Ditto to all you said, Philip. I covered Hillary on the trail three times (Greensburg and Harrisburg, Pa., and Shepherdstown, W.Va.) and she held press conferences two of those three times. I’ve now covered John McCain on the trail three times (Wilkes-Barre and York, Pa., and Lebanon, Ohio) and ZERO press conferences.
As anti-Republican as the political press corps may be, they could scarcely outdo their bias against Hillary, especially at that West Virginia event after she’d lost the North Carolina primary the night before. A CBS reporter asked a question that could be fairly summarized as, “Why don’t you quit, you pathetic loser, and stop hurting the Democratic Party?” It was completely hostile.
GOP candidates routinely entrust their press operations to people who’ve never been reporters and who don’t like reporters, and then blame all their problems on media bias. There’s no need to name names here, Philip, but you’ve accurately described “campaign staffers ordering journalists around, telling them where to go and when.” I don’t think the people who contribute money to Republican campaigns understand that they’re paying the salaries of “media relations” people who seem to go out of their way to alienate the media, or else the contributors would be demanding refunds.
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