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Inside Marine One, President Obama's helicopter

Original post made on Apr 21, 2011

One could imagine what it would be like to fly in the helicopter that safely picks up and delivers President Barack Obama, but until you actually hop inside, you really have no idea. No, I didn't get to ride in "Marine One" (Air Force One, but Marine style) but I did get the VIP tour and took photographs of the otherwise unseen aircraft.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, April 20, 2011, 5:01 PM

Comments (34)

Posted by thruth
a resident of Birdland
on Apr 21, 2011 at 10:17 am

look what MY tax dollars bought!

Posted by b
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 21, 2011 at 10:46 am

Yeah, no shortage of tax dollars for the Marines. I wonder how many teachers that money could've paid for...

Posted by Carlos
a resident of Highland Oaks
on Apr 21, 2011 at 3:47 pm

This helicopter isn't for the Marines. I'ts for the president. Any president. The Marines have always been known for doing more with less than any other service.

Carlos Army 64-66

Posted by citizen
a resident of another community
on May 3, 2011 at 11:05 am

What's this I hear? The White House calls and asks the Pleaseaton Weekly to remove the line in the story that mentioned how Michelle Obama acknowleges the Marine pilots by merely looking at them.

Well, she IS the First Lady, after all. I suppose she feels she's entitled to have attitude.

Posted by Connecticut Observer
a resident of another community
on May 3, 2011 at 11:20 am

I've just read that the 'reporter' of this story caved into requests from the White House to remove from the original story a sentence that was unflattering of Michelle Obama. I'm sorry that you believe it to be 'no big deal' that you are controlled by this administration [portion removed because it was directed at an individual].

Posted by Marc
a resident of another community
on May 3, 2011 at 11:46 am

That's funny, you seem to be removing any comments that are even mildly critical of your approach to free speech or the First Lady. They remain posted for about 10 minutes and then are removed and substituted with the phrase "[Post removed because it is hearsay and unfounded.]" And you wonder why your First Amendment credentials seem suspect?

Posted by lizrp
a resident of Sycamore Heights
on May 3, 2011 at 11:51 am

The title of this article is offensive. This is not Obama's nor any other president's, for that matter. It belongs to the United States of America (says so on its side)and the OFFICE of President of the United States. The current holder of that office is not even fit to be flown by our military whom he greatly despises and resents. If they were not of the character that they are, they'd probably refuse to fly him and his wife, who hates them even more than her husband. We aren't falling for the "love the troops" facade.

Posted by citizen
a resident of another community
on May 3, 2011 at 12:03 pm

lizrp, your post will likely be removed becauase it's (hearsay and unfounded), but in reality because Obama was mentioned in a less-than-fawning manner.

Posted by Tay
a resident of another community
on May 3, 2011 at 12:04 pm

How can an opinion (which I think most comments are comprised of) not be anything other than hearsay? And, how exactly does one go about making their comment 'founded'? Sounds like fishy policies, especially coming from a publication who's reporter has admitted cow-towing to the White Houses request to alter their story so as to make the FLOTUS look 'less snooty'... But I wouldn't be surprised if this comment is deemed 'hearsay and unfounded' and removed. RIP once respectable profession of Journalism!

Posted by Abbie65
a resident of California Somerset
on May 3, 2011 at 12:15 pm

What a shame that your paper removed a comment, which was not an error, just because the White House asked you to. Stick to your guns, that's what journalism is all about

Posted by Gina Channell-Allen
president of the Pleasanton Weekly
on May 3, 2011 at 12:17 pm

Gina Channell-Allen is a registered user.

It is hearsay in that it's not fact. Here's the real story: The demand to take out a line of the story was not about the First Lady. The reporter was contacted to remove a statement about a security procedure because having it in the public might endanger the President and First Lady. We are obviously going to comply with that and would be irresponsible not to.

They also mentioned taking out a line that could be misconstrued about the First Lady. It wasn't going to change lives or destroy administrations by leaving it in or taking it out. When you've just been asked to do something to keep the President of the United States from harm, taking a line out about something like that is not a question. Even journalists have to choose our battles.

Posted by citizen
a resident of another community
on May 3, 2011 at 12:28 pm

Ms. Chabbel-Allen, I appreciate your response. I've not seen a forum that removes posts on such criteria. Typically, posts are removed if they are threatening, defamatory, spam, racism, etc. I've never seen posts being removed based on criticism of a public figure, whether perceived to be accurate or not from the perspective of the editorial staff. But it's your paper. Thanks for allowing me to post.

