It is for this reason that I found myself agreeing with the recent Obama campaign's decision to ban a reporter deemed to be from a publication believed to be less than objective for Obama from his press plane on this week's International "foreign policy" trip. Let's face it, there's no shortage of reporters wanting to travel with the presidential candidate - as the campaign received 200 requests for press seats on the plane, of which they were able to grant only 40 - so why grant space to someone who may skew coverage in place of someone less inclined to do so? It is hard to imagine the New York Yankees allowing a Boston-minded sports reporter unfettered locker room access.
Candidates and clients as well, offer access to media with the hope, and perhaps even the expectation that media will present a positive narrative. Yet, anyone worth his salt in public relations knows all to well that media access by its very nature presents the possibility of either a good or a bad story. So, if there is choice, why ante-up with media deemed to be biased against your position when there are so many other journalists one can gamble on to better the odds?
Equally as reporters at the top tier publications want exclusive information, unique off the record comments and the like, so too must there be a very fair and real expectation for them that if they present a negative or seemingly prejudicial story then the possibility of being excluded is very real - especially when there is a major issue at stake, like a presidential election, and especially where the candidate has the luxury of choosing any media he prefers. Indeed, he cannot avoid bad coverage from someone inclined to do so, but he does not need to offer a seat on his plane.
I find myself agreeing with this statement from Anita Dunn, an Obama advisor, "The press corps wouldn't be doing its job it if weren't demanding more access than we're willing to give," Ms. Dunn said. "We wouldn't be doing our job if we didn't occasionally irritate the press."[ii]
[i] click here
[ii] click here