Today's Republican News, Complete With Paris Hilton

At the Republican Convention, President Bush will speak on Labor Day, with the hope that backyard barbequers will be too busy to notice he was there. Dick Cheney might skip the event entirely, for equally obvious reasons. Also absent will the indicted Ted Stevens and the toe-tapping Larry Craig.

"Gordon Smith of Oregon, Elizabeth Dole of North Carolina and Susan Collins of Maine all face tough re-election campaigns" so they'll also take a pass. They may be hoping that voters don't realize they're Republicans.

In other Republican news:

A newspaper is asking John McCain's campaign why a black reporter assigned to cover a rally was singled out by security and told to leave a backstage area.

[more ...]

Stephen Price, a reporter for the Tallahassee Democrat, was among four Florida capital press corps reporters behind the scenes at a Panama City rally Friday when a Secret Service agent approached and asked if he was part of the national media traveling with McCain. Price said no, and the agent told him he had to leave. Price said he then pointed out that there were other state reporters in the same area, but was still told to leave. The other reporters were white. ...

Price said he could think of no other reason why he was approached other than his race. He said he had to show his media credentials to get into the area, and that he was there for several minutes before being removed.

"It was just a really crazy situation. We were being carted out of there and everyone was looking," Price said, adding that he felt upset and humiliated. He said he hasn't received an apology from the McCain campaign.

The newspaper's executive editor, Bob Gabordi, said he has sought an explanation from the McCain campaign and hasn't received one.

"I'm upset because my reporter was singled out for whatever reason. That bothers me. We're just trying to figure out what that reason was," Gabordi said.

But he added that he keeps going over the facts and he hasn't found a reason except that Price is black.

Now that this story is out, you can bet Price will get an apology.

Finally, for those of you seeking an alternative to the two major candidates, Paris Hilton, responding to John McCain's ad comparing her to Barack Obama, announced that she's also a worthy presidential candidate. Video here.

Update: This is the Tallahassee Democrat story on the Stephen Price incident.

< Clay Learns From His Mistake: Voters Support Decrim of MJ | Paris Hilton Strikes Back >
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  • Display: Sort:
    Completely unsurprised. (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Thanin on Tue Aug 05, 2008 at 07:17:56 PM EST

    Shouldn't the SS have to explain (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by nycstray on Tue Aug 05, 2008 at 07:22:01 PM EST
    themselves? Seems to me, unless McCain was there or gave the directions to the SS, it's on them, not McCain. I'm sure McCain will apologize, but I think they're barking up the wrong tree.

    Whoa there...of course McCain is not (none / 0) (#8)
    by TheJoker on Tue Aug 05, 2008 at 07:30:18 PM EST
    responsible in reality but this is politics not reality. This is part of the gotcha game in our society (but I suspect you already knew that)

    The paper is seeming to want (5.00 / 0) (#11)
    by nycstray on Tue Aug 05, 2008 at 08:45:51 PM EST
    an apology from McCain though. If I go to a baseball game and security treats me like crap, I don't ask big George or the Yankees for an apology, I complain to NYPD or Stadium management.

    This article says (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by MichaelGale on Tue Aug 05, 2008 at 07:26:03 PM EST
    it was the Secret Service and that other reporters were asked to move...doesn't it?

    The other two reporters, Alex Leary of the St. Petersburg Times and Marc Caputo of The Miami Herald, weren't removed.

    Caputo, however, said that initially he also was told he had to leave the area.

    "Security was tight and was a bit over-controlling, which is par for the course at these events. And, as par for the course, I tried to get near the candidate when I saw another reporter there (Alex Leary). Security tried to throw me out, but I found a McCain staffer I knew and the person vouched for me," Caputo said in an e-mail to The Associated Press.

    I am not a McCain fan but let's be fair.  

    Please note ... (5.00 / 3) (#7)
    by TChris on Tue Aug 05, 2008 at 07:28:08 PM EST
    This post is not about Barack Obama, and snarky comments that try to drag Obama into this thread will be (and have been) deleted as off topic.

    Stupid AP reporting again (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by Cream City on Tue Aug 05, 2008 at 07:45:31 PM EST
    or perhaps editing of the lede.  You might want to fix the implication of blame on the McCain campaign.  This was our fine federal government at work.

    And it says two other local types were removed, too -- and apparently, neither was African American.

    There definitely is some explaining to do.  Does make me wonder why the other papers aren't protesting.  There may be more to all this.


    Maybe... or not. (5.00 / 0) (#10)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Tue Aug 05, 2008 at 08:44:56 PM EST
    I think there is suffienct question as to the SS acting on the behalf of the campaign.

