What we have here is a prohibition to communicate


News organizations will have to pay up if they want a prime spot to cover Democrat Barack Obama’s Election Night party in a downtown lakefront park.

Obama’s campaign, awash in money after raising a record-shattering $150 million last month, is asking news organizations to pay anywhere from $410 to $1,870 depending on where they want to be and if they want telephone or Internet service in Grant Park.

While it is customary for news organizations to pay their way when covering a presidential campaign, including transportation, hotels and Internet services, some have questioned the Obama campaign’s plan.

“It smells a lot like paying for access,” said Al Tompkins, a former TV news director who teaches broadcast and online journalism at the Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg, Fla.

For $1,870, a news organization can buy space on a main riser that will be covered, plus phone and Internet service, while $410 will get them space on a separate riser for photographers without phone or Internet access, but with electrical power. A seat in a heated press filing center will cost $935 and include power, cable TV, Internet and food.

The Chicago Tribune reported today that a “covered television platform suitable for network anchors would cost $29,700. Parking a satellite truck would be $990.”

There is one press credential reporters can get for free. It will provide access to a standing-room-only outdoor press area with no services that “may have obstructed views.”


The event will be free and open to the public.

“Free” and “open,” in that you will be free to stand somewhere in the open where you can’t see or hear anything and freeze your @$$ off while you try to live-blog with your cellphone.

Got a couple thousand bucks?  Then you can sit anywhere you want.  But don’t you dare say he’s elitist.


One Response to “What we have here is a prohibition to communicate”

  1. Note too that because Biden wasn’t treated like royalty, the Obama campaign has cancelled further interviews with WFTV.


    They didn’t show the appropriate respect to their new overlords, evidently.

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