21 October 2008

Freedom of the Press, If the Price is Right

Come and welcome your new Executive Branch Overlord, but if you want to cover the event, you better be prepared to pay up, sucka!

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.

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--but this 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.


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.

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.
You know, when Astroturf Bill shook down his stoodges for a night in the White House, I didn't care much. That didn't change my life. I care about this, since Obama is now selling media access to himself as the presumptive president. Would someone tell me exactly where in the Bill of Rights one cuts a check to a political campaign in exchange for that right.


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