Monday, August 4, 2008

McCain Campaign Kicks Out Reporter

From the Tallahassee Democrat:

Tallahassee Democrat senior writer Stephen Price on Friday was singled out and asked to leave a media area at the Panama City rally of presidential candidate Sen. John McCain.

Price was among at least three other reporters, and the only black reporter, surrounding McCain’s campaign bus — Gov. Charlie Crist and his fiancee, Carole Rome, were already aboard — when a member of the Arizona senator’s security detail asked the reporter to identify himself. Price had shown his media credentials to enter the area.

Price showed his employee identification as well as his credentials for the Friday event.

“I explained I was with the state press, but the Secret Service man said that didn’t matter and that I would have to go,” Price said.

When another reporter asked why Price was being removed, she too was led out of the area. Other state reporters remained.

Jonathan Block does advance work for McCain’s campaign. He was in Panama City on Friday but was not present when reporter Stephen Price was asked to move from a restricted area.

“Access to the senator is tightly controlled,” Block said. “I would first express regret that your reporter was moved, and I can tell you beyond a shadow of a doubt that race had nothing to do with it.”

Tallahassee Democrat Executive Editor Bob Gabordi said the incident was unwarranted.

“We’re deeply concerned and disturbed that our reporter — of all of those in that area — was asked to move,” Gabordi said. “My understanding is that Stephen was the only reporter approached and asked to leave the area, and the only reporter in that area who is black. Another reporter who stood up for Stephen was then asked to leave.”

Oh, I’m sure there’s a perfectly good reason why the only black reporter in the group was singled out by the Secret Service and that the first thing the McCain campaign thought of was that race had nothing whatsoever to do with it. *Snort*