Thursday, October 09, 2008

I think I wanna be on McCain's Plane

In his Reporter's Notebook, Dean Reynolds of CBS explains "how the other half lives."

It's a fascinating report behind the scenes of a presidential campaign. I've covered plenty of campaigns, mostly congressional and gubernatorial.

I've run into poorly planned campaigns that can't keep their candidate on schedule. But most of the time campaigns here are easy to cover. There's plenty of access to the candidate for one on one interviews. We don't generally travel with the candidate, although I have. And there are plenty of photo ops, with tours of industrial plants and farms.

Reynolds writes of the Obama campaign, "The national headquarters in Chicago airily dismisses complaints from journalists wondering why a schedule cannot be printed up or at least e-mailed in time to make coverage plans. Nor is there much sympathy for those of us who report for a newscast that airs in the early evening hours. Our shows place a premium on live reporting from the scene of campaign events. But this campaign can often be found in the air and flying around at the time..."

For as polished as Obama looks, this really surprises me. Even local U.S. Senate campaigns e-mail us daily agendas with media availabilities scheduled.

Reynolds continues, "The McCain folks are more helpful and generally friendly. The schedules are printed on actual books you can hold in your hand, read, and then plan accordingly. The press aides are more knowledgeable and useful to us in the news media. The events are designed with a better eye, and for the simple needs of the press corps. When he is available, John McCain is friendly and loquacious. Obama holds news conferences, but seldom banters with the reporters who've been following him for thousands of miles around the country. Go figure"

I guess there's nothing saying candidates have to be nice to the media, but to traverse the country with what seems like no regard for the press corps that's getting your word out -- that's poor.

There's a saying, "Do to others as you would have them do to you."*

Good advice for reporters and candidates alike.

* Luke 6:31

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