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Tilting at Windmills

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September 23, 2008

CNN WON'T PLAY BY PALIN'S RULES.... CBS News' Scott Conroy reported this morning that Sarah Palin's aides last night notified a network TV producer about her meeting with some world leaders. A pool producer would provide content for the five television networks, and would be on hand to cover the greetings between Palin and the world leaders, but wouldn't be allowed to sit in on the private meetings.

An hour before Palin's first meeting was set to begin, however, the campaign changed the rules, and the pool producer was told he would have no access. As Conroy explained, "This means that the McCain/Palin campaign would get the benefit of free pictures of Palin's meeting with world leaders without having to face the possibility that the candidate might have to answer a question from the media."

To its credit, CNN decided it didn't care for Palin's rules.

Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, who has not held a press conference in nearly four weeks of campaigning, on Tuesday banned reporters from her first meetings with world leaders, allowing access only to photographers and a television crew.

CNN, which was providing the television coverage for news organizations, decided to pull its TV crew, effectively denying Palin the high visibility she had sought.

Good call. The McCain campaign's overbearing handlers are panicked at the notion of a candidate for national office hearing an unscripted question for which she has not been prepped. As a result, they want the benefit of the images, without the risk of embarrassment.

As it turns out, presidential campaigns in a democracy don't work this way. Palin is set to meet Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Colombian President Alvaro Uribe -- the first world leaders she's ever come in contact with -- and she wanted voters to see her in this setting, bolstering her non-existent record on international affairs.

If only she and her team had the confidence to endure a question or two, the media coverage would have worked to the campaign's advantage. But, no. McCain's team doesn't trust Palin, and can't take the risk of another embarrassment.

What a farce.

Update: It looks like the McCain campaign realizes it was pushing its luck. Michael Calderone reports, "I've now heard that as a result of protests from the press, a TV producer was eventually permitted into the first meeting, but no print reporter. At the two subsequent meetings, there will be both TV and print pool reporters on hand."

Steve Benen 12:38 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (58)

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So the McCain camp allows a single producer in the meetings and this is suppose to be a "victory" for the press? The McCain people just provided enough cover for the press to cave in one more time.

Posted by: g. powell on September 23, 2008 at 12:43 PM | PERMALINK

As it turns out, presidential campaigns in a democracy don't work this way. Palin is set to meet Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Colombian President Alvaro Uribe -- the first world leaders she's ever come in contact with -- What a farce.
—Steve Benen

Interesting choices since neither "leader" is considered to be in control of his country and owes much is not all of his power, such as it is, to American security largess.

Posted by: Jeff II on September 23, 2008 at 12:44 PM | PERMALINK

Now, how are we going to know whether she was wearing Valentino or Dior?

Posted by: Danp on September 23, 2008 at 12:44 PM | PERMALINK

It is truly amazing to see what a network can do, once they stop drinking the kool-aid and step back from the pig's trough.

The feigned outcry of liberal media-bias will commence in 5 ... 4 ... 3 ....

Posted by: Steve on September 23, 2008 at 12:46 PM | PERMALINK

This country is a farce.

Posted by: anon on September 23, 2008 at 12:47 PM | PERMALINK

That one of the nation's major political parties has nominated such a thoughtless, vapid empty suit as its Vice Presidential candidate will only be farcial if their ticket loses. Should they somehow manage to pull off a win, what started as farce will most assuredly become tragedy.

Posted by: wheresthebeef on September 23, 2008 at 12:48 PM | PERMALINK

It is absurd and the media should just cut McShame & McPain off completely. Do not give them ANY coverage at all until they can put in front of a Q&A session.....not the debates but a true press conference. The mdia are being walked on and should hit back like CNN did and just not cover them at all. Then and pnly then will McShame & co. get the hint that they are not gods or anything near it....

Posted by: woman45 on September 23, 2008 at 12:53 PM | PERMALINK

I wonder that the press en mass should all pick up and go elsewhere - not like there aren't other political things to cover.

It is quite obvious the McCain camp doesn't want the press near Palin (for obvious reasons). Therefore, I think it is assumed that McCain thinks she isn't worth covering and the the press shouldn't waste their time covering Palin.

Posted by: ET on September 23, 2008 at 12:54 PM | PERMALINK

I guess someone in the McCain campaign figured out that Afghanistan and Columbia can't be seen from Alaska.

Posted by: Dennis - SGMM on September 23, 2008 at 12:54 PM | PERMALINK

Is it time for a web ad saying that Palin refused to meet with the foreign leaders because she couldn't bring a camera crew??

