Press corps musical chairs on Obama plane

October 31, 2008

WASHINGTON – What a popular guy.  
Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama is so popular that some “tough decisions” had to be made about which members of the press corps would fly on his plane during the final days of the campaign.
Off the plane this weekend will be the Dallas Morning News, New York Post and Washington Times. Among those taking seats will be staffers from the Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Tribune, according to a campaign official.
Flying with the candidate is crucial because it expedites getting to campaign events, eliminating the hassles of commercial travel, as well as provides access to the candidate or other officials on the plane.
“Unfortunately, demand for seats on the plane during this final weekend has far exceeded supply, and because of logistical issues we made the decision not to add a second plane,” said Obama spokeswoman Jen Psaki. 
“This means we’ve had to make hard and unpleasant for all concerned decisions about limiting some news organizations and in some cases not being in a position to offer space to news organizations altogether,” she said.
A campaign official said adding a second plane would have cut a city a day from the schedule and that also larger news outlets were facing new limits on the number of seats on the plane, such as for columnists and extra correspondents.
Conservative outlet DrudgeReport highlighted the fact that all three newspapers losing their spots on the plane endorsed Republican rival John McCain for president.

The Dallas Morning News said it had no evidence of a connection to its endorsement, blogging its explanation here. The New York Post wrote its response here, suggesting it was not in the news business to be “liked”. The Washington Times said it was unhappy with the decision which it noted came two days after it endorsed McCain. A campaign official said the Times was told before it made its endorsement. 
Psaki said the campaign would still help correspondents not on the plane with hotel reservations, space on the buses and ensuring they receive the information that is given to the reporters on the plane.

Click here for more Reuters 2008 campaign coverage

– Additional reporting by Matt Spetalnick

– Photo credit: Reuters/Jason Reed (luggage and equipment belonging to the press corps is laid out for a security sweep)


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No Surprise:

Drudge posts more false equivalence nonsense that falls apart upon the briefest examination.

Big Surprise:

The New York Post is in the news business. C’mon. I live in New York. Who they kiddin’?

Posted by jvill | Report as abusive

“The Washington Times said it was unhappy with the decision which it noted came two days after it endorsed McCain. A campaign official said the Times was told before it made its endorsement.”

Sure they endorse McCain–they tell the same sorts of lies.

Posted by Lou | Report as abusive

I find it funny that with a tiny bit of research into these Drudge claims they completely fall apart.

Of course to expect a Republican to do any research themselves is as unlikely as me growing wings and gaining flight. They just stick to spewing stinky lies over and over and over. Election cycles are tiresome because your stuck arguing with some moron who has no factual knowledge on any subject and thus, makes up stories like a 4 year old.

Posted by TimL | Report as abusive

So there is “limited space,” however, the reporters booted just happened to all be from conservative newspapers. I think we are getting a good glimpse of exactly what an Obama presidency will look like. Censorship and favoritism will abound.

While we are on the subject of the media and how they participate in elections, I think everyone who has a subscription to the Los Angeles Times needs to cancel their subscription ASAP. By their own admission they are withholding a video tape that has information of material nature regarding the true character of Barack Obama. This is outrageous!

In my profession I can be fined and even go to jail for withholding information that is material to my clients’ decisions on what products and services to purchase. In just a matter of days, this nation will make the most important decision it could ever make, and we have one newspaper withholding information that could have serious ramifications and speak volumes as to the judgment and character of a candidate.

Is this why the media exists? They have the role and responsibility to act as a watchdog for the public, not hijack elections and withhold information, thus themselves participating in the news instead of reporting it. They have violated the public trust, and have engaged in partisan politics. This could result in a serious mistake for this nation, and yet they sit on this evidence quietly. If it is of no consequence, then clear the air and release the tape. However, a major news outlet choosing to suppress material information is very nefarious, and speaks volumes as to the nature of the content.

A decision to “protect a source” as they state in this instance is outweighed by the seriousness and scope of the choice at hand. Call the Los Angeles Times and cancel your subscription, and be sure to tell everyone you know to do the same. They can no longer be trusted to report news fairly and objectively!!!

Posted by Jeff D | Report as abusive

What is the problem. Understand the plane was leased from Alaska Airlines and will be parked in Arizona. The fuel was purchased from Exxon just to keep things fair. Understand Bush, Cheney,and Rove bumped the three “Newspapers”

Posted by the papa | Report as abusive

I find it funny, and revealing how some people “lump” republicans. Specially from a party that says they support blue collar workers and unions, yet most unions have people who “cling” to religion and firearms.

Now McCain kicked some reporters off a plane because they wrote “unfavorable” stories. I think unfavorable stories particularly some that may be misleading by taking a quote out of context or fact ‘bending’ is more legit than kicking someone off because their paper decided to support an opposing candidate.

That being said, it is Obama’s plane and it is his choice. Actions reflect the character and shine through the rhetoric. We should all take long looks on both sides of the party line.

I’m glad JET and Essence magazines, Major Political Media outlets, now have space on the plane. And they weren’t kicked off, they were denied access for the last leg of the campaign, where previously they had access.

Don’t be a yellow dog. Look before you punch, pull, color the ballot.

Posted by Brogers101 | Report as abusive

Ha Ha Ha Mr. post-partisan shows his true colors!

Posted by David Rash | Report as abusive