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Former WH Stenographer reminds us – With No Official Transcript, Trump Can Muddle The Truth

NPR: “…Beck Dorey-Stein was Barack Obama’s…White House stenographer…part of a team responsible for going anywhere the president went, recording his every public utterance and then transcribing it for posterity. “Especially whenever he spoke with press, he made sure, just like the previous presidents did, that there was a stenographer in the room so that there was no miscommunication or confusion about what exactly was said,” says Dorey-Stein. She writes about the experience in her new memoir, From the Corner of the Oval. In an interview with Noel King for NPR’s Morning Edition, Dorey-Stein says “everything changed” with the inauguration of President Trump, whose team “didn’t know that stenographers existed.” She recounts how during the transition, it took her boss multiple tries before she was even able to get past a young press wrangler to introduce herself to the incoming West Wing staff. Things didn’t improve much from there. In a New York Times op-ed published last week, Dorey-Stein writes about how Stephanie Grisham, now the communications director for the first lady, told a colleague that White House stenographers would not be needed often, because “there would be video.”  “This seems like a fair point,” says Dorey-Stein, “unless you really know audio.” The audio that’s taken from media video might change or get trimmed during the editing process, she says. “We see that with music videos, so the idea of it just being like, ‘Oh, of course, we can just have this on video,’ it’s not the same.”

“We type up our transcripts from our audio, so it hasn’t been tampered with and it not only goes to the press office, the press, but also the presidential archive,” she says. “That’s really important to have an accurate recording at all times, especially when the press is involved, just to make sure that we are recording the truth and that no one has complicated that.” [emphasis added]…

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