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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "press"

Gubernatorial candidate refuses female reporter’s access to campaign

Westlake Legal Group 097c49d8-82b4-437f-9c69-997174051e80 Gubernatorial candidate refuses female reporter’s access to campaign The Blog robert foster reporters press optics Mississippi Larrison Campbell governor gop

A story has been going around for a few days about the Mississippi gubernatorial race. A Republican running in the party’s primary to be the nominee for governor refused a request from a newspaper’s female reporter to cover a campaign trip unless she brought along a male colleague. Is it sexism or is it a personal conviction at play?

Reporters for Mississippi Today asked to shadow all three of the Republicans running for the nomination as they campaign around the state. Two candidates, Bill Waller, a former state supreme court chief justice, and Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves agreed to a request from a male reporter. Robert Foster, a state representative, declined the request from a female reporter unless she agreed to bring a male colleague with her. She was told that the candidate can’t “risk it” – the optics of such coverage during a 15-hour campaign trip. She is crying sexism and wrote a story about the incident.

In two phone calls this week, Colton Robison, Foster’s campaign director, said a male colleague would need to accompany this reporter on an upcoming 15-hour campaign trip because they believed the optics of the candidate with a woman, even a working reporter, could be used in a smear campaign to insinuate an extramarital affair.

“The only reason you think that people will think I’m having a (improper) relationship with your candidate is because I am a woman,” this reporter said.

Robison said the campaign simply “can’t risk it.”

“Perception is everything. We are so close to the primary. If (trackers) were to get a picture and they put a mailer out, we wouldn’t have time to dispute it. And that’s why we have to be careful,” Robinson said Tuesday afternoon by phone.

The female reporter, Larrison Campbell, has a professional history with Foster. She broke the story when he became the first to announce his candidacy in the gubernatorial race last December. She also reported about Republican operatives offering Foster money to run for a different office. She says she has interviewed him many times at the capitol, in phone interviews, and at political events.

The catch is that Foster is a strong conservative. He’s running to the right of the other candidates, according to the reporter. He is considered the underdog in the race. Foster’s campaign manager admitted to “a weird request” but stuck to it.

Mississippi Today requested a ride-along with the Foster in late June. On July 7, Robison, the campaign manager, called about joining the candidate on an upcoming trip to the Gulf Coast and Laurel. At the end of the conversation, in what he acknowledged was a “weird request,” Robison said I would need a male colleague to accompany me on the trip.

My editor and I agreed the request was sexist and an unnecessary use of resources given this reporter’s experience covering Mississippi politics; Tuesday, Robison was informed that this reporter would participate in the ride-along story alone.

The back and forth between Campbell and the campaign continued. She offered to wear her press id at all times in case a photo of her and Foster was taken. In the end, the campaign held to its decision to refuse her request.

The natural question here is whether or not Foster’s decision is a consequence of the #MeToo movement. That’s possible but I think it is more in line with a small minority of conservative male politicians who believe it is disrespectful toward their wives to be alone with a female, even in a professional setting. This pre-dates the #MeToo movement. Remember the crap that Vice-President Pence took from the left after his acknowledgement that he doesn’t go to dinner with any woman but his wife and that he doesn’t attend events serving alcholic beverages without his wife? It is a protective action Pence takes to shelter his marriage and his wife from outside attacks.

Before Pence, there was Rev. Billy Graham. The “Billy Graham Rule” was cited by Foster.

Foster defended his decision to exclude Campbell. “Before our decision to run, my wife and I made a commitment to follow the ‘Billy Graham Rule’, which is to avoid any situation that may evoke suspicion or compromise of our marriage,” he wrote on Twitter late Tuesday. “I am sorry Ms. Campbell doesn’t share these views, but my decision was out of respect of my wife.”

I wasn’t going to write about this story when I first read about it because I thought it would just be another story that is viewed through the lens of political party lines. I thought conservatives might not agree with Foster’s decision but would understand why he made it while liberals would bash him as a sexist pig. Saturday morning, however, I tuned into the Smerconish show on CNN. He used this story as the basis of a poll question he presented to the audience. “Is a candidate justified in precluding a reporter traveling with him?” He admitted he assumed that his audience would be against it. It’s CNN, you know.

Smerconish delivered the results at the end of the show – with 19,029 votes counted, he was surprised by the tally. 63% Yes, 37% No. Well, look at that. Is there hope for common sense in America after all? The results surprised me, too, to be honest. The left loves to bash conservatives as throwbacks to the 1950’s and all that. I wonder if a more liberal CNN show host would have received less favorable results from his or her audience. From the publicity Ms. Campbell has garnered for herself, maybe Mr. Foster made the right decision. With her history of covering his run, was his campaign’s response to her request really such a surprise?

The only televised debate in this primary race with be Tuesday, July 23, 2019. I wonder if the question will come up. The primary election is Tuesday, August 6, 2019.

The post Gubernatorial candidate refuses female reporter’s access to campaign appeared first on Hot Air.

