From Ben Smith:
Obama spokesman Bill Burton confirms Drudge’s report that two right-leaning papers, the Washington Times and the New York Post, have lost their seats on the Obama plane, along with the Dallas Morning News.
“We’re trying to reach as many swing voters that we can and unfortunately had to make some tough choices. but we are accommodating these folks in every way possible,” he said.
The Post and the Morning News are both read primarily in states that aren’t in play, but the Washington Times is read in Northern Virginia.
Burton said the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun-Times had returned to the plane, and confirmed that Ebony and Jet magazines have seats on the plane. (The Tribune has had a reporter on the plane for most of the cycle, but recently added a photographer.)
New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd said in an email that, contrary to Drudge’s suggestion, she won’t be on Obama’s plane.
“I’ll be at Saturday Night Live covering Tina Fey’s Sarah Palin and possibly the real John McCain,” she said.
Burton said the campaign was making space for the dropped outlets on the campaign bus where possible, and that they were encouraged to travel with Senator Joe Biden. He also noted that Fox News, whose schedule includes perhaps the most openly hostile programming to Obama, has a seat on the plane.
McCain barred Dowd and Time’s Joe Klein, two columnists seen as leaning toward Obama, from his campaign plane, and space has grown very tight on Obama’s in recent days. But Obama aides have also been heard to complain about the coverage from the New York Post and the Washington Times, if not as vociferously as they have about Fox News’s coverage.
Besides just being wild childish, this does not augur well for transparency in an Obama administration, which has already been eerily good with its message discipline for this entire campaign cycle. (Their campaign has been pretty much leak-free.)
Haven’t we had enough of this kind of stuff under GWB?