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Game of Thrones season 6: Journalist files FOI request for Obama to share his advance screeners

"If the president, and by extension, our government, is in possession of a file, surely that file is subject to my request to see it as a U.S. citizen."

Chloe Farand,Clarisse Loughrey
Sunday 17 April 2016 11:37
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It is the right of the people to know whether or not Jon Snow is dead. In that light, a journalist has submitted a freedom of information request to the US Government asking for President Barack Obama to share his advance screeners of Games of Thrones season 6.

Earlier this week, the show's creators revealed during a Hollywood screening of the new season that Obama had both requested and received advanced screeners.

"He's the leader of the free world." "When the commander in chief says, 'I want to see advanced episodes,' what are you going to do?", Daniel Brett Weiss and David Benioff said during an interview, live-streamed on Facebook.

But when journalist Vanessa Golembewski, a feature writer for the American website Refinery29, learnt Obama would be allowed to watch the long-awaited new season before anyone else; she decided to attempt a Freedom of Information request to try and obtain the new episodes before their official release on 24 April.

In an article with the headline "Only Obama Gets Game Of Thrones Screeners, So I Filed An FOIA Request For Them", she explained having submitted the request on Thursday to obtain the files.

"If the president — and by extension, our government — is in possession of a file, surely that file is subject to my request to see it as a U.S. citizen," she wrote.

Though there are nine clauses of exemptions to the act, Golembewski said she was still confident, "TV episodes were still fair game".

She filed the request with just one line, "I would like President Obama to share his advance screeners for Game of Thrones with the public"; though given a budget of up to $10 from her editor, she decided she was only really prepared to spend approximately $0 for the information.

The request now needs to be evaluated and processed before a decision on whether or not to reveal the files is given.

In early March, HBO announced no journalists would receive advance screeners, unlike past seasons; furthermore, critics have been banned from receiving any hints of the upcoming season to avoid fear of spoilers.

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