Tuesday, October 28, 2008

McCain's Media Relations Go Limp after Reporter's Viagra Question.

I can't complain this year. I've had some good access to John McCain during his visits to New Mexico. Heck, last Monday, he called the 770 KKOB newsroom and asked to speak to me. He allowed me five minutes for this interview recorded before the campaign announced he would travel to New Mexico on Saturday. I was also invited in July to be one of five reporters in a local pool to ride in the back of McCain's Straight Talk Express. Listen to our discussion on the back of the bus here.

While local reporter's have had been continually granted access to McCain, the national press pool's access evaporated in July.

If you recall, it happened after a reporter, riding in the back of the Straight Talk Express bus asked him why health insurance companies covered men's Viagra prescriptions, but not some women's birth control drugs.

Today, Maeve Reston, the reporter who asked the question, wrote about the incident and how it may have impacted Sen. McCain's relations with the national media.
It wasn't my intention, but I played a role in shutting down John McCain's Straight Talk Express.

It happened on a warm July afternoon as McCain traveled from a West Virginia airport to a rally in Ohio.

On Saturday, In Albuquerque, at the Spanish Village, McCain, who was introduced by South Carolina Senator Lindsay Graham, told the crowd Sen. Graham was his best friend in the Senate. Reston recalls this about her interaction with Graham on McCain's Straight Talk jet.
I remembered Graham's explanation in January about why McCain spent so much time with reporters. He said that McCain felt too many politicians had become like a guy in a toothpaste commercial -- you knew what he was selling but not what was behind the smile.

What McCain didn't like about other campaigns and wanted to change, Graham continued, was that "nobody gets behind the curtain."

Whether it was McCain's fault or ours, the curtain had been drawn tight.

Read Reston's story here. And re-watch the video of the Q & A here.

Note: I'm still waiting for access to Senator Barack Obama. And we've offered him equal time.


Benson said...

Speaking of media access, when is the Heinrich campaign gonna pull their heads out of their asses and reverse the "ban" on you?

(poking a hornet's nest? me? Never...)

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