The most astonishing story I’ve seen in some time:
Not looking for sympathy here, but the life of a political reporter isn’t all champagne and canapes. Consider our man Scott Powers, who was sent over to the Winter Park home of Alan Ginsburg this morning as the designated “pool reporter” — aka scribe — for the fundraiser where Vice President Joe Biden is appearing on behalf of U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla.
Turns out the veep hadn’t arrived, but about 150 guests (minimum donation $500) were already in the house. So to prevent Scott from mingling with the crowd, a member of Biden’s advance team consigned him to a storage closet — and then stood outside the door to make sure he didn’t walk out without permission.
This is so bizarre that I was skeptical at first, but it’s been confirmed from a variety of sources. The Biden staff apologized for the incident, but Powers found the apology quite inadequate:
“Scott – You have our sincere apologies for the lack of a better hold room today,” wrote Vice President Biden spokeswoman Elizabeth Alexander last Wednesday to Orlando Sentinel reporter Scott Powers. . .
Continued Alexander in her email to Powers: “I am told, once the Vice President and Senator Nelson arrived, the situation was quickly rectified – and hopefully you weren’t waiting too long.”
Powers says the situation was never “rectified.” Any time he stuck his head out he’d been shooed back inside. He said he was held for more than an hour in the closet, was allowed out for 35 minutes of remarks by Biden and Nelson, after which it was back into the closet until the VP left.
Alexander’s note to him thus didn’t quite satisfy him, Powers said. Especially compared with that of Ginsburg who called Powers Friday and apologized, saying Biden’s advance team made all the decisions about the event, Powers said. The wealthy Democratic fundraiser told the reporter he hadn’t even been aware that Powers was there, much less shoved into his closet.
One can’t help wondering whether the Biden staff broke the law. Probably not. It sounds as though Powers meekly accepted the situation, and they didn’t have to force him.