Posted by American
a resident of another community
on May 3, 2011 at 12:56 pm

I followed a link from Web Link

that led me to THIS page.

You obviously did what the current administration told you to do but then you notified

Are you flip-flopping or what?

What kind of press pass do you have that you would compromise journalistic integrity (if there is such a thing) to keep?

Posted by Gina Channell-Allen
president of the Pleasanton Weekly
on May 3, 2011 at 12:57 pm

Gina Channell-Allen is a registered user.

Citizen, I appreciate that. We have in the past removed parts of posts we know are not true, or have at least posted our own response. But your post led me to consult with other staffers about how to proceed.
Now that I have posted what really happened, I have put the post by Citizen at 11:05 a.m. back online so the train of thought can be followed too.
We need to be transparent with why we make the decisions we do. Thank you for challenging us like this.

Posted by Marc
a resident of another community
on May 3, 2011 at 1:05 pm

Ms. Channell-Allen, I'm perfectly fine with removing details of secruity protocols that could impact safety.

But you have been quoted as saying that your paper "received a call from the White House asking us to take out part of the story because it reflected poorly on the First Lady." (That's not hearsay to you, by the way -- you can just take this opportunity to confirm whether you really said that or not. No need to delete this comment.)

Assuming you were quoted accurately, and regardless of whether the paper had already agreed to some other omission for security reasons, isn't that the kind of bossy vanity from a public servant worth pushing back against? Maybe it's not a "big deal" in the abstract -- Wikileaks you're not -- but I think it's definitely worthwhile for your profession to remain independent and to do so loudly even on the small stuff to which you may otherwise be sympathetic.

Anyway, thanks for having the guts to comment here. Much appreciated.

Posted by Gina Channell-Allen
president of the Pleasanton Weekly
on May 3, 2011 at 1:07 pm

Gina Channell-Allen is a registered user.

American, Not flip-flopping. I didn't intend for that email to be printed and was commenting on a piece that industry blogger did about a Chronicle reporter being banned from covering Obama's trip because she had tape-recorded some people heckling Obama. I think it's interesting that the White House has that much time and personnel to be checking on things like that, or the comment about the First Lady.
However, I did let the author of that know that I sent him that as a missive, not to publish, because it wasn't the full story.

Posted by Marbran
a resident of another community
on May 3, 2011 at 1:29 pm

We all know what Michelle is like; we saw plenty of her during the campaign. But where are the photos of the interior, as the title implies? VH-71 would have put this bird to shame, but I'm glad they cancelled it. With the budget overruns, one VH-71 would have ended up costing more than VC-25 SAM 28000. What a waste.

Posted by Brian
a resident of another community
on May 3, 2011 at 1:32 pm

I think that front appendage on the copter is actually a cannon and not a RADAR system.

Posted by Reporter intimidation
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 3, 2011 at 2:11 pm

No surprise,Obama has used various techniques with reporters and networks that he just plain doesn't like, some have been discussed here in the past. Obama made a rather large bruhaha during his visit here 10 days ago. There was the event hosted by Facebook founder Zuckenburg promoting social media, which has worked so well for Obama. Following, was a larger San Francisco event with press and covered by respected, liberal, long-time senior SF Chronicle reporter Carla Marinucci. With her always presnt social media device, Ms. Marinucci was reporting on a group causing a disturbance at the event. Obama tried to prevent Ms Marinucci from reporting. There were continuing exchanges about the attempts to block the reporting. There are still 'some' of the exchanges with Marinucci on the SFChronicle site. Don't make me repeat past reporter tampering episodes.

Posted by wisco
a resident of another community
on May 3, 2011 at 2:23 pm

Posted by b, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Apr 21, 2011 at 10:46 am

Yeah, no shortage of tax dollars for the Marines. I wonder how many teachers that money could've paid for...

Well here in Wisconsin- Maybe two teachers.

Posted by lacrossestar83
a resident of another community
on May 3, 2011 at 3:33 pm

These people sound concerned.

Posted by Livermore Libertarian Chick
a resident of Livermore
on May 3, 2011 at 4:58 pm

Is this the story that obama made you change to make michele look better? where's the freedom of speech? hmmm???

Web Link

Posted by Rob P
a resident of Birdland
on May 3, 2011 at 8:52 pm

Big Toe (Michelle)is unflattering. Trying these Chicago Mobsta Wannabe (controlling free speech) is another chink in the paranoia armor of this group clueless and travelers.

Posted by kelley
a resident of Canyon Meadows
on May 3, 2011 at 9:31 pm

Jerry McNerney should get a call. Shame on the Obama White House Journalism THUGGERY! This is why we need to elect an experienced president that does not bring the Chicago gangsterism to the white house.