Sure, it makes no sense and isn't what happened, but that just makes it the perfect parallel with the McCain ad about Obama and the troops in Germany.

Posted by: biggerbox on September 23, 2008 at 12:55 PM | PERMALINK

Given McCain's age and record of poor health, their is a very good chance that VP Palin could become President Palin. If Palin's handlers won't let her out in public, how can we expect her to behave as President?

If you didn't have a reason to vote against McCain/Palin before, this episode should give you pause. McCain's own campaign doesn't trust her.

Explain to me why McCain is still in the mid-forties in the polls.

Posted by: Ron Byers on September 23, 2008 at 12:56 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, the media is soooo tough!

Thanks, media, for letting the dishonest corrupt Republicans destroy this once great nation. May you all look back fondly on your time on Whitewater and Rev. Wright.

Posted by: John McCain: Worse than Bush on September 23, 2008 at 12:57 PM | PERMALINK

About the update.
I've now heard that as a result of protests from the press, a TV producer was eventually permitted into the first meeting, but no print reporter
If they can't (or don't) ask question who cares.

Posted by: msw on September 23, 2008 at 12:57 PM | PERMALINK

they want the benefit ... without the risk

Typical Republicans.

Posted by: Gregory on September 23, 2008 at 12:58 PM | PERMALINK

Uggggh! I fully expect them to run out the clock as long as possible. We dont have six weeks. Its more like two. Everyone is pushing aggressively for absentee/early voting. Once its in the mail...fugggedaboutit!

The story is: Where's Sarah?!?!? She can't be AWOL in this race like she was in the Alaska Legislature.

Posted by: John Henry on September 23, 2008 at 12:59 PM | PERMALINK

okay, I've seen the update. Let's see if the reporters can ask a freakin' question. If they do, she'll probably jsut sit there and smile like a goddamn idiot.

Posted by: g. powell on September 23, 2008 at 1:01 PM | PERMALINK

What CNN and the other networks need to do is to make the McCain campaign's refusal to let them cover Palin the story, rather than Palin herself.

If the public starts to notice that the McCain campaign has very little confidence in Palin's ability to answer questions, then the public will begin to question her abilities as well.

Posted by: mfw13 on September 23, 2008 at 1:01 PM | PERMALINK

There was a hilarious 'transcript' of her meeting with Karzai that I hope someone else saw and can link to. I found it after a series of links, and I'm sorry, I'm not up to chasing it down. (I just had to make The Decision about the 17-year old cat who has been the closest friend I've ever had. Apologies if my comments, if any, are more incoherennt than usual.)

Posted by: Prup (aka Jim Benton) on September 23, 2008 at 1:02 PM | PERMALINK

Kudos to CNN.

And this is just a taste of the extreme sort of emotional and adolescent-like loyalty and shunning we can expect if McCain/ Palin get in.

And of course she is going to the U.N. for an exploitive photo-op and no questions from journalists. This might be otherwise be no big deal--but it's a huge deal in light of her continued MIA status from major news networks/talk shows. This has to stop now!

It's pretty frightening to witness such overt attempts to censor and control her media exposure while also falsely shaming/faulting the media as rationale for such calculated avoidance.

I still can't get over that last bully like stunt McCain pulled by pulling out last minute of Larry King at the last minute because of what Campbell Brown asked (or tried to ask).

We really need to expose this pattern more.

Posted by: on September 23, 2008 at 1:02 PM | PERMALINK

Perfect ad...."Where's Palin?"

Posted by: wom78 on September 23, 2008 at 1:04 PM | PERMALINK

How was this meeting arranged? Why wasn't Joe Biden invited to participate? Obviously, Country First is not part of the concern otherwise the "country" would be included in the discussions. What does Sarah Palin have to offer these "world leaders" as V.P. nominee of the Republican Party? What other networks were invited and what was their response? Is anyone going to attend this meeting who can report on it? Or, will we just hear the Publican spin from those in the room, who have been carefully vetted before being allowed to leave.

Why do we even give any credence to the CSM at this time? I agree with some other posters re: polls. Don't bother to report results unless you include the complete context of questions asked and the method of selecting interviewees.

I am committed to Oneness through Justice and Transformation
peace,
st john

Posted by: st john on September 23, 2008 at 1:05 PM | PERMALINK

I've now heard that as a result of protests from the press, a TV producer was eventually permitted into the first meeting, but no print reporter

So-o-o-o, it's not like this was a 9/11 Commission sit-down or a viewing of John McCain's medical records. You're lucky the TV producer was allowed to bring a pencil. Now, get over it.

