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Biden's speech to AFL-CIO – who banned the cameras anyway?

By Jimmy Orr / March 5, 2009

Vice President Joe Biden spoke to the AFL-CIO today in Miami.

Jake Turcotte


Say what you will about Joe Biden, but one thing's for sure. He's transparent.

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Like last week when he was promoting the website he's overseeing. “We’re going to put every bit of this transparently up on a website," he said.

Then he forgot the name of the website. And the website address. Then he asked someone offstage for the website "number."

But who cares about all that. The important thing is that he's transparent.

Transparent or invisible?

Well, except today. Mr. Transparency almost turned into the Invisible Man.

Biden was speaking at an AFL-CIO conference in Florida. The only problem was that nobody but the attendees could see him.

FOX News screamed, "Cameras Barred from Biden Speech to AFL-CIO".

Barred? Come on. If they let the media in to take pictures of President Obama's new swing set why not Biden's speech?

Who dunnit?

Fox said yesterday the AFL-CIO told them it was the vice president's decision. Today the AFL-CIO told Fox it was actually their decision. They just forgot.

Option #2 sounded better to the vice president's office so they chose that one. It was the AFL-CIO's decision.

And it makes sense. After all, why would the AFL-CIO want the public to see how supportive the vice president is of them?

That would be bragging!


But according to Biden's office, the VP wouldn't stand for the secrecy. He wanted the doors opened. It was just like the Age of Aquarius. Let the sunshine in!

Except no TV cameras. Or a whole bunch of reporters.

Instead a small pool of print reporters could cover it and then a transcript of the speech would be sent out to all the other reporters who were still barred.

This was "part of [Biden's] unprecedented commitment to transparency," the VP's office said.


The speech

What'd he talk about?

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