March 11, 2010

"Media Event". In campaign speak, that's an opportunity for a candidate to shake a few hands in front of the cameras, make a speech on some subject or the other and give the press a chance to see you. Unless you're Meg Whitman running for the governorship of California:

Press shy GOP gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman found herself challenged by reporters today after she announced an "open press" stop in Oakland, then refused to take questions the press -- which was also barred from covering her tour of the port's Union Pacific facility.

Reporters from Bay Area media outlets -- TV, print and radio -- turned up for Whitman's advertised campaign stop in Oakland, where the former eBay CEO had announced a campaign stop and press event.

But once at the Union Pacific Railroad site, the assembled reporters were not allowed to view her tour -- and herded into a holding room instead.

Then came the news that Whitman also wouldn't take questions; reporters had been called in to "see" her make statements on "how she could be helpful as governor" on jobs and the economy, Whitman spokeswoman Sarah Pompei said.[..]

Pompei told reporters Whitman said the no press tour was a Union Pacific call -- that the company's officials did not want media coverage. (Union Pacific spokesman Aaron Hunt begs to differ. He just told us that "we planned, actually, to have press talk with Meg on the tour....we understood there would be media availability and we wanted to work with that.")

It's very possible that Whitman's handlers are nervous about her in front of the press, as her grasp on basic facts seem to be a little skewed, as this ad from California Accountability notes:

As yet, Whitman has still refused to release her taxes for public scrutiny as well, a growing concern as the election ads get progressively nastier.

Given the massive clusterf@#$ that is the state of the State of California (and the fact that not only is California the world's 8th largest economy, California taxes subsidize other states as well), having someone so clearly not-ready-for-prime-time in the Governor's office is a prescription for disaster.

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