22:01 GMT +326 May 2019
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    Winter is Coming: This May Be the Most Flagrant Abuse of Obama's Power Yet

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    As the rest of the world waits with bated breath for the premiere of season six of Game of Thrones, one man has used his own Lannister-like power to watch before anyone else.

    Given the show’s focus on political wheeling and dealing, it’s unsurprising that one of the hit show’s biggest fans is President Barack Obama. And while the rest of us have to wait until Sunday night to find out just how much closer Winter has crawled, the president used his authority to request a private screening ahead of the release date.

    "When the commander-in-chief says 'I want to see advanced episodes,' what are you going to do?" showrunner David Benioff said during HBO’s Facebook Live stream.

    "Finding out the president wanted advanced copies of the episodes was an 'aha' moment," fellow showrunner D.B. Weiss added. "That was a very strange moment."

    Given the extreme secrecy surrounding the show’s sixth season, Obama finds himself in a unique position. To avoid spoilers, HBO broke its regular protocol and refused to send advance copies to journalists and TV critics this year.

    One journalist, however, isn’t taking this lying down.

    Vanessa Golembewski, a writer with Refinery29, has filed a Freedom of Information Act request asking Obama to "share his advance screeners" with the American public.

    "I know it’s a stretch. Firstly, I’m not entirely sure where the Game of Thrones screeners fall in the grey area that is personal property of a government figure," Golembewski wrote.

    "Secondly, there’s a bunch of red tape around the kinds of things you can request in a FOIA. Okay, fine. There are just nine exemptions – and all of them seem like really fair calls. For example, it’s off limits if the information in question would threaten our national security. I felt confident that even with these rules, TV episodes were still fair game."

    With only two days left until the new season airs on HBO, it seems unlikely that the request will be granted. But a girl can dream.

    Being POTUS obviously has its perks, but if you’re not going to share with the rest of us, Mr. President, please: no spoilers.


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