A Wisconsin reporter was “creeped out” by the experience she had covering a Michelle Obama stump speech for a Democratic candidate for governor, Mary Burke. Meg Kissinger is a veteran reporter at one of Wisconsin’s most well-known newspapers, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Meg Kissinger went into great detail about the order she was given on her Facebook page and Twitter account.
The Wisconsin reporter posted this on her Facebook page, “Assigned to cover Michelle Obama’s speech today and was told by a Mary Burke aide and one for the White House that I could not speak to the people in the crowd. To say that I was creeped out is an understatement.” Kissinger went on to say, “This is what reporters do in America: we speak to people. At least that’s how I’ve been doing things at all kinds of political events since 1979.”
In a later post, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter added that she had not experienced a similar order not to talk to the crowd in her 35 years spent reporting the news.
Here is an excerpt from Meg Kissinger’s article about the Michelle Obama and Mary Burke event.
“At the Burke event, a number of people in the crowd were upset about a lack of seating. Several people, including a woman using two canes, complained that she had nowhere to sit. Reporters and photographers were cordoned off in a central area with chairs and tables. Several people in the crowd asked if they could have extra chairs reserved for the media — but reporters were initially forbidden from handing them over. Eventually, some of the Burke staff gave the extra chairs to attendees.”
While at the microphone, Michelle Obama encouraged Wisconsin residents to vote for the Democratic candidate for governor. “This is the work that gets it done. Getting everyone you know out to vote for Mary Burke,” Obama said. She also issued support for raising the minimum wage and said the economy was improving under her husband’s leadership.
Reporters told not to talk to the crowd. Really?#michelleinmilwaukee
— megkissinger1 (@megkissinger1) September 29, 2014
There has been no official statement from either Wisconsin candidate Mary Burke’s camp or Michelle Obama’s officer either confirming or denying the reporter’s claim that journalists were told not to talk to the crowd. Kissinger’s recollections of the event have left many wondering why the crowd was off-limits to the media.
What do you think about Michelle Obama and Mary Burke’s staff allegedly banning reporters from talking to the crowd during the campaign event?
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