The hotly contested special election for a Georgia congressional seat took on the added drama of a media war Monday as both campaigns reportedly barred news operations unfriendly to their cause.
The conservative Washington Free Beacon said its reporter was escorted out of a campaign event Monday night before Democrat Jon Ossoff was scheduled to speak on the eve of the election.
The @FreeBeacon has been told that it is not welcome at tonight's @ossoff event pic.twitter.com/lzXfForIGG
— Brent Scher (@BrentScher) June 20, 2017
And a reporter from liberal ThinkProgress said she was barred from events by Republican Karen Handel.
My day in summary:
Asked @karenhandel about unpopular health care bill.
Got blocked from Handel campaign events https://t.co/0Zi7onNXFb
— Kira Lerner (@kira_lerner) June 19, 2017
Journalists ripped the actions on Twitter.
CNN’s Jake Tapper called both actions cases of “bipartisan petulance and thin skin.”
Bipartisan petulance and thin skin https://t.co/CEQ0DLHWEu
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) June 20, 2017
HuffPost’s senior politics editor Sam Stein responded to Scher’s tweet, calling the shutout “crap” and urging other journalists to object.
this is crap and outlets who aren’t on the blacklist should express their objections. https://t.co/2NEvI9GDJa
— Sam Stein (@samsteinhp) June 20, 2017
CNN justice reporter Evan Perez pointed out that the “ways of Washington” have already infected the campaign.
Candidate hasn't even won election and is already adopting the ways of Washington nowadays. https://t.co/sJXtoKgtmw
— Evan Pérez (@evanperez) June 20, 2017
BuzzFeed’s Washington bureau chief, Kate Nocera, said both news outlets should be allowed to cover both candidates because members of Congress should be “able to handle questions they don’t like.” And The New York Times’ Sopan Deb weighed in, too.
Ossoff should let Free Beacon in, Handel should let Think Progress in. Members of congress should be able to handle questions they dont like
— Kate Nocera (@KateNocera) June 20, 2017
Not good. https://t.co/XnszTA55zg
— Sopan Deb (@SopanDeb) June 20, 2017
The controversy erupted just hours before the polls were to open Tuesday to decide who will represent Georgia’s 6th Congressional District. The winner will be seen not only as a possible predictor of the 2018 midterm elections in the wake Donald Trump’s ascendance to the White House, but, in the short term, the chances of Trumpcare driving out Obamacare.
The HuffPost reached out to both campaigns regarding barring reporters from events Monday, but neither immediately responded.
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