DODGING BULLETS....On campaign conference calls, reporters who want to ask questions press *1 and are put in a queue. When their turn comes up, they get to ask their question. But David Corn reports that there are exceptions:Political Animal
This is not how the McCain campaign does it. When a reporter calls in for a conference call, he or she is asked by an operator to provide his or her name and media outlet. Then when it comes time for questions, there is a long pause — long enough for someone in the campaign to select whom should be called on. This has caused several journalists who have participated in these calls to wonder: is the McCain campaign screening reporters, and, if so, on what basis? A reporter for a progressive media outlet says that he has tried at least half a dozen times to ask a question on a McCain conference call and has had never been selected.Right-wing bloggers with softball questions, however ("Can you address...that Barack Obama doesn't have any executive experience at all?") seem to have no trouble being called on. That's some straight talkin'!
The same has happened to me. No matter how quickly I press *1, I'm never afforded the opportunity to pose a question....In an email, I asked Jill Hazelbaker, McCain's communications director, if the McCain campaign was screening reporters in an attempt to manage the conference calls. She did not reply. I called the campaign's media office and posed the same question. The woman who answered placed me on hold. A few moments later, she told me that a press officer would soon call with an answer. No one ever did.
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