Posted by: Rick Davis spokesman on September 23, 2008 at 1:05 PM | PERMALINK

I bet I know what cable network was permitted to access...

Posted by: Lou on September 23, 2008 at 1:08 PM | PERMALINK

Palin's silence should be a media story, but the Obama camp has been smart to ignore her. The base will love her no matter what (hey, they still love Bush), but the less attention given to Palin the better. Her positives have already plummetted among non-base voters. Attacking her would probably give her some sympathy support. The McCain people are already trying to manufacture attacks to bolster her.

Posted by: g. powell on September 23, 2008 at 1:09 PM | PERMALINK

Her meeting with Karzai:
Karzai: Hello Mrs. Palin
Palin: Hello Kar.
Karzai: I used to work for oil companies like your husband.
Palin: Me too.
Phone rings. Karzai answers. Hangs up. Turns to Palin.
Karzai: I'm sorry Mrs. Palin, I have a crisis in my country I have to deal with it.
Palin: Permit me. I'll get in there and fix that for ya. Get me my gun and a helicopter. Stat.
Cut to roof: Palin pats a distraught Karzai on the shoulder reassuringly and hops on the chopper with her gun.
"Let's get crackin'" she yells.

That's Just What I Said

Posted by: Dale on September 23, 2008 at 1:12 PM | PERMALINK

CNN says "Thanks but no thanks"

Posted by: scott_m on September 23, 2008 at 1:19 PM | PERMALINK

Obama should keep ignoring Palin - her base will love her and vote for her but others see the farce going on here and say "we are smarter than this" and they will bail. It is obvious that they can not trust her and are pumping her for the debates which are scripted speeches - I just hope they call her on it at the debates and really ask her the tough stuff and get her on the spontaneous stuff too.

Biden better be so prepared to stick it to her and not spout off on his speeches. She needs to be grilled and we the public should DEMAND that she answer questions. It is totally outrageous that she has not been interviewd at all by anyone that really will ask the right and tough questions.

Posted by: abb88 on September 23, 2008 at 1:20 PM | PERMALINK

If this is how the administration is dealing with the press now, during the campaign just think how it will be after the election.

Posted by: Viceroy on September 23, 2008 at 1:24 PM | PERMALINK

She becomes more cringe-inducing as the days drag on. This stunt isn't just ludicrous its offensive.

Remember though, to the Republican base, the free press is a scoourge.

Posted by: Saint Zak on September 23, 2008 at 1:29 PM | PERMALINK

The Republicans like to bash the main stream media for being biased. I'd love to see them squirm if the MSM actually DID favor the Dems by cutting off Republican blather altogether. Hell, even cut off the complaints about the MSM not covering them. All they'd have is Fox.

Posted by: JWK on September 23, 2008 at 1:36 PM | PERMALINK

Mark Halperin of the Times is reporting that Obama will take press questions soon today and that John McCain will be taking press questions at 4 pm.

Posted by: handle the truth on September 23, 2008 at 1:37 PM | PERMALINK

Prup wrote: "I just had to make The Decision about the 17-year old cat who has been the closest friend I've ever had."

You have my condolences.

"Not lost, but gone before."

Posted by: SecularAnimist on September 23, 2008 at 1:42 PM | PERMALINK

The double standard is mind boggling. If a Dem tried any of the bullshit these people are pulling, the howls of outrage would be heard around the world. Every day I wake up and wonder if I have been transported to the other side of the looking glass...just when I think it can't get any weirder they strech the bounds of reality again. This country is going south in a Lewis Carrol nightmare.

Posted by: John R on September 23, 2008 at 1:47 PM | PERMALINK

Keep in mind the old saying, there's no such thing as bad publicity. John McCain has been battered and bruised the last two weeks. He's stumbling and fumbling and flailing around amidst this economic crisis...so enter the Sarah Palin Freak Show, stage left. What economic crisis? Sarah Palin has put on her clown make up and is in the center ring again, that's all that matters.

Posted by: Saint Zak on September 23, 2008 at 1:47 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, Prup, I'm so sorry. It's an awful thing to lose a member of the family, and the decision you've been faced with is never easy. Peace and love to you and yours.

Posted by: Keori on September 23, 2008 at 1:54 PM | PERMALINK

"I guess someone in the McCain campaign figured out that Afghanistan and Columbia can't be seen from Alaska."

