Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Palin Blows In From Alaska, Local Reporters Left Out in the Cold

As you may have heard, Sarah Palin, America's best-known half-baked Alaskan, slipped into town Friday evening to give a speech before the Young America's Foundation as part of the celebration of the centennial of the birth of Ronald Reagan.

Although one of the talking points in Palin's speech on Friday night was to decry big business, it was small business that got left out in the cold, at least when it came to the local media that was permitted to cover her appearance. KEYT-TV and the Santa Barbara News-Press were allowed inside to report first-hand on her appearance. The Independent and the Daily Sound were denied access. (KEYT had video of the speech, but it was from a pool feed.)

Brandon Fastman, a writer for the Indy reports that an official of the Young America's Foundation refused to take his call but later sent an e-mail saying, "Due to overwhelming demand, we are unfortunately unable to offer you press credentials for our banquet with Gov. Palin." He suggested that Fastman watch the speech on the Internet.

Fastman would later be told by another member of the media who attended the event that there was more than enough room for one more reporter.

Daily Sound Publisher Jeramy Gordon told me that his paper's request for a media credential met a similar fate. Gordon put in the Sound's application for a media credential as soon as he heard that Palin was coming to town. After some hemming and hawing the Young America's Foundation decided there wasn't room at the dinner to accommodate a reporter from the Sound either. For all the talk by the Republicans and Tea Party folks about how small business is the backbone of America they couldn't give a break to a 28-year old entrepreneur like Gordon?

The fact that the News-Press was allowed to have both a reporter and a photographer cover the event should come as no surprise as the paper's owner, Wendy McCaw is a major contributor to the Young America's Foundation.

I'm sure News-Press reporter Scott Steepleton enjoyed his plate of food at the dinner. And the Independent's plate and the Daily Sound's as well.

Dick Cheney and Wendy McCaw at Saturday's Dinner (AP Photo)

The following night as the celebration of Reagan continued, it was former Vice President Dick Cheney who addressed the group. According to my source who was in attendance, the guests seated next to Cheney were McCaw and her boyfriend Arthur von Weisenberger. My source told me that von Weisenberger was bending Cheney's ear all evening long, leaning over his live-in lover McCaw to do so.

For the first time in my life I kind of feel sorry for the former Vice President. He came here to pay tribute to the Gipper and had to put up with the Nipper.

Well, I'm sure Cheney was handsomely compensated.
© 2011 by Craig Smith and www.craigsmithsblog.com