Apparently fearing they would repeat the embarrassing Peggy Joseph-type “Barack’s gonna pay my mortgage” fiascoes of 2008, the Obama campaign has barred the media from speaking to its supporters outside of campaign rallies.
Here in southeast PA, where anyone who comments on local news web sites can tell you that Obama’s supporters are especially ill-informed and ignorant, one reporter had his microphone grabbed by an Obama campaign worker who was in a panic that he might speak to a dimwitted Obama supporter.
Dave Davies was at Michelle Obama’s event yesterday in Montgomery County. Davies works for devotedly liberal WHYY, which is Philadelphia’s PBS channel.
I was speaking to a very enthusiastic Obama supporter named Corinne Dieterle, when I was interrupted by a young man wearing a campaign staff tag telling me I couldn’t be doing this.
This is outside, in front of a public high school.
“You can’t be doing this in line,” he said.
“Why is that?” I asked.
No answer. “I’m sorry,” I said. “I can’t do what in line?”
“You can’t be interviewing people in line,” he said.
I asked him repeatedly who he was and why interviews were banned.
Those inquiries were met with silence. At one point he grabbed my microphone, and released it when I asked him to.
I decided to try speaking to a couple who were approaching, but not yet in the line. A different campaign operative approached and the same thing happened. He also refused to identify himself.
Later, inside the gym, I was in the assigned media pen and chatting across the rope line with Dieterle, who I’d tried to interview earlier. Another Obama press aide, Desiree Peterkin Bell came and politely told me that wasn’t permitted.
Dieterle by the way was troubled by what had happened, and called the interference of campaign aides “un-American.”
The article goes on to note that this is pretty much unheard of.
Let’s remember Peggy Joseph, who apparently so humiliated the Obama administration that no reporter will ever be allowed to speak to any Obama supporter ever again.