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President Obama got screeners of Game of Thrones just because he’s “the leader of the free world.”


And that’s not fair—he can’t even remember the name of his “favorite character,” Tyrion Lannister.

Season 6 of Game of Thrones, unlike past seasons, is under a very strict lockdown (possibly to protect the world’s worst kept secret, which involves a corpse who will not be a corpse for long). Unlike previous seasons, HBO has not provided media with screeners or any advance copies of the show’s sixth season. There are no watermarked DVDs or streaming sites. And at the show’s season premiere, viewers were told they would be “boiled alive” or—worse—married off to Ramsay Bolton if they recorded anything on their phones or even shared spoilers online.

But one person is getting a screener: President Obama. Obama has talked about his love for the show before, and when he asked for advance screeners, showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss couldn’t say no. At the show’s premiere they said that they sent him screeners because “he’s the leader of the free world. ... When the commander in chief says, ‘I want to see advanced episodes’—what are ya gonna do?”

The president should not get to follow different rules than the rest of us—if I have to wait ten more days to find out what happened at the Tower of Joy, he should too. This is the biggest consequence yet of the White House removing regulations subjecting it to FOIA.