Posted by bobby99
a resident of Foothill Farms
on May 3, 2011 at 10:13 pm

A fearful press is a useless press.

Posted by Tay
a resident of another community
on May 3, 2011 at 11:08 pm

The entire article now seems to have disappeared... Along with the warning that comments that are unfounded and hearsay will be deleted... What's going on here?

Posted by Tay
a resident of another community
on May 3, 2011 at 11:21 pm

And also gone is Ms. Channell-Allen's note regarding her three observations (lessons?) regarding this incident... Why did you remove it? I would sincerely appreciate a response to my questions, as you've taken the time to do so for other commenters.

Posted by JoeAstroturf
a resident of Beratlis Place
on May 4, 2011 at 4:52 am

Michelle is a great First Lady not. In February 2009, outrage in the Obamas’ community exploded after a young boy covered by Medicaid was turned away from the University of Chicago Medical Center. Dontae Adams’ mother, Angela, had sought emergency treatment for him after a pit bull tore off his upper lip. Mrs. Obama’s hospital gave the boy a tetanus shot, antibiotics, and Tylenol and shoved him out the door. The mother and son took an hour-long bus ride to another hospital for surgery. She subsequently tripled her salary for savings like these. Now you can see why teapartiers don’t trust Obama on his (Give me power I care for you little people). Obamacare

Please Check out song called teapartiers I can’t hear you at Web Link

Here’s a verse

Doctors are retiring earlier but we’re getting 17000 new IRS
This is how Obama creates health care jobs I guess
For 234 years this country’s been God’s blessing.
Now he’s following Cloward and Piven’s to bankrupt the country I’m guessing
If Obamacare gives Grandma and Grandpa a scare
Think how when their rationed and die earlier we’ll save on healthcare

Hey guys if you fought at Iwo or the Chosen
when they stop giving your wife her meds and her last breath comes over her face
you’ll find comfort knowing Nancy’d gladly take her place.

Posted by kenksenior
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 4, 2011 at 5:19 am

The answer to "b" is that it would pay for about 2.5 teachers at their current salary and benefit level. However, the guys who fly them make only about half of what the teacher makes. Stop whining.

Posted by Scott
a resident of another community
on May 4, 2011 at 7:50 am

The photo descriptions should have hangar spelled with an "a" not an "e". Just trying to educate.

Posted by Sam
a resident of Dublin
on May 4, 2011 at 7:56 am

story is unreadable behind a big black "support us" box that won't go away. Windows XP, Firefox 3.6, Javascript disabled.

Posted by Reporter intimidation
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 4, 2011 at 10:56 am

People, the real problem is a Presidential administration that would try to manipulate the press in the FIRST place ! ! ! ! ! GO to, reporter Carla Marinucci, read Pres Obama trying to stop invited, liberal, senior Chron reporter Marinucci while she was reporting on his San Fran big $$ event when he was here 10 days ago ! CHILLING !! Gina has started a new BLOCKED thread because she doesn't want you reading my post about bigtime intimidation against a paper the size of the Chronicle. check out chron

Posted by Mike
a resident of another community
on May 6, 2011 at 9:16 am

The pictures are of a VH-60. The President flies on this helocopter when he is going to land/take-off from a site that is too tight for his main helocopter, the VH-3. I was in HMX-1 during the early 70s and we had the VH-3A and the VH-1N. The VH-1N was replace by the VH-60 during the late 80s. The VH-3A is upgraded often and I think it is now a VH-3D or VH-3F model. They didn't give your reporter much of a tour if the blackhawk is all you were allowed to photograph.

Posted by winoceros
a resident of another community
on May 24, 2011 at 1:29 pm

winoceros is a registered user.

Ms. Channell-Allen, the White House spokesperson for the office of the First Lady of the United States, claims that their office has never contacted your paper and was unaware of the story.

I do not accuse Katie McCormick Lelyveld of lying, since she is speaking only, ostensibly, for the office of the FLOTUS, and can claim this statement as truth, but it is interesting that this is the office that responded to the controversy, when it is more probable that you were contacted by a different department of the administration.

The principle is the same: security concerns, fine. But journalists are asked and begged daily by politicos big and small for centuries not to publish unflattering information. They just get used to saying no to everyone. Administrations change, reputations should not.

Why change anything at all, but for the simple reason that showing one's bias toward the administration overrides consideration of the reporting of your observations?

Also, was it Jesse Lee, by chance, who contacted you?

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