Yes but according to McAce they do share a border...

Posted by: stevio on September 23, 2008 at 1:56 PM | PERMALINK

CNN has now been showing clips of the meeting. While I am no lip reader, it looks like they're having a friendly competition to see who can pronounce "Cheese" better.

Posted by: danp on September 23, 2008 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

Prup I'm sorry to hear about that. I have macaws, so they'll outlive me. I can't imagine losing one of them.

If I were CNN this is what I would have done when the McCain camp blinked. "We've reassigned that crew. They're prepping for Sen. O bama's press conference. We don't have anyone available for Gov. Palin."

Posted by: Saint Zak on September 23, 2008 at 2:02 PM | PERMALINK

The Presidents of AFgahnistan, Columbia and the former mayor of Wasillia.

May I suggest a discussion on illegal drugs.
We have heroin, cocaine and meth covered.

Posted by: Himself on September 23, 2008 at 2:04 PM | PERMALINK

How about CNN ask world leaders why the agreed to meet with Ms Congeniality and what their feelings are about her experience.

Can we assume the translators have been to Foreign Policy School so Palin doesn't offend said world leaders ?

Posted by: ScottW on September 23, 2008 at 2:04 PM | PERMALINK

As I said on another thread, here, have Obama stop buying time on the CSM for ads. Withhold the millions of dollars in ad revenue from them. Force them to cover the campaign with reporters and news stories. Any ad placed by McCain can be refuted by press conference or press release. Why should Obama have to subsidize the media corporations with his ad money? He could then use that money to hire more surrogates and pay his "volunteers" for their time and energy. Flood the media outlets, print and electronic, with news stories and press releases. Flood the newspapers with Letter to the Editor stating his positions and addressing the lies of the opposition. Just some thoughts.
I am committed to Oneness through Justice and Transformation
peace,
st john

Posted by: st john on September 23, 2008 at 2:04 PM | PERMALINK

Bush at least is in a bubble of his own making. Sarah Palin is in a McCain bubble. It may be ugly when it bursts.

Posted by: taxpayer on September 23, 2008 at 2:22 PM | PERMALINK

Prup, I'm so sorry about your kitty. Been there, it's tough. Kitty will have a place in your heart forever.

Posted by: Hannah on September 23, 2008 at 2:22 PM | PERMALINK

... others see the farce going on here and say "we are smarter than this" and they will bail.

One problem: most voters aren't smarter than this, as demonstrated by the past two elections. True, Shrub genuine won neither of them, if by winning you mean getting more votes than your opponent. But enough people were stupid enough to vote for him to allow the GOP to steal the win.

That, put simply, is the GOP's election strategy: get enough stupid people to vote for you to allow you to steal the election.

What, me paranoid?
-Z

Posted by: Zorro on September 23, 2008 at 2:31 PM | PERMALINK

She becomes more cringe-inducing as the days drag on. This stunt isn't just ludicrous its offensive.

But to the Reptiles, this is a feature, not a bug. One of the things movement conservatives love about Palin is that she "annoys liberals."

Posted by: Gregory on September 23, 2008 at 2:42 PM | PERMALINK

but the reporters WEREN'T allowed in during the meeting. the CNN producer was allowed in the room for two minutes while video was shot to show sarah being all vice-presidential but then they were all hustled out of the room.

to claim that the mccain campaign "backed down" is absurd.

Posted by: karen marie on September 23, 2008 at 3:04 PM | PERMALINK

My thoughts are with you. This is never an easy decision to make. I know as I had to make the same one about a year ago for my 19-year-old Rudy Cat. Be at peace and let your friend travel on without you in peace and love.

XOXOXOXO

Posted by: Prup on September 23, 2008 at 3:11 PM | PERMALINK

karen marie wrote: "... to claim that the mccain campaign 'backed down' is absurd"

I agree. CNN backed down, not the Palin-McCain campaign. The campaign got exactly what they wanted: splashy photos of Palin smirking alongside some "world leaders", and no questions asked.

In spite of the whining and grumbling of a few media "personalities", who are offended at being openly treated like the lackeys they are by the Palin-McCain campaign, in general the corporate-owned media is doing exactly what its ultra-rich owners want, which is to help put Their Man McCain in the White House.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on September 23, 2008 at 3:37 PM | PERMALINK

***Purp*** you have my deepest sympathy. Not easy to endure such a loss and we end up hoping some natural cause will relive the suffering so we don't have to make that decision. My best friend is going through exactly the same thing now and it is so painful but all one can do is bite the bullet and walk through it. The nature of existence is that eventually we have to let go of everything. We try to accept it and go on to do the next right thing. Hang in there...this too shall pass.

