News Cycle

A look at the news, politics and journalism in today’s 24-hour media.

Obama Jettisons Reporters From His Campaign Plane

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Sen. Barack Obama’s campaign officials have told reporters from The Washington Times, The Dallas Morning News and The New York Post that they no longer can travel on the candidate’s plane as of Sunday.

All three newspapers have endorsed Sen. John McCain.

“We’re trying to reach as many swing voters that we can and unfortunately had to make some tough choices. but we are accommodating these folks in every way possible,” Obama spokesman Bill Burton told Politico’s Ben Smith. He said the move was to get reporters on the plane who can reach undecided voters in battleground states. New York and Texas are not battleground areas, but northern Virginia, where the Washington Times circulates, is.

Their seats are being used by correspondents from Ebony and Jet magazines.

In the past, McCain had barred liberal columnists Maureen Dowd of The New York Times and Joe Klein from Time magazine from his campaign plane. The difference is that McCain did not eject the reporters from those news organizations. Columnists are paid to express their opinions, and are generally managed outside the news department. They do not report the news. Reporters are bound ethically to report the news without opinions, and generally have no input into a news organization’s editorial page policy.

“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 in his newspaper. “I hope the candidate that promises to unite America isn’t using a litmus test to determine who gets to cover his campaign.”

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Written by newscycle

October 31, 2008 at 5:34 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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