CBS's Reynolds: Obama's Campaign Plane 'Smells Terrible Most of the Time'
The (Obama) national headquarters in Chicago airily dismisses complaints from journalists wondering why a schedule cannot be printed up or at least e-mailed in time to make coverage plans. Nor is there much sympathy for those of us who report for a newscast that airs in the early evening hours. Our shows place a premium on live reporting from the scene of campaign events. But this campaign can often be found in the air and flying around at the time the "CBS Evening News with Katie Couric" is broadcast. I suspect there is a feeling within the Obama campaign that the broadcast networks are less influential in the age of the internet and thus needn't be accomodated as in the days of yore. Even if it's true, they are only hurting themselves by dissing audiences that run in the tens of millions every night.
The McCain folks are more helpful and generally friendly. The schedules are printed on actual books you can hold in your hand, read, and then plan accordingly. The press aides are more knowledgeable and useful to us in the news media. The events are designed with a better eye, and for the simple needs of the press corps. When he is available, John McCain is friendly and loquacious. Obama holds news conferences, but seldom banters with the reporters who've been following him for thousands of miles around the country. Go figure.
The McCain campaign plane is better than Obama's, which is cramped, uncomfortable and smells terrible most of the time. Somehow the McCain folks manage to keep their charter clean, even where the press is seated.
Obama's headquarters airily dismissing complaints isn't unexpected. After all, he is "The One." But in a period when linking Obama to unreconstructed terrorist Bill Ayers carries "a racially tinged subtext" according to the Associated Press and McCain's designation of Obama as "that one" caused "some in the African-American community to accuse McCain of racism," Reynolds has got to know that reporting Obama's campaign plane stinks is going to cause, well, a stink.
Reynolds' peers will not be pleased. He may have to validate his membership in the MSM Club with some strident anti-McCain coverage. I mean, even more than the standard strident anti-McCain coverage.