Palin coverage...who cares! Just bitch-slap CNN and like a good whore they will continue to do what they are told.

McCain mangers have told the press "you'll get to talk to Palin when you learn to do as you are told...act with deference...now get back on the corner and attract customers".

Posted by: joey(bjobotts) on September 23, 2008 at 3:47 PM | PERMALINK

The FReepers are hailing her toughness at standing up to evil CNN. Despots throughout the world are trembling.

orange

Posted by: Argus on September 23, 2008 at 4:07 PM | PERMALINK

what a stupid fucking joke of a campaign this guy is running

Posted by: lippy stevenson on September 23, 2008 at 6:12 PM | PERMALINK

JimBenton - my sympathies about your cat. 19 is a good life and you eased her passing.

Wait a little while and then adopt a "rescue" animal; there's one out there with your "name" on it.

Posted by: phoebes in santa fe on September 23, 2008 at 6:25 PM | PERMALINK

I guess media is getting a pair... as Amy Poehler acting as Hillary challenged them to do...
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=EVndk47caco

Kudos

Posted by: papa bear on September 23, 2008 at 6:27 PM | PERMALINK

All americans should write these national media outlets and demand, that they get access to Gov. Palin are recall all media coverage. By the media's continued coverage of this hallow person is a point of disgust and brutal assault on the america public. This is wrong for you to allow this to continue while all of the candiates have gone through the gauntlet, while a bed of roses has been layed out for this Palin. IF the media does not insist IMMEDIATELY, we should start a grassroot move and stop subscriptions to the media that will not do thier job. We are receiving nothing anything way. Bring something worthy, or stop reporting at all. Media has allowed it's self to be used to create the mystic about Palin, enough of this mess. If I read, hear, or see another report Palin without substance the war will began. I am sick to the point of nausea, and this needs to end. America let's start a revolution against those who constantly take the people of america for grant. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: make1 on September 23, 2008 at 9:02 PM | PERMALINK

All I saw on TV over here in England were pictures of her sitting at the UN doing a Condoleeza Rice impression with what obviously looked to be various dignitaries from around the world. We saw exactly what the GOP campaign managers wanted, therefore. No questions were fired at the lady of the moment. As usual, she didn't utter a word to anyone. How can America allow someone to run for the second most important job in the country without being allowed to ask that person any questions about their opinions and intended policies? The USA had lost much of its diplomatic credibility abroad as a result of the Bush administration and now it looks like the way that America does business is being called into question by the rest of the world. The Palin saga is only serving to make America look even more stupid: the laughing stock of the western world.

Sort it out!

Posted by: UKBlaza on September 24, 2008 at 2:30 AM | PERMALINK

Thank you to everyone who sent their good wishes my way. The decision was not unexpected, Sprout had been ill for a while, but the suddenness of his decline was a shock, and I will never forget him. We had adopted another cat a week ago, thinking that when it happened, it would be easier to go from five to four than from four to three (but Sprout was always special, and I'm keeping myself from writing pages about him) and it was like he saw Quint (not just 'fifth cat' but 'Quintessential Cat") he decided that "Jim is in good hands, I can rest now."

At least he responded to the sound of my voice, paw-curling as I said 'Good-bye.' But he'll always be part of me, alive in my memory, from the 6-month old kitten that climbed on my shoulder, asked to be taken home, and started cursing out a passing German Shepherd, to the dignified "Old Man" who had his own pillow -- with only special pillow cases -- next to mine.

Thank you all yet again. Your words are helping me this dark night.

Posted by: Prup (aka Jim Benton) on September 24, 2008 at 2:53 AM | PERMALINK

Tough, deal with it. Why should McCain expose Palen to you rude agenda driven reporters with the only thing on your minds- to embarrass her?

Posted by: Ralph Crossen on September 24, 2008 at 7:00 AM | PERMALINK

Tough, deal with it. Why should McCain expose Palen to you rude agenda driven reporters with the only thing on your minds- to embarrass her?

Because she is running fir vice fucking president and politics ain't beanbag. If the undereducated wingnut twit can't stand the heat she should get back in the kitchen.

Posted by: Blue Girl on September 24, 2008 at 10:23 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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