How Agence France-Presse Ruined Malia Obama’s Vacation

There’s a long tradition of keeping presidents’ kids out of the press, but the newswire reported today on details of Obama’s elder daughter’s travel in Mexico. The story was quickly removed from websites across the Internet, but you can’t unring that bell.

A story about Malia Obama’s scheduled spring break trip to Mexico — along with 12 friends and 25 Secret Service agents — appeared and abruptly started disappearing from news sites across the web Monday evening without explanation.

The original story, published by Agence France Press, went viral Monday afternoon, but within hours, broken links and error pages replaced the copy on many sites. It no longer appears on AFP’s website, and the link on the Huffington Post story (pictured below) now redirects to the homepage.

The story also appears to have been pulled from the website for the London Telegraph, and International Business Times. Spokespeople for both AFP, and the White House did not immediately return requests for comment.

UPDATE: Kristina Schake, Communications Director to the First Lady, confirmed to Politico’s Dylan Byers that the White House that it asked news agencies to remove the story:

From the beginning of the administration, the White House has asked news outlets not to report on or photograph the Obama children when they are not with their parents and there is no vital news interest. We have reminded outlets of this request in order to protect the privacy and security of these girls.

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McKay Coppins is a senior writer for the BuzzFeed News politics team, and the author of a forthcoming book, The Wilderness, about the battle over the future of the Republican Party.
Contact McKay Coppins at
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