Jonathon Seidl at The Blaze relayed that reporter Meg Kissinger of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel – a newspaper that endorsed Barack Obama in 2008 as "adept at detail and vision" – complained on both Facebook and Twitter that aides to Michelle Obama and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke told her she could not talk to the crowd at a Burke event in Milwaukee.
“[A]ssigned to cover Michelle Obama’s speech today and was told by a Mary Burke aide and one for the White House that I could not speak to the people in the crowd,” she said on her Facebook page. “To say that I was creeped out is an understatement. This is what reporters do in America: we speak to people. At least that’s how I’ve been doing things — at all kinds of political events — since 1979.”
Kissinger sent the same message on her Twitter account:
Reporters told not to talk to the crowd. Really?#michelleinmilwaukee— megkissinger1 (@megkissinger1) September 29, 2014
The clumsy Democratic attempt to keep the reporter away from her usual routine did make it into her story for the paper:
At the Burke event, a number of people in the crowd were upset about a lack of seating. Several people, including a woman using two canes, complained that she had nowhere to sit.
Reporters and photographers were cordoned off in a central area with chairs and tables. Several people in the crowd asked if they could have extra chairs reserved for the media — but reporters were initially forbidden from handing them over. Eventually, some of the Burke staff gave the extra chairs to attendees.
Burke and White House staff also told reporters not to talk to people in the crowd before the event.
However, Kissinger and fellow reporter Erin Richards didn’t exactly punish the Democrats for trying to interview other Democrats at the event. The quotes that followed all had “message discipline” to recommend them:
Burke supporters interviewed after the event said they were focused on the message of the day.
Rose Dotson, 59, of Mequon said she was impressed by Burke's track record in creating jobs. "We need a change," she said.
Burke helped contribute to the growth of Trek Bicycle Corp., her family's company.
Dotson's sister, Karen Dotson, 57, of Milwaukee, said she would work to encourage others to vote.
Lisa Conley, 51, of Fox Point said she thought the issue of raising the minimum wage would inspire voters to get to the polls on Nov. 4.
"Some people say they don't think their vote matters," said Conley. "That issue should rally them."
Victoria Bond, 56, a retired social studies teacher from Milwaukee, said Wisconsin needs a change from Walker's economics policy that she said was based on trickle-down economics.
"We're not getting any trickle," she said.