Tea Party Convention Will Be Closed to the Press
The first National Tea Party Convention, which convenes in Nashville next month, will apparently be largely closed to the press–including speeches by Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin.
Word from Nashville on Monday was that the First National Tea Party Convention next month will be closed to the press, other than for a limited number of “selected” journalists. No word on who or how many.
This from the people who brought us last summer’s media-saturated Town Hall meetings.
The restrictions apparently apply to the much-anticipated speeches by Sarah Palin and Minnesota’s own Michele Bachmann.
Organizers say that journalists without passes will not be allowed into the convention at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel. (A Star Tribune request for a pass was denied, the paper’s interest in covering its home-state congresswoman notwithstanding).
Convention spokesman Judson Phillips informs us that most of the sessions are closed “at the request” of the presenters. “Given the media interest, I don’t want the sessions disrupted and overrun with the media,” he said.
While organizers are offering to help set up interviews with speakers, they said Palin will not be available.
It is, of course, the absolutely the event’s right to have as much or as little press as they want. But what I don’t understand is why. If you’re attempting to build a political movement that has credibility and publicity, one would think that you would want as much press as possible. Especially when you have someone like Sarah Palin who’s a guaranteed draw for tons of press and commentary.
It seems to me that the Tea Partiers are shooting themselves in the foot, politically speaking, by not opening their doors to the meida.