Quotes of the day
posted at 9:00 pm on March 27, 2011 by Allahpundit
“Reporter Scott Powers was the designated ‘pool reporter’ for the vice president’s Wednesday visit to the massive Winter Park, Fla., home of developer and philanthropist Alan Ginsburg. The veep hadn’t arrived yet but most of the 150 guests (minimum $500 donation) had. They were busy noshing on caprese crostini with oven-dried mozzarella and basil, rosemary flatbread with grapes honey and gorgonzola cheese and bacon deviled eggs, before a lunch of grilled chicken Caesar and garden vegetable wraps.
“Not so for Powers. A ‘low-level staffer’ put Powers in a storage closet and then stood guard outside the door, Powers told the DRUDGE REPORT. ‘When I’d stick my head out, they’d say, ‘Not yet. We’ll let you know when you can come out.'”
“Powers has all the details, even pictures of the inside of the closet where he was held; but it appears the Sentinel editors have refused to let him report on all the details of what some are calling a kidnapping! There was a very brief, and very ‘vanilla’ mention of the incident in Thursday’s paper. One attendee later emailed the Sentinel to say ‘I was in attendance at the Fundraiser and enjoyed a nice lunch. If I had known there was a reporter stuffed in the closet, I would have been compelled to stand up and demand answers. I would also like to know if this is actually legal to treat people like caged animals. I’m disgusted by these actions.’
“Despite this outrage, Sentinel editors have dropped the story.”
“Florida state law says kidnapping entails ‘forcibly, secretly or by threat confining, abducting or imprisoning another person against her or his will and without lawful authority.’
“Powers said of his treatment: ‘It was frustrating and annoying that I was not given a chance to do my job fully and properly.
“‘This was an extreme, and extremely inappropriate way of handling the press… it was essentially a rude and uncomfortable way to treat a reporter.'”
“‘Scott – You have our sincere apologies for the lack of a better hold room today,’ wrote Vice President Biden spokeswoman Elizabeth Alexander last Wednesday to Orlando Sentinel reporter Scott Powers…
“Continued Alexander in her email to Powers: ‘I am told, once the Vice President and Senator Nelson arrived, the situation was quickly rectified – and hopefully you weren’t waiting too long.’
“Powers says the situation was never ‘rectified.’ Any time he stuck his head out he’d been shooed back inside. He said he was held for more than an hour in the closet, was allowed out for 35 minutes of remarks by Biden and Nelson, after which it was back into the closet until the VP left.
“Alexander’s note to him thus didn’t quite satisfy him, Powers said. Especially compared with that of Ginsburg who called Powers Friday and apologized, saying Biden’s advance team made all the decisions about the event, Powers said.”
“I know that people will find this story funny on first read, and superficially it is. But there’s a problem here, and it exists on a somewhat deeper level than the assault on the dignity of a member of the Fourth Estate. You see, who told Biden’s staff that they had the right to sequester a reporter in another man’s home?…
“Time and again we’ve seen an institutional arrogance from these people: one that may have been… well, not justifiable. But certainly unsurprising when the President is enjoying an average 63% approval rating; but at 48%? Not so much. But the administration’s worker drones are still not particularly interested in learning better, either – as one particular detail about the situation shows. You see, when Ginsburg found out about the mess he called the reporter to personally apologize and admit his embarrassment. Because that’s what you do.
“Unless you work in Biden’s office: in that case, you just send an email.”
“Powers was not a James O’Keefe-style prankster or a Reason TV crew there to make fun of people. He was the designated pool reporter for the mainstream media. That Powers complied in his own marginalization reflects poorly on those folks (who knows how much ritualistic nude dancing and human sacrifice he missed by only being present for the official announcements?), but it doesn’t excuse the administration’s extension of the ‘free speech zone’ principle to the established press, or its abuse of Ginsburg’s hospitality. This is how the ‘most open and accessible administration in American history’ treats accredited news organizations. Imagine how open they are with people who disagree with them.”