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Associated Press Photojournalist Calls Obama 'Orwellian' Over Photo Policy

AP Photo / Ron Sachs

Lyon said that the press corps has only been allowed to photograph the President in his office a couple of times, which is unprecedented.

"[T]he press has been allowed to photograph him alone in the Oval Office only twice: in 2009 and in 2010, both times when he was speaking on the phone," Lyon wrote. "Pictures of him at work with his staff in the Oval Office — activities to which previous administrations routinely granted access — have never been allowed."

The White House has defended is policies, stating that they have released more pictures of Obama than any other administration. Lyon said these are merely "visual press releases" or "propaganda."

"Taken by government employees (mostly former photojournalists), they are well composed, compelling and even intimate glimpses of presidential life," he wrote. "They also show the president in the best possible light, as you'd expect from an administration highly conscious of the power of the image at a time of instant sharing of photos and videos."

In November, the White House Correspondents' Association and other news groups submitted a letter to the administration protesting the photography policy, which the administration defended.

"We've taken advantage of new technology to give the American public even greater access to behind-the-scenes footage or photographs of the president doing his job," White House spokesman Josh Earnest said.