Your Shoe Leather Is Safe In Riyadh

Time’s White House correspondent (and onetime CJR employee), Michael Scherer, shares the official U.S. State Department “instructions” for reporters traveling tomorrow with President Obama to Saudi Arabia:

The Saudi government is permitting journalists accompanying President Obama entry into the country without a visa or the usual customs procedures. While in Saudi Arabia, therefore, journalists are expressly prohibited from leaving the hotel or engaging in any journalistic activities outside of coverage of the POTUS visit. Those who do so risk arrest and detention by Saudi authorities.

In case anyone in the White House press corps was considering any out-of-hotel reporting in Riyadh.

UPDATE: Can’t use the above any longer as an excuse to lounge at the hotel bar; new instructions are that reporters can “go wherever and cover whatever they wish.”

Liz Cox Barrett is a freelance writer and graphic designer in Kalispell, Montana. She worked as a newspaper journalist in Denver and Kalispell for 20 years.