Saturday, November 1, 2008

Booted off the plane?

My former college newspaper editor - truly the first guy to give me a journalism assignment - has a strong rebuttal for those who are suggesting the Obama campaign was trying to punish his newspaper for endorsing McCain.

Obama aides told the DMN last Saturday that the paper would lose its seat on the plane on Wednesday. Within a few hours, that moved to Friday. And by midweek, traveling press secretary Jen Psaki had told us that Saturday night's final flight would be the last leg available. We protested then and continue to do so now, arguing that a paper of the DMN's size and stature should be on-board.

But we don't have evidence that the newspaper's endorsement of Sen. McCain had any bearing on the campaign's decision to boot us from the plane. No one from the campaign ever mentioned it to Todd. (And for the record, he as a reporter, and I as the editor in charge of political coverage, had absolutely no input or knowledge of the endorsement. That's handled by a different department on a different floor. I didn't even know about the editorial board's choice until I read it in the paper a couple of Sundays ago.)

We think the Obama campaign's decision is to some degree more a function of limited seats, and while we're a large regional newspaper, we're not national and we're not in a swing state. We've been on the road with them at key moments, but we've not been along for the entire ride, like, say, The New York Times and The Associated Press.

For what it's worth, we've had the same trouble with the McCain campaign.

Good enough answer for me. Somehow, I'm sure it's not going to be enough for the Drudge Report.


John P. Araujo said...

So Ryan got you your first journalism gig, eh? He also helped me get started in writing columns. So I guess Ryan deserves the credit - or the blame. ;-) - for both of us! You know he has a blog, right?

blackink said...

Well, I quit football on a Monday. Walked into the Skiff office on a Tuesday and became - ta-dah! - one of the football beat writers.

Ryan certainly made the transition a lot more seamless than it should have been. He was a great editor. One of the best.

John P. Araujo said...

Ha! Wow! Got pushed out by LT, became a journalist. Stuff of stories, man! And me, I was an editorial cartoonist who took up column writing! Lots of talented people at that time, and from both sides of the aisle. Even though we had the creaky MicroTek system, I still think about those days once in a while. And while I'm hoping this doesn't go to his head, I have to agree that Ryan was one of the best.

Ryan J. Rusak said...

Y'all are too kind. Really, I'm blushing.