Yesterday Vice President Joe Biden came to town to host a fundraiser for US Representative Kurt Schrader, but I was barred from seeing him, along with all but one reporter from town. So who was the lucky reporter let in? That would be Harry Esteve at the Oregonian, who filed this story. According to the sole report, Biden's speech focused on Republicans' refusal to work with Democrats on issues like health care reform and unemployment.
Esteve also noted the tasty food:
Donors inside the Tiffany Center near downtown Portland munched on Northwest food, including oysters from Tillamook and wild Pacific salmon. Biden spoke for about half an hour and took no questions from the audience. About 25 people who paid $5,000 were able to personally greet the vice president and have their photos taken with him.
Kari Chisholm over at BlueOregon notes that I shouldn't be pissed about the event not being open to reporters, because fundraisers are typically private affairs. But I don't see any problem created by having more reporters covering the event from the back of the room (if we promise not to eat any of the expensive oysters), but only having one reporter (especially one of the White House's choosing) filing a story because then we only get one perspective on the event. The discussion is narrowed. Politicians who want to win public trust should start at square one by being open to reporters and encourage transparency and public discourse through encouraging multiple media reports.
I spent all last year ragging on people like Sarah Palin for restricting media access to outrageously expensive speaking events. So a Democrat who only wants one media outlet allowed at his $5,000-for-a-photo oyster fest? Not the kind of Democrat I want to vote for.
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