Mitt Romney presidential campaign bars reporter from covering campaign event (AUDIO)

Earlier today Republican U.S. Senator Ron Johnson made an appearance at the Monona Terrace in Madison to tout Republican president nominee Mitt Romney’s plan to strengthen the middle-class. Despite the event being open to the press, WTDY News reporter Dylan Brogan was barred from the event and escorted from the building by Madison Police.

Brogan was barred from the event by a Romney campaign staffer, who told Brogan she was acting on the orders of Ben Sparks, Romney’s Wisconsin Communication Director.

Once Sparks arrived, Brogan was told that was not allowed to cover the event with Sen. Johnson because WTDY morning talk show host Sly in the Morning protested a previous campaign event for Mitt Romney in Janesville.

“He reflects poorly on you, you work for that organization, and you suffer the consequences,” Sparks said. “That’s how it’s going to work. Now we’re not going to discuss this anymore. You cannot cover the event.”

Sparks went on to say that Brogan was “guilty by association.”

When Brogan asked if he could wait outside the room where Johnson was speaking, he was told by a Madison Police officer and a staffer from Monona Terrace to leave the building.

“I can physically take you out, if that’s what you want,” the officer told him.

You can listen to audio of the exchange between Brogan, the unnamed Romney staffer, and Ben Sparks below.

It’s notable that back in June, the “nonpartisan” folks over at Wisconsin Reporter breathlessly reported one of their beat reporters was barred from the Democratic Party of Wisconsin’s annual convention, yet curiously there hasn’t been a peep from anyone at Wisconsin Reporter about the Romney campaign barring a journalist from attending an event that was open to the press.

In response to the incident, WTDY News Director Amy Barrilleaux issued the following statement:

“It’s unfortunate that our reporter was singled out and prevented from covering Sen. Johnson’s speech, when his only offense was walking into the building with a press pass bearing the WTDY logo. All other local media wishing to cover the event were allowed in. Decisions made in our newsroom are not influenced by WTDY talk show host Sly in the Morning.”

7 comments to Mitt Romney presidential campaign bars reporter from covering campaign event (AUDIO)

  • Gareth

    The proper role of the press is to treat politicians like celebrities and kiss their asses. Anything else in obviously inappropriate. I must have missed the memo, but how long has it been the role of the Madison police to enforce bans on reporters?

       3 likes

  • tc

    You refer to WR being silent..should I then assume that you were very vocal in your support of the WR journalist at the time? Link to story of defense of WR journalist please.

       0 likes

    • I absolutely wasn’t, because I was otherwise occupied the weekend of the DPW convention, hence I didn’t have a chance to express my views on the happenings at the DPW convention.

      However, having been on the receiving end of a boot out of an event, I’ll say that it’s not right, no matter who’s doing it.

         0 likes

  • sabrinalilypup

    This must be very sad…Freedom of the press suppressed. Ain’t this the practice which are prevalent in some nation with dictators? Suppress the press? Operations by decree? Dictate to you what you can and can not say? Can not ask with liberty what concerns the people? Mitt Romney is acting like he is the CEO of a big company, the United States of America as they call it. We are the employees and we are to follow policy, company policies no if’s, no but’s. Wow, is this the kind of America we want to live in? People, think hard and long. It is not important that we re-elect the President, it is dire essential that we all should elect the President if we are to retain and enjoy life, liberty & pursuit of happiness.

       0 likes

  • Spock

    Didn’t blogging blue support the removal of journalists? Interesting…

       0 likes

  • jimspice

    The staffer was Ciara Matthews?! When did she leave WI? I’d assume there was a party. I missed the invite.

       0 likes

  • Tori

    Actually, this is legal, if not necessarily ethical. The event was on private property and not in a public forum, so the journalist technically had no more right to be there than any non-reporter who was not invited to the event.
    It was still a catty thing to do.

       0 likes

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