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Friday, October 31, 2008

Reporters From McCain Endorsing Papers Booted From Obama Plane

Thursday night reporters from papers that have endorsed John McCain, such as New York Post, Dallas Morning News and Washington Times, after having spent hundreds of thousands of dollars covering the Democratic vice presidential candidate, Barack Obama, were informed there would be no more room for them on the Obama plane in the last three days of the general election campaign.

Drudge reported originally on this and it has been confirmed by the Washington Times with their own article.

The Obama campaign informed the newspaper Thursday evening of its decision, which came two days after The Times editorial page endorsed Senator John McCain over Mr. Obama. The Times editorial page runs completely independent of the news department.

"This feels like the journalistic equivalent of redistributing the wealth, we spent hundreds of thousands of dollars covering Senator Obama's campaign, traveling on his plane, and taking our turn in the reporter's pool, only to have our seat given away to someone else in the last days of the campaign," said Washington Times Executive Editor John Solomon.

"I hope the candidate that promises to unite America isn't using a litmus test to determine who gets to cover his campaign."

The Times formally protested the decision, noting that it has one of the top 20 largest newspaper Web sites in the country, distributes its print edition in the key battleground state of Virginia, and has had its stories repeatedly cited by Mr. Obama and other Democrats throughout the campaign.

Fox News reports that the reasoning was "lack of seats" and the reporters tossed would be replaced with "network bigwigs and reporters from two black magazines."

This definitely fits with the theme we have seen in recent weeks where Joe Biden and the Obama campaign have banned access and interviews with stations that dared ask Biden some hard questions instead of softballs, which was reported on here and here.

The Moderate Voice also points out that Morning Joe today on MSNBC spoke generally about the coverage of Obama since 2007:

“All through this campaign, Barack Obama was the story the media wanted to tell. And if you ran against Obama, whether you were [Hillary] Clinton or John McCain, they were going to tear you to pieces.“

I guess if they didn't kowtow to Obama we now know what the campaign would do...just refuse to allow their reporters access and or refuse interviews with those particular stations or papers.

[Update] New York Post writes their article about this. Their reaction is "We are happy to be on the outside looking in. It's what makes The New York Post special. We are not in the news business to be liked."