State Department To WSJ: You Want Access? You Got Access

The US State Department wonders why the reporter from the Wall Street Journal who tried to get access to the Iraq National Symphony during its trip to Washington DC earlier this month, had so much trouble. “We arranged for Mr. Rahim to meet members of the orchestra at a restricted briefing on Monday afternoon. We arranged for his attendance at the open dress rehearsal. We invited him to join the reception for the orchestra held after the concert…”
Wall Street Journal writer Ayad Rahim responds: I had to work through an eventual 31 officials to get anywhere… “I only began to gain ‘access’ – what little there was of it – after my deadline had passed. That happened only because my repeated, fruitless efforts had become known to this paper’s editors and because their frustration had filtered back to the State Department.”