In what could be seen as a disturbing sign for the future, the Barack Obama presidential campaign has blocked the Washington Times newspaper from traveling with the Democratic nominee in the final days of the election.
The ostensible reason given was a lack of space:
Times reporter Christina Bellatoni, who has covered the Democratic campaign since 2007 is being asked to leave the campaign plane starting Sunday. In defending its decision, the Obama campaign said it respected Ms. Bellatoni's reporting and simply ran out of seats on the campaign plane for the finale because of high demand. It also noted that the Obama campaign is allowing some news media critical of the democrat to travel, including Fox News.
"Unfortunately, demand for seats on the plane during this final weekend has far exceeded supply, and because of logistical issues we made the decision not to add a second plane. This means we've had to make hard and unpleasant for all concerned decisions about limiting some news organizations and in some cases not being in a position to offer space to news organizations altogether," wrote Obama campaign Senior Advisor and Chief Communications Officer Anita Dunn in an email.
"There are simply no more seats on Senator Obamas plane," she added. "There are press seats available on Senator Bidens plane for travel this final weekend and the Washington Times is encouraged to include our Vice Presidential nominee in your coverage plans for this final stretch."
That explanation rings a little hollow. Room could have been made but wasn't because the Times doesn't go gaga for Obama. The Times is one of America's most famous newspapers, excluding it is a disgrace.
Is this the kind of smiley faced censorship we have to look forward to if Barack Obama wins? Those who insist the Fairness Doctrine is in no danger of being resurrected should think again.
Update 9:57. Drudge is reporting (ht Blazer) that the New York Post and the Dallas Morning News are also blocked. Is it a coincidence that all three booted papers have endorsed John McCain for president?
Blocking the Post is even more of an outrage considering that it is the sixth most popular newspaper in the country with a circulation of over 600,000.
The liberal elite media heavily criticized the McCain campaign for restricting Sarah Palin's interviews to conservative-friendly media outlets. Anyone who thought that was wrong needs to condemn this disgraceful behavior.