Despite Claiming Party Wasn’t Secret, Johnny Depp And Tim Burton Not In White House Visitor Logs

Yesterday White House mouthpiece Jay Carney said it was “irresponsible” for the media to suggest that a 2009 Halloween party, described in a book by a New York Times correspondent as being hidden from the public’s eyes over the administration’s fear of how it would be perceived, was kept secret. “There are outlets that have reported this as a secret party, which is just silly — it’s irresponsible reporting to suggest that you would have a pool report and the press at an event that’s secret,” said Carney. “This wasn’t a publicity event, this was an event for military children.”

Well if everything was above board, if this wasn’t about keeping things secret, then why didn’t two of the party’s luminaries – actor Johnny Depp and director Tim Burton – appear on the White House visitor logs?

The White House is under fire for reportedly trying to downplay the role that two Hollywood stars played at a 2009 Halloween party, with press secretary Jay Carney today calling the media’s reporting on the incident “irresponsible” and denying reports of an attempted cover-up. But no record of the two stars, Johnny Depp and Tim Burton, appears in the official White House visitors logs.

An administration source said that entertainers are generally not recorded in the visitors logs. “Entertainers and production crews who are working events are generally not WAVED in since they are not guests visiting the White House, they are working,” the official said. …

Other stars — even when they are the entertainment — have appeared in the logs. A May 11th poetry reading by the rapper Common, for example, was logged. So were musicians Herbie Hancock and Stevie Wonder when they played at President Obama’s 50th birthday.

To be fair, the article goes on to note that at least one other celebrity – Beyonce Knowles – has performed at the White House without being logged. But then again, Knowles’ was a pretty high-profile visit.

And what’s the point of the logs if the White House can pick and choose who gets logged?

I’m still shocked that, when the Obama administration wanted this quiet, the media in 2009 apparently went along with it. There had to be reporters who knew this event was going on, and yet there were no contemporaneous media reports about it. That shows a disquieting level of collusion.

Rob Port

Rob Port is the editor of In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters.

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