Sarah Palin is going rogue again. Want to cover the potential Republican presidential candidate? Better bring your running shoes.
Unlike most carefully choreographed presidential campaigns that routinely release detailed candidate schedules, Palin’s staff is keeping most of the national news media in the dark about her political action committee’s bus tour this week.
The result is a chaotic game of cat and mouse, with the media frantically chasing the 2008 vice presidential candidate from one stop to the next.
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Palin, a paid contributor for Fox News, told the network Monday that she is challenging reporters to keep up the pace.
“I don’t think I owe anything to the mainstream media. I want them to have to do a little bit of work on a tour like this,” she said.
With few details about Palin’s movements Monday, reporters raced to follow her up Interstate 95 from George Washington’s home at Mount Vernon, Virginia, to Fort McHenry in Baltimore.
And CBS producer Ryan Corsaro thinks Palin is creating a dangerous situation by not telling the press where she’d headed next:
“I just hope to God that one of these young producers with a camera whose bosses are making them follow Sarah Palin as a potential Republican candidate don’t get in a car crash, because this is dangerous,” he said.
Corsaro asked a member of Palin’s team if he thought it was dangerous to have reporters forced to chase her from stop to stop. “You’re the ones that are trailing us,” he replied.
Oh, and in other news, Joe Biden has closed his fundraisers to the press:
A little more than a week ago, Vice President Joe Biden traveled to fund-raisers in two battleground-state cities, Pittsburgh and Cincinnati.
Neither stop included the White House press corps; requests by local media to cover the events were denied by the vice president’s press office. The Democratic National Committee arranged all of the events for the Obama Victory Fund.
A number of seasoned political reporters and former White House press-office staffers consider that lack of press coverage to be a dangerous precedent.
“It would behoove the Obama administration to keep its promise of transparency even with fund-raisers,” agrees Jeff Brauer, a political history professor at Keystone College. “The United States is a democracy, after all.”
Having press coverage of fund-raising events with the president or vice president matters for at least two reasons, Brauer explains:
“One, large amounts of taxpayer dollars are being used for personal security at such events. As with all tax dollars, they should be spent with accountability.
“Two, it is important for the public to know what the president and vice president are saying to donors. Is it the same message they are saying to the electorate at-large?”
Imagine if the same media members were as vocal about Biden’s media blackout as they are of Palin’s, but we know that won’t happen.