Orlando Sentinel reporter Scott Powers was confined to a closet by vice President Joe Biden's advance team Thursday when he tried to cover a $500-a-plate fundraising lunch at a local mansion.
Powers had not sneaked into the event. He was chosen as the pool reporter for local media and was expecting to speak with guests in addition to hearing speeches by Biden and Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Florida). Instead, when he got there he was told the politicians had not yet arrived and hustled into a closet that seems to be more nicely appointed than my apartment.
The punchline here should be that the vice president's staff did Powers a favor by sparing him another of Biden's rambling, idiotic speeches. But it turns out he was allowed out to hear the speech and then returned to the closet. It's not clear how much manhandling went on—Powers refers to poking his head out a few times to speak with his captors. There is a lot of wiggle room in the range of deference access-dependent Tribune Company journalists have to show to political gatekeepers, so physical roughing up may or may not be necessary. Here's how this kind of thing gets handled in the country where Biden's boss is right now conducting an unconstitutional war:
The treatment of Powers offended guests who heard about it later, along with the owner of the house, developer Alan Ginsburg, who apologized to the reporter. Powers didn't even get the lunch, which consisted of caprese crostini with oven-dried mozzarella and basil, rosemary flatbread, grapes, honey, gorgonzola cheese, grilled chicken Caesar and garden vegetable wraps. Drudge reports that there were also bacon deviled eggs. The Daily Mail makes no mention of the deviled eggs.
Update: Jake Tapper reports on the Biden camp's apology for "the lack of a better hold room," and focuses on the important point here: Powers was not a James O'Keefe-style prankster or a Reason TV crew there to make fun of people. He was the designated pool reporter for the mainstream media. That Powers complied in his own marginalization reflects poorly on those folks (who knows how much ritualistic nude dancing and human sacrifice he missed by only being present for the official announcements?), but it doesn't excuse the administration's extension of the "free speech zone" principle to the established press, or its abuse of Ginsburg's hospitality. This is how the "most open and accessible administration in American history" treats accredited news organizations. Imagine how open they are with people who disagree with them.