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Posts Tagged ‘Lee Cowan’

Did You Make Obama’s Cut?

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.

Lynn Sweet blogged a few days back:

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.”

On the trip, Carrie Budoff Brown talks about the new dress code issue by the Obama campaign.

Newsweek’s Holly Bailey also looks at media coverage of Obama/McCain trips abroad.

Rachel Sklar: “Anchors Away! (On Obama’s Overseas Adventure)

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)…

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Williams Addresses Cowan’s Comments

Brian Williams took to his Daily Nightly blog to address the story sparked by FishbowlDC’s post yesterday about remarks made by NBC’s Lee Cowan, who said that it’s “hard to remain objective covering” Sen. Barack Obama.

Says Williams:

    I see from a tour of the web that we find ourselves in the position of having our own words and reporting turned back around on us, and I wanted to clarify something we posted yesterday.

    During my day with the Obama campaign, I took Lee Cowan aside for a brief interview. Lee covers Obama for us, and we’re lucky to have him on our roster… he is one of the very best in the business. In the interview, which you can see right here, Lee admits “…it’s almost hard to remain objective…” which as he implies is our goal in our work every day. He’s referring to what all of us who have covered campaigns have felt from time to time: it’s impossible to get the long view…the view from 40,000 feet…while operating at sea level, and inside the bubble.

    Lee was talking about the swirl of excitement that has hit the Obama campaign after Iowa — the crowds, the hoopla — all of it. Today we learned that rival political efforts were spinning this as some kind of “bias” on the part of either Lee, or me, or this News Division, and that’s just ridiculous. My response is as it always is in these situations: look at it again, listen to what’s being said, and judge us by the quality and fairness of our journalism.

Journo Love for Obama

NBC’s Brian Williams took to MSNBC today at noon and had this to say:

    WILLIAMS: I interviewed Lee Cowan, our reporter who covers Obama, while we were out yesterday and posted the interview on the web. Lee says it’s hard to stay objective covering this guy. Courageous for Lee to say, to be honest. The e-mail flood started out we caught you guys, we never did trust you. That kind of thing. I think it is a very interesting dynamic. I saw middle-aged women just throw their arms around Barack Obama, kiss him hard on the cheek and say, you know, I’m with you, good luck. And i think he feels it, too.

>UPDATE: Here’s the video from Breitbart.tv

>UPDATE: Brian Williams takes to the blog to explain.