Annals of Pool Reporting: A Plea for Access

03/28/2008 02:44 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

While covering the Clintons on the campaign trail in Iowa, pool reporter Patrick Healy attached this addendum to his report:

"Please note: I asked the campaign if your pool reporter could attend these private events, at least the next one in Davenport. It was told no - that the Clinton political team had decided that these events should be private. I argued that these events were newsworthy events and that we were entitled to have a single pool reporter there, at the least, and also noted that our media organizations were expending significant resources to have reporters here - and that the press corps should not be restricted to only covering the same 6 rallies. I'm told the campaign would take my request and argument under advisement; it might help if other reporters and producers made similar requests."

Of course, media management remains a key issue in the modern Presidential campaign. The aforementioned rallies offer a chance to present the candidacy in the best possible light, whereas the private events Healy mentions are likely similar to the one he covered (through the campaign) in this pool report: a small-scale "group exchange" where Hillary pitches herself to the non-converts--a setting in which some degree of vulnerability is to be expected.

Of course, when it comes to these joint Hill 'n' Bill appearances, it's possible that the Clinton campaign is trying to overcome a trend in coverage that the folks at BAGnewsNotes commented on today: that the camera seems to love the former President more than the candidate, leading to all sorts of meta-photographical statements.

This is also probably why the campaign's Sopranos spoof presented Bill Clinton as being bullish on Smashmouth. Surely he's got better sense than that.

NYTimes' Healy Makes Plea To Hillary Campaign for Greater Press Access [FishbowlDC]
The Billary Problem [BAGnewsNotes]

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