Journalists from three major newspapers that endorsed John McCain have reportedly been booted from Barack Obama’s campaign plane for the final leg of the presidential race.
The Washington Times reported Friday that it was notified of the Obama campaign’s decision Thursday evening — even though the paper has covered Obama from the start.
Executive Editor John Solomon told FOXNews.com that the Obama campaign said it didn’t have enough seats on the plane, but “I don’t think the explanation makes sense to us.”
“We’ve been traveling since 2007 with him. … We’re a relevant newspaper — every day we break news,” Solomon said. “And to suddenly be kicked off the plane for people who haven’t covered it as aggressively or thoroughly as we are … it sort of feels unfair.”
He said the newspaper protested but was turned down again by the campaign.
“I can only hope that the candidate who describes himself as wanting to unite the nation doesn’t have some sort of litmus test for who he decides gets to cover the campaign,” Solomon said, noting that the Obama campaign’s decision came just two days after the paper endorsed McCain.
The New York Post and Dallas Morning News also have been kicked off Obama’s plane, according to the Web site The Drudge Report. It said the three reporters were told to find alternative transportation by Sunday so that the plane could accommodate “network bigwigs” and reporters from two black magazines, Essence and Jet.
There have been no official confirmations from either the Dallas Morning News or the NYPost, but according to Media Bistro, the NYPost has said it will not be doing a write-up about this, so that sounds like a confirmation to me.
From making reporters pay for good access to their campaign on election night, to cutting one news station completely off after an ‘uncomfortable interview,’ to this. A sign of things to come under a (potential) Obama admin?
Let’s not forget that the Bush administration was routinely accused by critics of only wanting “admin-friendly reporters” to do interviews with, “outraging” The Usual Suspects. Will we see the same level of condemnation from that same crowd now – and on down the line if Obama and Biden are elected? Don’t hold your breath.
Ed Morrissey makes a great point (emphasis added by him):
It also looks a little self-indulgent. Obama’s clearing room on the plane for — what? Documentarians who will produce hagiographies about his historic importance. That fits into another pattern we’ve seen for months, one marked with fake presidential seals, The Barackopolis, and infomercials. In the coming Age of Obama, only the worshipers will get front-row seats to history.
Update: Obama spox Bill Burton has confirmed the news here.