Obama purges reporters from newspapers that endorsed McCain
The Obama campaign has decided to heave out three newspapers from its plane for the final days of its blitz across battleground states -- and all three endorsed Sen. John McCain for president!
The NY POST, WASHINGTON TIMES and DALLAS MORNING NEWS have all been told to move out by Sunday to make room for network bigwigs -- and possibly for the inclusion of reporters from two black magazines, ESSENCE and JET, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned.
Despite pleas from top editors of the three newspapers that have covered the campaign for months at extraordinary cost, the Obama campaign says their reporters -- and possibly others -- will have to vacate their coveted seats so more power players can document the final days of Sen. Barack Obama's historic campaign to become the first black American president. . . .
This should concern everyone. The Washington Times has this follow up:
Sen. Barack Obama's campaign decided to jettison The Washington Times, the New York Post and the Dallas Morning News from the Democrat's campaign plane, insisting the expulsions were due to lack of seats and not because all three newspapers endorsed Republican Sen. John McCain for president.
The campaign said it ran out of room on Mr. Obama's Boeing 757 because more reporters and photographers from his hometown newspapers -- the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times -- were coming aboard, as well as reporters from black-oriented magazines Ebony and Jet and the candidate's wife, Michelle Obama, and her Secret Service bodyguards.
Other campaign staff said space was tight because TV network news celebrities were joining the trip and the HBO documentary film crew recording the final leg of his historic run for a project by actor Edward Norton joined the plane Friday.
"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," Obama campaign senior adviser Anita Dunn said. "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."
The campaign said The Times reporter will be off the plane as of Sunday. Separately, the campaign also denied a request from a Times photographer who has traveled on the plane previously.
I would be interested in someone computing the probabilities that this decision was random. I don't know the number of reporters on a plane, but, say, 75 percent of the press seats are held by media that have supported Obama. The probability that you would get three organizations thrown off that were all on the other side is only 1.6 percent. If 80 percent of the press seats were held by the media, the probability would be only 0.8 percent.