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Michele Bachmann's Security Detail Keeps Roughing Up Reporters

 
 
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Politico has a story this morning that's sure to raise the hackles of the Michele Bachmann campaign staff. Let's just hope the reporters, Ben Smith and Jonathan Martin know how to duck.

Here's the gist of it: the campaign keeps getting into physical dust-ups with members of the press. And while some of it is understandable given the candidate's popularity and controversial stances, the Politico reporters are quick to note that other celebrity-type politicians like Sarah Palin, Hillary Clinton and more, haven't seemed to have the same problem. 

In less than two months since entering the 2012 race, Bachmann’s campaign staff has become embroiled in at least five unusually hostile encounters with the traveling media marked by pushing, shoving and, in one instance, the allegation of a threat of violence to a reporter.

Some of it has unfolded in full public view: Bachmann aides’ tussles with the press have twice turned into news stories, once when veteran ABC News reporter Brian Ross was shoved and pushed by Bachmann staffers in South Carolina and on a second occasion when Bachmann’s husband and two staffers pushed CNN’s Don Lemon into a cart, producing a furious on-air complaint.

In another incident that did not make the air, a camera captured Fox News correspondent Steve Brown telling a bodyguard in Iowa, “Do not put your hands on me. Don’t ever do it again.”

And here's where the campaign's unapologetic response to questions about this "aggressive" pattern comes up against reality, according to Politico: 

...contentious encounters with the press has far oustripped that of other high-profile campaigns. Security guards for high-profile candidates like Rudy Giuliani, Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin were better able to distinguish between reporters and threats.

The difference was sharply visible over the past week at the Iowa State Fair. Palin wandered the fairgrounds freely with her husband, an advance man, and, at a remove, a handful of Iowa State Police. Rick Perry was guarded by watchful Texas Rangers who gave the press and fair-goers broad latitude to talk and walk next to the governor. Bachmann, in contrast, raced through the fair in a golf cart; in a similar cart in Ames on Saturday, her bodyguard could be seen pushing away the hands of autograph-seeking supporters.

Read more here.

AlterNet / By Sarah Seltzer

Posted at August 18, 2011, 4:05am

 
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