Monday, July 21, 2008

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.
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.
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?

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.

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3 Comments:

At 1:51 PM, Anonymous Rachel Sklar said...

Hi Bill, thanks for your nice comment about me (even if you happen to disagree with me here!). I actually agree with you, insofar as I am not a fan of these hyper-controlled GOP events. I don't approve of McCain's action nor a whoooole lotta the Bush administration's. But it's a lack of approval for ANY press chilling (as opposed to chilling with the press, which has its own pitfalls!). I don't condone it from either side. Sounds like you don't, either, you just think it's unfair to hold Obama to a different standard. I agree - but for me the standard holds for either side.

Thanks for reading!

RS

 
At 6:11 PM, Blogger The Sailor said...

There were 200 applications for 40 slots on the plane. Did the other 159 rejects get an article about them?[/rhetorical question]

Also I'm certain Obama is aware that the author of the article is not the cartoonist who drew the satirical cover.

Much ado about nothing, one would think Ms. Sklar has more important substantive issues to write about.

 
At 1:35 PM, Blogger Bill Arnett said...

Thank you for your wonderfully fair comment and rest assured I shall always remain a big fan. It's also very nice to be able to disagree without being disagreeable.

And thank you for reading this!

 

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