Biden Press Secretary Sandra Barkoff Intimidates College Student Jeremy Barr, Then Apologizes

WASHINGTON, DC – MARCH 07: U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden speaks during a bill signing ceremony of the Violence Against Women Act at the Department of the Interior March 7, 2013 in Washington, DC. The law expands protections for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and trafficking. Credit: Getty Images

Vice President Biden might consider millennials the “greatest generation,” and advertise that fact loudly, but apparently his press office doesn’t even trust them to take pictures.

Recently, the Vice President participated in an event dedicated to finding solutions to domestic violence in Rockville, Maryland. Naturally, press were invited, including Capitol News Service reporter and University of Maryland, College Park student Jeremy Barr. However, unlike other members of the media, Barr apparently didn’t get the memo that he was supposed to sit in a separate area from the general public, which was explicitly reserved for the media. As a result, Barr ended up in a prime spot in the wider audience, where he began taking photos of Biden.

What followed left Barr bewildered and one of his professors outraged. The North Potomac Darnestown Patch reports:

Barr said he unknowingly sat in a section of the crowd designated as a non-press area.

“I didn’t see any demarcation that would have designated a press entrance versus a general entrance,” Barr said.

“The event began and I took a few photos of each speaker,” Barr said. “People a few rows in front of me were also taking photos.”

After the event was over, Barr was questioned.

“(The staffer) asked, ‘Did you take any photos during the event?’” Barr said. He told the staffer, yes, he had taken a few photos.

“She said, ‘I need to see your camera right now.’” Barr said. The staffer called Barr’s presence in the non-press area an “unfair advantage” over the other members of the media at the event.

The staffer then requested to watch as Barr deleted the photos from his camera to ensure his compliance, Barr said.

After deleting the photos from the camera, the staffer asked Barr to show her his iPhone to make sure no photos were saved. Barr complied.

“I assumed that I’d violated a protocol,” Barr said. “I gave her the benefit of the doubt that she was following proper procedures.”

Barr’s editor and professor, Adrianne Flynn, wasn’t quite so forgiving, calling the event “uncalled for and completely wrong.” And apparently enough people agreed with her that now Biden’s office is apologizing, claiming that it was a simple mistake made by a rookie staffer.

The alleged press official in question, one Kendra Barkoff, hasn’t yet commented on the affair.