Reporter Banned by White House from Talking to Crowd at Michelle Obama Event

September 30, 2014

A Wisconsin reporter covering a Michelle Obama event being held in support of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke was told by a White House aide that she was not allowed to speak with any of the people in the crowd and says that she has never received such treatment in 35 years of political reporting.

She took to social media to discuss her disgust with the way the press was handled at the Democratic campaign event, according to a report in the Blaze.

"To say that I was creeped out is an understatement," wrote Meg Kissinger of the Milwaukee Sentinel Journal. "This is what reporters do in America: we speak to people. At least that’s how I’ve been doing things—at all kinds of political events—since 1979."

In her coverage of the event, she notes that both the crowd and reporters were treated poorly at the event, where one attendee who needed two canes to walk wasn't even given a seat.

At the Burke event, a number of people in the crowd were upset about a lack of seating. Several people, including a woman using two canes, complained that she had nowhere to sit.

Reporters and photographers were cordoned off in a central area with chairs and tables. Several people in the crowd asked if they could have extra chairs reserved for the media — but reporters were initially forbidden from handing them over. Eventually, some of the Burke staff gave the extra chairs to attendees.

Burke and White House staff also told reporters not to talk to people in the crowd before the event.