    For instance...


    They may not be "hands-on", but they've most likely in it up to their elbows.  

    In typical Republican style, investing themselves and finding nothing done wrong...

    '"The campaign looked into this, and found that no one from the campaign was involved," said McCain spokesman Brian Rogers.'  Riiiiiiiight.


    That's different (2.00 / 0) (#14)
    by nycstray on Tue Aug 05, 2008 at 08:52:21 PM EST
    Obama's people aren't keen on protest signs either and all campaigns have "checked into things" themselves. Now if you can find other instances where McCain has instructed black reporters to be removed . . . because that seems to be the conclusion of the paper.

    I have no idea why... (5.00 / 0) (#16)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Tue Aug 05, 2008 at 09:01:55 PM EST
    ...you insist on draggin Obama into this.  Oh-wait...

    And you're wrong, it is the reporter himself who come to that conclusion...

    "Price said he could think of no other reason why he was approached other than his race."


    Because he just had a recent incident (5.00 / 0) (#17)
    by nycstray on Tue Aug 05, 2008 at 09:13:10 PM EST
    and Hillary isn't in the race anymore. All campaigns were pretty tight on the protesters from what I got. Put simply, it is not unique to the McCain camp. And mentioning the other campaigns is NOT insisting on dragging them in.

    The reporter and the paper seem to be on the same page about an apology from McCain.


    The game is over.... (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by kdog on Wed Aug 06, 2008 at 10:04:25 AM EST
    security trumps liberty...everytime.

    Even the first amendment don't mean sh*t no more...thrown under the bus in the name of "security".  What we are gonna end up with is a very secure tyranny if current trends continue.

    I am so sick and tired of this implied racism BS (3.50 / 2) (#13)
    by OxyCon on Tue Aug 05, 2008 at 08:49:35 PM EST
    Who in their right mind would want to be subjected to four years of this hysteria and manufactured outrage?

    Reality check (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by TChris on Tue Aug 05, 2008 at 09:25:48 PM EST
    Let's assume that this was a lone Secret Service agent acting all on his own, without direction from anyone in the McCain campaign.  There is still a need to explain why, of the state reporters who were in the area, only the black state reporter was removed.  Others may have been asked to leave, but he was the only one who was removed.

    Disparate treatment of the black reporter is evidence of race discrimination. It isn't BS, it isn't manufactured.  Let's not pretend that racism doesn't exist in modern American society.  It does.  Just like sexism exists, just like discrimination against foreign-born people exists, just like religious discrimination exists.  Racism remains a serious problem that deserves discussion. Dismissing it as "hysteria" perpetuates the problem.


    Please see comment #6 (2.00 / 1) (#19)
    by RalphB on Tue Aug 05, 2008 at 10:21:06 PM EST
    for your own reality check.  It appears significant parts were left out here.

    Not that simple. (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by TChris on Tue Aug 05, 2008 at 10:51:14 PM EST
    So the white reporter got a McCain staffer to "vouch" and that was good enough for the Secret Service even though he wasn't credentialed to be there.  And the other white reporter also got to stay, but the black reporter got booted.  Two white reporters are allowed to break the rules but the black reporter isn't.  What am I leaving out?

    The problem is we don't have enough information (5.00 / 0) (#22)
    by tree on Wed Aug 06, 2008 at 12:07:28 AM EST
    to know if there really was disparate treatment. We know that another local reporter(white) was being shoo'ed out when he got a McCain staffer to vouch for him. We know that the reporters were in an area where only traveling press was allowed. We know that one other reporter, a white female, was also escorted out, perhaps because she questioned why her fellow reporter was being removed, or perhaps because it was determined that she too was in an area that she was not authorized to be. There's a lot of information we don't have. You seem to imply that all four local reporter were standing together at the same point and time when the black reporter was asked to leave, but we don't know that. In fact, from what one of the other reporters said about being vouched for, it seems logical to assume that they weren't.   Its possible it was a result of racism on the part of the Secret service, and also possible that it was not, and simply appeared that way because of incomplete information. I don't think we can jump to any conclusions at this point.

     The positive out of all of this is that McCain's staff apologized, even though they were not responsible for the SS, and that an internal investigation will take place.  


    Short of someone coming up to the (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by PssttCmere08 on Wed Aug 06, 2008 at 12:10:03 AM EST
    reporter and saying we are kicking you out because you are black....good luck.  Race has once again become the boogeyman, lurking around every corner.

