Just the Picture, No Words

Efforts by the McCain/Palin campaign to keep reporters away from Sarah Palin have prompted journalists to threaten a boycott of Palin's photo shoots at the United Nations. "The campaign had originally indicated that the print reporters following her campaign would be among the small group of journalists allowed to attend the so-called 'pool sprays' before Palin’s meetings with dignitaries on the sidelines of the U.N. meetings," explains Kenneth P. Vogel. "The sprays are basically glorified photo opportunities during which journalists can snap photos and film footage and -- if they're lucky -- shout a question or two at Palin and her company before she adjourns for private meetings. ... But the imbroglio began developing Tuesday morning when Palin’s handlers informed the small print press contingent covering her campaign that the print reporter designated to cover the events, Elizabeth Holmes of the Wall Street Journal, would not be allowed to cover the sprays." As CBS News' Scott Conroy notes, this latest dustup reflects "unprecedented" efforts by the campaign to shut out the media. "She has been a candidate for the second highest office in the land for nearly a month, but Sarah Palin has yet to hold a single press conference," Conroy writes. Even conservative Fox News has noticed how tightly the McCain campaign is trying to control access to Palin. "One reporter got close enough to Palin to ask her an impromptu question about the AIG bail-out, but that is the only spontaneous question she has gotten thrown at her since being rolled out as McCain’s number two," observed Fox news producer Shushannah Walshe.