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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

What a Real Media Revolt Would Look Like

Posted by Dan Savage on Tue, Sep 23, 2008 at 1:37 PM

The media revolts against the McCain campaign's attempts to restrict access to a Palin photo-op, says the NYT. After attempting to keep all reporters out of a photo-op between Palin and Afghan President Hamid Karzai, the McCain camp relents and allows a single reporter to observe the photo-op.

Hm.

Maybe it's time for the media to pull all reporters -- print and television, photographers and videographers -- off the McCain campaign. Entirely. Press coverage of a campaign is supposed to be a two-way street. The candidate wants to get his mug on television, he wants his rallies and speeches broadcast and written up, he wants to use the media to reach the voters. In exchange for allowing themselves to be used, the candidate is supposed to make himself available to reporters and anchors, answer questions, hold press conferences. The McCain campaign isn't holding up its end of the deal. It's using the media to reach voters without making Palin and, increasingly, McCain available for questioning.

Why should the media play along? The media should pull reporters off the McCain campaign and refuse to cover rallies or speeches until McCain and Palin start holding press conferences. Period. You want to reach our viewers and readers? Start answering our questions. Don't want to answer our questions? We'll ignore you and your campaign.

UPDATE! John Aravosis has made the exact same point at Americablog.

Why is the media putting up with this? Just pull your staff from the bus (well, van) and plane. You people serve no more purpose than FOX News. You're there to parrot what Palin and McCain want you to parrot. Stop it. CNN and CBS took a good first step today, by pulling their reporters from a phony Palin photo opp. Now it's time to go for the Full Monty. Pull your reporters from coverage of the McCain campaign until Palin and McCain start acting like big boys and girls, like potential future leaders of the free world.

Great/gay minds, etc.

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