The government of Kenya is taking exception to President Obama's remarks at the weekend's Gridiron dinner in which he saluted reporters for working in dangerous places -- including Syria and Kenya.
Kenya's Permanent Secretary for Information and Communications Bitange Ndemo called Obama's suggestion that Kenya is unsafe for foreign journalists "only inaccurate, but exceedingly disturbing given the long and warm relations between our two nations."
Obama's remarks came at the close of a speech in which he generally poked fun at himself and Congress, and said that "reporters have exposed corruption here at home and around the world. They've risked everything to bring us stories from places like Syria and Kenya, stories that need to be told."
But Kenya objects to being named along with civil-war torn Syria and Ndemo said that "like the U.S., Kenya deeply values freedom of the press." He said that there were no cases of "harassment, intimidation, or arrest of foreign journalists operating in Kenya" during the recent election.
And he said the country calls on Obama -- whose father was born there --"to correct his statement, and recognize Kenya’s commitment to ensuring a free and safe environment for both local and foreign journalists and to keeping an unfettered flow of information to the Kenyan public."