White House Guest List Revealed

The administration has released a list of 500 people who have stepped foot inside 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue since Obama’s inauguration. Pundits jumped when a “William Ayers” showed up among the guests, but it turns out Ayers is among a group of the list’s “false positives”—visitors with famous names who are actually someone else, including Michael Jordan, Jeremiah Wright, and R. Kelly. The release of the list of visitors feels tame after this week’s investigation that named political donors who have gotten access to Obama and the White House grounds. Powerful lobbyists, big-time Democratic fundraiser George Soros, and Oprah Winfrey were all revealed to be among the White House’s visitors between January and July. A Freedom of Information Act request from news and ethics organizations prompted the list’s release. The administration started collecting names earlier this year and will be releasing them every 90 days, signaling a new age of transparency—though some names are still kept under wraps according to the limited exceptions clause.