A local Pennsylvania newspaper slammed presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden's campaign on Thursday for denying local reporters access to a Lancaster campaign event.
"By shutting LNP | LancasterOnline out of an important community health discussion held here Thursday, the Biden campaign sent the wrong message about the importance of local newspaper journalism to the very communities it is trying to reach during the presidential campaign," the LNP editorial board wrote.
The board pointed out that national media and an Associated Press pool were able to cover the event while LNP's journalists were told they could not enter the news conference because of "space restrictions."
"The COVID-19 health crisis is no excuse," the board wrote. "LNP | LancasterOnline has covered the pandemic extensively and thoughtfully. Our professional reporters all follow masking and social distancing guidelines and could have easily done their jobs without risk to anyone."
Biden was in Lancaster Thursday to meet with three families and gave a speech discussing health care policy and criticizing President Donald Trump for his efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act. He did not take any questions after the speech.
LNP journalist Ty Lohr tweeted about being denied access to the event.
LNP is not permitted inside the building while Biden is speaking, I’m told by someone with the Biden Campaign. Only national outlets. When I asked why, I was told 'space restrictions." Disheartening to know that local media isn’t allowed to fully cover this event inside and out.
— Ty Lohr (@tylohrphoto) June 25, 2020
The Biden campaign has touted its preference for local media interviews. Senior Biden adviser Symone Sanders told Fox News anchor Chris Wallace on Sunday that Biden takes "pride in prioritizing local media."
Sanders also defended Biden for not holding a news conference in almost three months. She said the campaign's virtual events and local media interviews are sufficient for campaigning because of the coronavirus pandemic. She criticized the Trump campaign's decision to hold an in-person rally in Tulsa.
Biden has also appeared on several late-night comedy shows and made a controversial appearance on the radio show The Breakfast Club, where he said black voters who consider voting for President Trump "ain't black."