Hillary Clinton’s aides denied access to its campaign to a newspaper reporter who was expected to represent the entire traveling print media in a pair of smaller events Monday.
David Martosko, U.S. political editor for the Daily Mail, one of 14 newspapers in a rotation responsible for sending reports from the trail to the rest of the press corps, was told by a campaign staffer he would not be allowed into the day's events. A pair of press vans left Manchester, N.H. without him.
Meredith Thatcher, a campaign staffer, told Martosko: “I'm afraid it's a no. You're not on the list.”
Daily Mail spokesperson Sean Walsh said the organization is “seeking an explanation from the Clinton campaign as to why this occurred as Mr. Martosko was scheduled to be the designated print pool reporter in New Hampshire this morning.”
Nick Merrill, the campaign's traveling press secretary, told Martosko that his organization did not qualify because it is foreign-based. At least two other foreign-based organizations, AFP and the Guardian, are part of the 14-member rotation, which includes McClatchy. But individual foreign reporters, not part of the pool, have been regulary denied access to Clinton’s events since her launch April 12.
Laura Haim, a U.S.-based reporter for a French TV network, Canal Plus’ i-Tele, said the White House foreign press association has been waiting for two months to set up an appointment with the Clinton campaign to determine if a foreign pooler could have access on a rotation basis.
Later, Merrill told Martosko in the same phone call that he was denied access because the Daily Mail was not part of the White House pool rotation. The Daily Mail has a reporter at the White House and is a member of the White House supplementary rotation.
“We’re just trying to follow the same process and system the White House has,” Merrill told Martosko.
The reporters who cover Clinton determine who is in the pool rotation.
The 14 organizations that make up Clinton’s traveling pool sent out a statement late Monday:
“We would like to see all campaign events open to the public and the full press corps, but when that is not possible we have agreed to pool coverage. We haven't yet had a clear explanation about why the pool reporter for today's events was denied access. But any attempt by the campaign to dictate who is in the pool is unacceptable. The pool is open to any print organization willing to take part."
Clinton is scheduled to participate at a pooled-event on early childhood education in Rochester Monday morning. Later, she will headline the Manchester City Democrats Flag Day Dinner in Manchester, a pool only event.
She will also hold an launch party at Carter Hill Orchard in Concord, which is opened to pre-approved reporters.
“We want a happy press corps as much as the press corps does,” Merrill said in a statement. “And we work very hard to achieve that in tandem with them. It's a long campaign, and we are going to do our best to find equilibrium and best accommodate interest from as many news outlets as possible, given the space limitations of our events.”