Media Watch: Editor’s Note: An Apology To Our Readers
Chicago Sun-Times reporter Lynn Sweet, a noted Obama critic, unloads on his campaign’s upcoming election night attempts to rake in some extra money by having the MSM pay for access to the campaign in Chicago as the results come rolling in (via Memeo):
WASHINGTON—The Obama campaign is putting a hefty price tag on the best camera and reporting positions for news organizations covering Barack Obama’s outdoor election night activities in downtown Chicago. If a reporter wants access to the file center–which will be the best place to find Obama officials and spokesmen–be prepared to write a check for $935. The cheapest place a reporter could stand on a riser with a view is $880.
That $935 covers one reporter in a heated file tent, power, cable tv, internet and food. I am told by an Obama spokesman who did not want his name used that this just covers costs and they are not turning a profit on this. [Riiiiight! Makes sense, seeing that Barack Obama's hurtin' for cash these days. --ST] The planners could have built in more al a carte options for Grant Park coverage.
This is an outrageous pay to play plan that caters to national elite outlets with deep pockets.
I am not asking for a free ride–news outlets pay for plane seats, other transportation organized by the campaign, hotel rooms, plus associated costs for filing centers.
But this Election Night list is pricey and does not take into account some reporters won’t need power, cable, internet or food but will crave the access more than the food. As I was talking to this unnamed spokesman about this enormously expensive set-up, he did say–that a news outlet could rotate people in and out of the tent on that one credential. Great.
A general media area will be created where a reporter could watch for free, but the set-up is separate, unequal and clearly second class when it comes to getting top access to campaign people.
The campaign could not have made going to the free space more unappealing. If will be “outdoors, unassigned and may have obstructed views. General Media Area credentials do not include access to riser positions, satellite truck parking or the press filing center.”
Obama’s top donors–not the masses who donated the $5, $10 and $25 the campaign brag about–will have VIP access throughout election night and received an early heads up a week ago to plan to spend Election Night in Chicago.
Make sure to read Sweet’s entire post for the “price list.”
What’s next? Pay-Per-Question, or perhaps selling seats – including box and club seats – for members of the mainstream press during future WH daily press briefings, should Obama get elected? Sadly, there are mainstream media outlets out there so hungry for a piece of The One that they’ll do just about anything for it – including throwing their objectivity completely out the window, as we’ve seen all too many times this year.
But here’s the kicker. What special significance does Grant Park have? Read on:
Grant Park once hosted a Friday afternoon papal mass in 1979 featuring Pope John Paul II. It attracted hundreds of thousands of worshipers, despite an October chill and dire warnings about gridlock.
Sounds positively divine, perfect for a highly presumptuous candidate who has based a not-so-insignificant part of his campaign on arrogant symbolism. Will he wear white flowing robes and float above the ground? Mark your calendars: This may be the first time in history that we see the mainstream media coming out and openly kneeling down to pray in front of their Obamamessiah. Just consider what they paid for their access part of the “tithing process.” Or maybe “teething” would be the better word to use?