    Yes... (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by Thanin on Wed Aug 06, 2008 at 12:31:20 AM EST
    because its only racism when the person doing it admits it?  If this were in some way related to Hillary experiencing sexism, Im sure you'd have a different outlook on it.

    That isn't what I said....I said you would (1.00 / 0) (#31)
    by PssttCmere08 on Wed Aug 06, 2008 at 12:19:22 PM EST
    need proof.

    You and daring grace will defend obama and anything that you perceive as helping obama to the end, so let's just stop now and agree to disagree...


    You... (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by Thanin on Wed Aug 06, 2008 at 06:33:06 PM EST
    want McSame to win to spite Democrats.  I wanted Hillary to win and have months of comments here to back that fact up, and Im interested in seeing McSame defeated.

    Wow, you are good; you know me better (none / 0) (#33)
    by PssttCmere08 on Wed Aug 06, 2008 at 07:45:39 PM EST
    than I know myself.  Yeah that is my evil plan to spite the dems...And I don't recall you even being involved in my comment, but insert yourself if you must.



    Sorry.....last part of the comment does not (none / 0) (#34)
    by PssttCmere08 on Wed Aug 06, 2008 at 07:47:21 PM EST
    apply to Thanin...too many posts, too little time.

    You do realize that your subject line... (none / 0) (#35)
    by Thanin on Wed Aug 06, 2008 at 08:04:26 PM EST
    could very easily be applied back to you, right?

    Regardless, I have no undying devotion to Obama as you imply.  I simply want all republicans to lose, which means a democrat has to win for that to happen.  Sometimes its the one I wanted, sometimes it isnt.  But either way, its better than McSame.


    Yup, Especially in the Secret Service (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by daring grace on Wed Aug 06, 2008 at 10:08:19 AM EST
    NY Times

    "The [racist] messages offer a glimpse into the darker recesses of an agency known for protecting presidents and other dignitaries but whose culture is regarded as one of the most insular in federal law enforcement.


    "But the agency has a credibility problem, in part because the e-mails emerged only after years of haggling in court. Since 2000, the Service has been battling a lawsuit brought by 10 named current and former African-American agents. Their testimony states that white superiors routinely passed them over for promotion, while less-qualified whites rose more quickly to senior positions. Some who complained, they say, found their careers stalled. The agents are seeking a maximum of $300,000 per officer in damages, but say they are mostly interested in forcing the agency to change its ways.

    The Service has shown little interest in doing that. The FBI, which faced a similar discrimination lawsuit from black employees in the early 1990s, settled the case and put in place new hiring and promotion rules to avoid any appearance of racial bias. But the Secret Service has refused even to acknowledge a problem. Since 2000, the agency has strung the case along, at times allegedly resisting orders by a federal magistrate to turn over evidence in the case. Only last month did the Service at last release the racist e-mails, a few weeks after it turned over thousands of pages of records and internal memos."


    Was the reporter wearing a t-shirt? (none / 0) (#1)
    by oculus on Tue Aug 05, 2008 at 07:14:00 PM EST

    Maybe a headscarf? n/t (5.00 / 0) (#15)
    by Valhalla on Tue Aug 05, 2008 at 08:56:14 PM EST
    What would that... (none / 0) (#24)
    by Thanin on Wed Aug 06, 2008 at 12:28:35 AM EST
    have to do with anything?

    Obama 08, for instance. (none / 0) (#26)
    by oculus on Wed Aug 06, 2008 at 01:10:36 AM EST
    Uh, ok (none / 0) (#27)
    by Thanin on Wed Aug 06, 2008 at 02:52:45 AM EST
    McCain campaign apologizes (none / 0) (#12)
    by Grace on Tue Aug 05, 2008 at 08:47:08 PM EST
    link here

    Price said Rogers told him the security detail is not controlled by the campaign.

    RNC (none / 0) (#21)
    by reslez on Tue Aug 05, 2008 at 11:11:35 PM EST
    I would appreciate additional coverage of the RNC convention in St. Paul. Since I live here. You guys have been doing a great job with the DNC convention--legal issues, activists and protestors, etc.

    It's a liberal/Democratic blog (5.00 / 0) (#28)
    by JoeA on Wed Aug 06, 2008 at 06:34:14 AM EST
    This is probably the wrong place to go for coverage of the Republican convention.

    Really? (none / 0) (#36)
    by reslez on Sat Aug 09, 2008 at 01:01:45 PM EST
    Aren't there going to be a ton of Democratic protesters are the RNC? This blog covers legal issues too, at least it has where the DNC is concerned.