The latest report on how the McCain campaign is tightly managing Governor Palin’s interactions with both the press and the public is noteworthy but hardly news to observers over the last 10 days. Aside from an interview with People magazine, all of her appearances have been completely controlled by Team McCain. This will continue, apparently, until the Ms. Palin sits down with Charles Gibson at the end of the week. That’ll be two solid weeks of nothing but the same set of soundbites from the GOP’s VP candidate.
What really struck me, though, as I read the AP story was the complicity of the media in allowing this state of affairs to persist. Nowhere have I read of any efforts by the large traveling press corp trailing the McCain/Palin roadshow to break through the cordon around Ms. Palin. Ditto the local press at the various stops. To the contrary, it appears they’ve stood where they were told, kept their mouths shut as instructed and been careful not to rile their handlers.
Chances are they won’t be doing a lot of riling despite my wishes to the contrary (What ever happened to the calling to “comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable?”). The campaign controls who gets on the plane and who doesn’t, who gets invited to briefings and who doesn’t, who gets the leaks and who doesn’t. Unfortunately, not too many news organizations are willing to suffer a competitive disadvantage by taking that risk. Ditto most journalists who don’t want their careers derailed by breaking protocol. This is the kind of devil’s bargain that shape coverage in ways that don’t often get noticed, but is real nonetheless.
Looks like we’re getting closer to that “respectful and deferential” standard all the time.
– Austin payroll services fine