There are so many journalists eager to join Sen. Barack Obama on his European trip that the campaign simply can’t accommodate all of them on the plane.
The Obama campaign plane, a 757, will have only about 40 journalists on the manifest. More reporters wanted to travel with the Obama campaign; some have been told not to pack their bags, one notified to be on standby. I’m told hundreds of news outlets were interested in making the trip with Obama, very popular in Europe. There are fewer seats available for reporters than usual because the campaign is taking on more staff than routinely flies with Obama. Secret Service agents also travel on the campaign plane.
Two U.S. based reporters for foreign newspapers who I talked to today said they were told no foreign journalists–even from the countries Obama is visiting–will be on the plane.
We hear that there are some upset journos, because some regular reporters have been kicked off the plane for this trip, with the campaign citing space reasons. The Washington Times wasn’t given a seat. Neither was The New Yorker (pissed about the recent cover?). Or the Sunday Times of London. Of course, space is especially tight because of all the superstar reporters interested in this trip.
As a result, some reporters are doing portions of the trip on their own, not in the campaign bubble.
Among the outlets on the plane: ABC, New York Times, Washington Post, Bloomberg, AP, USA Today, Fox News, Chicago Tribune, LA Times, McClatchy, Sun-Times, Politico, Time, Newsweek (and various network embeds).
Who you might see on the plane: Candy Crowley, Jake Tapper, Major Garrett, Karen Tumulty, Margaret Talev, Jeff Zeleny, Lynn Sweet, Mike Dorning, Dan Balz, Caren Bohan, Julianna Goldman, Carrie Budoff Brown, Richard Wolffe, Sunlen Miller, Don Gonyea, Chris Welch, Maria Govrolic, Bonney Kapp, Athena Jones, David Espo, Lee Cowan, Mark Hudspeth, David Wright, Glen Johnson.
Playbook says that over 200 requests were made by reporters to the campaign.
In a Washington Post op-ed Sunday, Der Tagesspiegel D.C. bureau chief Christoph von Marschall says “he has almost completely refused to answer questions from foreign journalists. When the press plane leaves tonight for his trip, there will be, as far as I know, no foreign media aboard. The Obama campaign has refused multiple requests from international reporters to travel with the candidate.”
AP’s David Bauder asks: “Is media playing fair in campaign coverage?”
After the jump, the first pool report from the trip (from Chicago Tribune’s John McCormick)…