At the Daily Caller, Chris Moody reports that Vice President Joe Biden's confinement of a pool reporter to a "hold room" last week is part of what Biden's press secretary calls a "standard policy" of letting jounalists cool their heels in detention areas far from any potential news. While attempting to cover a Biden fundraiser at the home of Baltimore-based real estate developer David S. Cordish, Baltimore Sun reporter Justin Fenton was hustled into a small room that housed Cordish's collection of books about early 20th-century opera singer Rosa Ponselle:
Fenton highlighted his experience in a post on Twitter Sunday night, after Orlando Sentinel reporter Scott Powers sent pictures to the Drudge Report from a storage closet he was forced to work from during a Biden fundraiser for Florida Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson.
Powers declined an interview Monday, telling TheDC that he was “trying to climb back into my closet.”
Fenton was allowed to leave the room once to hear Biden’s speech, and was ushered out again the moment he finished.
“The door was closed the whole time, and far from an apology the host came into the room three times and I was expected to stand against the room the whole time as he showed off his collection of books about this opera singer,” Fenton told The Daily Caller.
“It was a mirrored room, and I’m standing there and I can’t hear anything and I don’t know what’s going on outside. And the door pops open and I assume it’s one of his staffers coming in to give me an update and all the sudden the vice president walks in,” Fenton explained. “He stood there, sort of looked at me. He didn’t nod at me or say hi or anything. He hosted, and then he showed him this little book and that was that.”
Fenton added that he understood that it was a private event at a donor’s residence, so it was understandable that the vice president’s staff didn’t want a reporter listening in on conversations during cocktail hour, but said it probably would have been easier to just let him show up for the speech instead of waiting alone in a “room that could fit three people” for an hour.
It’s anyone’s guess how many other reporters have had a similar experience, he said.
An even better policy, since these events are at private homes, would be to let the host say no to media coverage entirely. That way there would be no question about the secrecy of the event, and access journalists, whose working life is one long string of petty humiliations anyway, would at least be spared the indignity of acknowledging that they are stenographers to power. Why would anybody agree to sit in a holding room for hours just to hear a speech from Biden, one of the most inane speakers alive today?
More important: What was on the menu at the Cordish event?
Ladies and gentlemen, the immortal Rosa Ponselle: