I could not disagree more strongly with the dismay…posted by Bill Arnett @ 11:57 AM Permalink …being expressed by Rachel Sklar from the Huffington Post in her article titled, "Obama's Revenge: New Yorker Banned From Press Plane For Overseas Trip," where she reports:
Forty journalists, including such leading correspondents as Dan Balz of The Washington Post, will be aboard his plane for next week's swing through Jordan, Israel, Germany, France and England.Why should future president Obama NOT be fully able to pick and choose which news outlets and magazine reporters can board his plane and join him in his travels?
The campaign received 200 requests for press seats on the plane.
Among those for whom there was no room was Ryan Lizza, Washington correspondent of The New Yorker. The campaign, which was furious about the magazine's satirical cover this week, cited space constraints in turning him away.
Wow. So it's gonna be like that, is it? Retribution for unfavorable coverage is a chilling thing to contemplate — literally, as in, it carries with it the very real risk of chilling bold, outspoken coverage. Whatever one thinks of the New Yorker cover — that it was clear satire that clearly lampooned ridiculous rumors, that it went way overboard, that it was a comedic misfire — a robust press can't operate under threat of reprisal for unwelcome items.
John McCain just recently had an elderly woman, a librarian, arrested for trespassing simply because she carried a sign saying, "McCain=Bush." Bush himself is notoriously well-known for screening any entrants to events where he appeared when running for president, in some cases requiring the signing of loyalty oaths for everyone entering such an event.
So, although I have nothing but the utmost respect for Rachel Sklar (I'm a big fan), I just think her criticism of Obama in this instance is grossly unfair to Obama given the way Rethugs run campaigns and shut out anyone and everyone they choose without facing retribution or criticism from the press.