"Ponytail girl" blocking press access to Biden

This is a story that first cropped up on Wednesday, but it seems to be turning into a repeating pattern. What’s going on with Joe Biden and the press corps these days? You would think that the guy with a massive lead in the polls and some of the highest favorability numbers would be eager to have his smiling face on every cable news show and his inspirational quotes being repeated ad nauseam. But we’re continuing to hear stories about how Biden’s campaign staff has been bullying reporters, blocking camera shots and hustling him away without taking any questions. At a recent event in Iowa, one female staffer with a ponytail was accused by videographer Marcus DiPaola of physically blocking access to the candidate and getting in their “personal space” to prevent filming or questions. (Free Beacon)

A freelance reporter covering Joe Biden’s presidential campaign launch says the campaign has gotten physical in its attempts to block the press from questioning the former vice president.

Marcus DiPaola, a videographer who was on the trail with Biden Wednesday night in Iowa, used his Twitter account to voice complaints from multiple members of the press regarding poor treatment from campaign staff, which was reportedly blocking reporters from asking questions and taking photographs of anyone who objected…

“A different reporter just told me that yesterday a staff member physically put their body between the reporter and @JoeBiden,” he wrote. “The reporter said they weren’t even that close and that there were several supporters between the reporter and Biden.”

This is some bizarre behavior. After the event in Des Moines, Biden looked more like somebody on the run from the cops than a candidate on the campaign trail. And his staffers clearly had their marching orders in advance because they were busy hustling him away and trying to shove the press around. In a rather creepy moment, one reporter (who chose to remain anonymous) told DiPaola that the woman referenced above got so close to them that they could “smell her ponytail.”

Not for nothing, but the reporters might want to avoid references to sniffing women’s hair, particularly when you’re covering Joe Biden. Still, this definitely seems like hostility toward the press and an effort to limit their access. Isn’t that what Donald Trump is always accused of? I thought that was “a bad thing.”

The situation seemed to deteriorate from there. As the Biden team tried to make their way to their vehicles to flee the area, “Ponytail Girl” and the other staffers attempted to order the press to clear out of a public parking lot.

They finally got some video, but you can see “Ponytail Girl” steering Biden toward his vehicle and standing in front of the cameras. And that was only after they tried sneaking out through a tunnel and an adjacent restaurant.

What’s going on with Biden’s staff? Are they just taking a page from Hillary Clinton’s playbook? (You’ll recall during the 2016 campaign when she had her staffers literally rope the press off in a corral.) Of course, when you stop to think about it, being the frontrunner comes with its own handicaps in some regards. You really have nowhere to go but down at this point. Particularly given how gaffe-prone Biden has been over the years (to put it mildly), perhaps the staff is just trying to stop him from putting his foot in his mouth yet again and force him to stick to the program. Too many unscripted moments for Biden probably give his entire staff ulcers.

We should keep in mind that this isn’t a first for Biden’s staff, however. In one of their more famous moments, they locked an Orlando Sentinel reporter in a closet. By comparison, shoving some reporters around in a parking lot probably looks rather tame.