[Ed. – Come to think of it, maybe we’ve found a way to guarantee properly inflated footballs on the Patriots sideline.]
Reporters covering the House Democrats’ retreat in Philadelphia this week are having a much different experience than when they’re on their home turf on Capitol Hill.
Reporters are being escorted to and from the restroom and lobby and are being barred from entering the hotel outside of scheduled events, even if they’ve been invited by a member of Congress.
During Vice President Joe Biden’s remarks at the retreat Friday, reporters were required to have a staff member, usually a junior member of the press team, escort them when going to the bathroom or to the lobby. The filing center for reporters was at a separate hotel from where the retreat was taking place, so access was limited to members of Congress specifically made available to the press.
“It was a police state. It was absurd how heavy handed the capitol police and Democratic staff were in trying to control everywhere the press went,” New York Times reporter Jeremy Peters said in an interview. …
At a press conference with Democratic leadership, Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.) said they were not aware reporters were being followed. …
The incident is reminiscent of the Clinton Global Initiative conference in September, where reporters were being escorted by staff right up to the bathroom stall.