Any attempt at comprehensive coverage of the event by us would never get off the ground.
In case you haven’t already figured it out, we’re not there.
We’ve previously attempted to cover a McCain campaign event in our area – with some success. It’s just that we weren’t made to feel particularly welcome:
After two days of calling McCain headquarters asking for credentials (they don’t do credentials) to today’s town hall at Union Station in Kansas City I was told to show up with my identification. They put me on their media notification e-mail list and I received the press logistics notice. So I hauled myself out of bed at 5:00 a.m. and got to Union Station at about 7:30 a.m. Then we waited around for a while. Then we went through security…
…They didn’t know what to do with all the “freelancers” who showed up to cover this event. After a bit of head scratching from the people on the ground they decided to let us “media orphans” in…
…Then we were informed we might be asked to leave. Then we were informed we’d be allowed to stay…
To be fair, I did get in (Hey there, Tina!), but apparently not everyone can anymore:
…Something interesting is happening with John McCain’s campaign. Up until now, we’ve had no trouble gaining access to field offices and volunteers. Here in St. Louis, we were told by Tina Hervey, Missouri Republican State Party Press Secretary, that she had never heard of FiveThirtyEight, and while they trusted Politico, we were people who they had to decide whether we “shouldn’t or don’t need to be talking to.” (McCain’s Missouri press secretary actually works out of Iowa, and did not return calls or email.) I told Tina that’s not a story we wanted to write, that this was our first Republican resistance, and that while she may not have heard of us, we’d probably go over 2.5 million site visits this week, now that we’re regularly past 400,000 per weekday. I told her I’d hold off writing her flat refusal and give her the opportunity to change her mind.
No budging. We were told that we’d be asked to leave public field offices we now attempted to visit. We did not get any promised follow-up helping get access to the post-debate Palin rally last night, and we were locked out. Hmm…
Given our past experience, the present environment, and the tone of the event advisory, we at Show Me Progress were not even going to try to cover the Belton event.
Okay, after I figured I wouldn’t have a chance of getting into the event, I received this:
McCain-Palin 2008 Campaign Conference Call
For Immediate Release
Contact: Press Office
Monday, October 20, 2008…
…ARLINGTON, VA — Today, at 4:00 p.m. EDT, McCain-Palin 2008 will hold a press conference call with Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Randy Scheunemann, McCain-Palin Foreign Policy Adviser to discuss Joe Biden’s admission that Barack Obama’s election will precipitate an international crisis.
Monday, October 20, 2008
PRESS CONFERENCE CALL
WHO: Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani
Randy Scheunemann, McCain-Palin Foreign Policy Adviser
WHAT: Press Conference Call
WHEN: Monday, October 20, 2008 at 4:00 p.m. EDT
Must be payback for “Noun, verb, 9/11”.
This would be really interesting.
So I figured I’d dial into the conference call. Busy signal. I kid you not. I’ve never called into a conference call that didn’t pick up right away. Is it really possible to get a busy signal?
It’s a symptom of the universe and the state of McCain’s campaign…