AU Event and Reporters

A reader tells us that dozens of reporters who queued up behind Bender Arena at American University today to cover Obama were turned away.

They were told it was over crowded and the fire marshall was not letting anyone else in, but VIPs were still ushered in.

Mother Jones’ David Corn was on his phone trying to contact the campaign. Like many of the reporters standing in line, Corn brought his family.

An intern for USA Today complained that his paper’s vast circulation should be enough to get him in.

As reporters waited, some of them for hours, VIPs like MD state comptroller Peter Franchot were whisked in.

Then security for AU started to divide the press, first they let in “National Media” … then “Traveling Press” … then the “Pen and Paper” reporters. Nobody with “equipment” was let in.

The remaining 50 or so reporters from local, national and international news outlets were told to go away.

Al Hunt and David Brooks were told to go to a side door to get in. They were so happy they climbed over a railing and jumped over a loading dock to get to the door. Dozens more reporters followed.

Chris Matthews, who was there with a young woman, decided not to play the “I’m Chris Matthews” card and left.

At one point when an Obama staffer came to the door to asses the situation, reporters started yelling “We believe there is Hope” and “is this the type of Change we can hope for?”

>UPDATE: Another reader writes in:

    Just a note that at least two dozen reporters were similarly turned away from Obama’s 10:45 pm event in Columbia the night before the South Carolina primary. There were so many people that the fire marshall eventually stoped letting anybody in. Stacey Brayboy came to the doors with Axelrod to apologize and offer access to the watch party the next day.