ABC News Breaks Embargo on Obama Afghanistan Trip

By Molly Stark Dean 

President Barack Obama made a surprise trip to Afghanistan today — his second since taking office. All of the newschannels and news websites were prepared to run with the story as soon as the White House had lifted the embargo. (For security reasons the White House, or Defense Dept., depending on who is traveling, will ask news networks not to report the news until such time as a safe landing is made.)

But this morning ABC News, which was the pool (gathering presidential video to be used by all networks), broke the embargo and reported the news on its website at 10:49amET

CNN and MSNBC reported the news after it appeared on, but also before the embargo was lifted: Don Lemon reported the news at 11:02amET, MSNBC’s Chris Jansing reported it a minute later at 11:03.

Air Force One touched down at Bagram Air Base at 11:05amET. The White House embargo was lifted at 11:07 and Fox News Channel’s Jon Scott reported the news at 11:09amET, making it the only channel to report after the embargo. But an ABC News spokesperson tells TVNewser they are not to blame for breaking the embargo.

We’re told the embargo was broken by DVIDS (Defense Video & Imagery Distribution System), which is a service that hands out U.S. military footage.

Last night, ABC’s Martha Raddatz, who has been on the ground in Afghanistan for the past week, had the story from sources that the President would be in Afghanistan. But for security reasons, ABC News did not report the story at that time.

DVIDS sent an advisory to reporters in Washington at 10:04 this morning with information on the live video feed of the President’s trip. And according to ABC News, DVIDS informed the network the information was not embargoed.  So ABC News ran with the story at 10:49am on citing “sources” who informed ABC’s Raddatz.