The left often condemns President Trump’s frequent attacks on the mainstream media, but an event attended by former president Barack Obama on Friday is being shrouded in secrecy, with the media and attendees being ordered to not report a word of what takes place during the “conversation with Obama.”
The Boston Globe reported Friday that Obama is scheduled to participate in a Sports Analytics Conference hosted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, where he will reportedly “discuss his time in office and the next chapter of his life.” But sharing or reporting on the contents of the event is strictly forbidden.
An e-mail sent to those heading to the venue for the “conversation with Obama” reads like a line from the movie “Fight Club”: The first rule of seeing the former commander-in-chief is don’t talk about seeing the former-commander-in-chief.
During Obama’s panel, photography; video recording; streaming; and social media-posting, including on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and other platforms will not be permitted — “without exception,” the warning spelled out.
The regulations went for after the event, too.
“Following the panel, the sharing or reporting of its contents on public platforms, including social media, will not be permitted,” the notice reads. “Those who fail to adhere to this policy will be subject to removal from the conference and denied tickets to future SSAC conferences.”
Reportedly, over 3,500 people from over 35 countries are attending, representing over 200 universities and 600 organizations.
The first rule of seeing Barack Obama in Boston is don’t talk about seeing Barack Obama in Boston https://t.co/xsia0H7xPV
— The Boston Globe (@BostonGlobe) February 23, 2018
That @MIT is hosting a talk by Obama that prohibits photography, video streaming, and social media-posting during the event — and reporting of it after! — is absurd. Not the business a university should be in. https://t.co/uurIokoYdP
— Jay Rosen (@jayrosen_nyu) February 23, 2018
What could he be talking about? Former president Obama has a total media blackout for his speech at the MIT sports analytics conference this afternoon: https://t.co/nYwvq4lgkb
— Jason Tuohey (@jtuohey21) February 23, 2018
Why Obama talking about baseball stats is off the record is beyond me. https://t.co/1bLJAMM5Gj
— Daniel (@DanielStrauss4) February 23, 2018
I’ve been at the Boston Convention Center for 2 hours & here’s all I’ve learned about @BarackObama‘s speech today:
1. Obama talked about importance of data in making decisions
2. Obama is fan of the @spurs
3. Majority of attendees don’t want to talk about what was said #WCVB
— Matt Reed (@MattReedNews) February 23, 2018