Joe Biden's propensity for making unpredictable remarks and gaffes had his team going to extreme lengths to ensure positive coverage of the vice president, Politico reported on Thursday.
On Biden's most recent trip, Politico reported that campaign aides kept the press on a short leash during Biden's tour of Virginia. As somewhat expected, reporters were shuffled out of some stops, and aides almost stopped Biden from delivering his emotional response at the Virginia Tech shooting memorial.
Particularly eyebrow-raising, however, was how Biden aides attempted to influence pool reports, which are written by the journalists on the trail and then distributed to the press corp and media at large.
Politico's Jonathan Martin reported that Biden aides tried to edit pool reports twice on the trip.
"His staff sought to have certain elements in the reports highlighted while reporters drafted them and discussed the contents with the reporters after the summaries had been sent but before they had before sent to the broader media," he wrote. Martin called this development "all but unheard of," noting that reporters' notes are usually distributed to the press without additional commentary.
Campaigns have also sought to influence coverage through quote approval, a controversial media practice of allowing political sources to edit their own quotes. The practice drew fire earlier this summer, prompting a number of organizations to speak out about it and even reconsider allowing their reporters to agree to it.
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