Sarah Palin has made millions telling people how much she hates every media outlet that doesn’t pay her, and this week she revealed that her basic strategy for dealing with journalists at an event is “relocate them to a back room in Walmart and make sure they don’t talk to me or anyone here to see me.”
The former half-term governor of Alaska visited a box store in Wisconsin to sign copies of her new Anti-Anti-Christmas book and, according to her Facebook page, show the world “that there is power in unity as we battle against Scrooges who want Christ out of Christmas.”
The only thing that makes it remotely newsworthy is the way her “team” dealt with the local journalists who showed up to write about her (because love and hate both drive traffic): they guided the group to a back room, closed the door and directed a guard to watch them until the event was over.
About 8 media members and myself now locked in a back room. We aren’t allowed to talk to guests here to see Palin.
— Theresa Clift (@tClift) November 14, 2013
Media restrictions for @SarahPalinUSA event: Journalists told if they needed to go to bathroom, they could ask for escort.
— Mark Treinen (@MarkTreinen) November 14, 2013
Clift later clarified that the door wasn’t actually locked and that they were technically free to leave the premises, but they were forbidden from entering the area where Palin was signing books. In other words, they were prohibited from covering the event they were there to cover.
The local paper’s editor told Jim Romenesko “that he was warned that his reporter would have limited access”, but we’ve never heard of anything quite like this. While the story itself didn’t mention the incident, the store’s manager clarified things by telling The Atlantic Wire that the guard watching the journalists “was provided by team running Palin’s event, which was ‘put on by her publisher.'”
We get that most of the people who like her would have no problem with this, but what was she so scared of? And is she OK with this incident becoming a bigger story than the event itself?
We would say she was afraid someone would record one of her fans saying something dumb—but she can do that all by herself.