running impact from the visit.”