Westlake Legal Group 097c49d8-82b4-437f-9c69-997174051e80-300x153 Gubernatorial candidate refuses female reporter’s access to campaign The Blog robert foster reporters press optics Mississippi Larrison Campbell governor gop   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Narcissistic Mainstream Press Wonders Why White House Is Pulling Their Press Credentials

Westlake Legal Group narcissistic-mainstream-press-wonders-why-white-house-is-pulling-their-press-credentials Narcissistic Mainstream Press Wonders Why White House Is Pulling Their Press Credentials white house Trump administration press Media Front Page Stories Featured Story
Westlake Legal Group AP_17200721588671-620x340 Narcissistic Mainstream Press Wonders Why White House Is Pulling Their Press Credentials white house Trump administration press Media Front Page Stories Featured Story

Deputy White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders fields questions from reporters during the daily briefing, Wednesday, July 19, 2017, at the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

The Trump White House has already become infamous for how they handle the press. They’ve stopped the formal press briefings — which had devolved into a cage match where poor Sarah Sanders tried to absorb the slings and arrows — in favor of informal gaggles in the driveway, where officials speak off the cuff and hope for the best.

Now, according to longtime Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank, they’re revoking the passes of people like him who have have enjoyed a “front-row seat to history.”

Without ripping on Milbank too much, as it likely stings to be kicked out of the inner circle, his op-ed on the recent revocation of his “magical ticket” is instructive because, while it’s wrapped in concerns about press access and a tamping down of their ability to hold leadership accountable, it’s mostly about him.

And that, if Milbank and others could honestly analyze things for a second, may be part of the why they find themselves outside the gates.

Take Milbank’s opening paragraphs relaying the news he was no longer seated at the table.

I was in the White House the night Bill Clinton admitted his affair with Monica Lewinsky, and the day he was impeached. I was there on Sept. 11, 2001, and the fearful days thereafter, when we were trained to use escape hoods. I watched George W. Bush make the case for the Iraq War and Barack Obama pitch his remedies for the market crash. There, too, I have witnessed the carnival-like briefings and high histrionics of Donald Trump’s presidency.

But no more. The White House eliminated most briefings and severely restricted access to official events. And this week came the coup de grace: After covering four presidents, I received an email informing me that Trump’s press office had revoked my White House credential.

He sees the revocation of hard passes in favor of passes only for those journalists who are literally in the building almost daily — the hungry ones who show up — as a bit of a slap in the face for someone of his stature who has been in the viewing gallery for all the major events over the last 20 years.

And he believes it’s mostly because he’s a Trump critic.

He might be right. But the tone of his op-ed likely translates into how he approaches his work — by making himself a part of the news — and he might want to consider that the revocation of his and others’ hard press passes may have been informed by that same attitude.

The post Narcissistic Mainstream Press Wonders Why White House Is Pulling Their Press Credentials appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group AP_17200721588671-300x164 Narcissistic Mainstream Press Wonders Why White House Is Pulling Their Press Credentials white house Trump administration press Media Front Page Stories Featured Story   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

According To DOJ Data, Trump Administration Is As Leaky As Trump Says

Westlake Legal Group leaks2-620x419 According To DOJ Data, Trump Administration Is As Leaky As Trump Says Trump administration press Media leaks Front Page Stories Featured Story Abuse of Power

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A watchdog group that monitors the intelligence community has determined, using data from the Department of Justice, that Donald Trump is correct when he complains about his administration’s leaks to the press: the number of leaks of classified information reached record highs over the last two years.

The number of leaks that were reported as potential crimes by federal agencies reached record high levels over the last two years, according to data released by the Justice Department last week and reported Monday by the Federation of American Scientists, which monitors the intelligence community.

There were 120 leak referrals for possible prosecution in 2017 and 88 in 2018, up from 37 in 2016 and 18 in 2015, the data shows. Only a small percentage of the cases are likely to be prosecuted.

Steven Aftergood, who directs the federation’s Project on Government Secrecy, says the uptick is almost certainly due to the fact that under Trump, there is a lot more leaking going on. There has also been a renewed focus by the Justice Department in ferreting out leakers.

“I think it’s because there are more leaks,” said Aftergood, who publishes a weekly newsletter on secrecy. “Agencies have been serious about leaks forever—it’s not like they decided, ‘oh we’re going to suddenly start paying attention to this.’ So the fact that it has escalated so sharply indicates that there is something qualitatively different.”

Trump has been complaining about leaks since almost the beginning of his time in office, calling leakers traitors and the leaks themselves, “massive over exaggeration[s] put out by the Fake News Media”.

His administration has been plagued with leaks, not only of the petty, rivalrous type but leaks of serious information that constitute criminal behavior. There was the NSA contractor taking documents home; the Georgia NSA employee who sits in prison for giving information about Russia election interference to the media; and of course, Edward Snowden’s massive leak of thousands upon thousands of NSA documents.

Aftergood and other experts believe discipline about classified information has been diminishing. Trusted, cleared individuals at the CIA and the National Security Agency, including Edward Snowden, have disclosed a raft of secrets in recent years, and that phenomenon continues.

Two examples include the leaking of transcripts of Trump’s phone calls with foreign leaders to the Washington Post, and the disclosures about irregularities in the way the White House processed Jared Kushner’s security clearance to NBC News. It’s not clear whether either case was referred to the Justice Department by a federal agency, although Republican Devin Nunes, then chairman of the intelligence committee, said he filed his own referral on the transcripts.

“In some cases, these are not leaks from deep in the military bureaucracy — they’re right out of the oval office, and that’s pretty much unheard of,” Aftergood said.

The Trump administration has averaged 104 leak referrals per year. The Obama Administration (2009-2016) only saw 39 criminal referrals for leaks per year, the federation found.

In 2017, then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions created a new unit within the FBI to handle what he called a “staggering” number of leaks.

“We respect the role that the press plays … but it is not unlimited,” Sessions said said at the time the new unit was created.

The post According To DOJ Data, Trump Administration Is As Leaky As Trump Says appeared first on RedState.

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