As you may have heard, a black reporter at a McCain campaign rally in Florida was removed from a backstage area, under very odd circumstances. Questions have been raised as to whether the reporter was removed solely because he was black.
Stephen Price, a reporter for the Tallahassee Democrat newspaper, was with several other Florida reporters at a Panama City rally Friday when a Secret Service agent approached and asked if he was part of the national media traveling with McCain. Price said no, and the agent told him he had to leave. Price said he then pointed out that there were other state reporters in the same area, but was still told to leave. When a female reporter asked why Price was being told to leave, she was told that she had to go as well. The other reporters were allowed to stay.
A McCain spokesperson insisted that “race had nothing to do with it” and said that Price was standing in an area reserved for the national press corps. But the spokesman could not explain why the other local reporters weren’t removed out of the area.
In an interview with MSNBC’s Countdown with Keith Olbermann on Monday, Price said that an associate wondered if this was a case of “reporting while black”… in which Price’s racial profile suggested that he was a singularly inappropriate presence at such events.
This is the interview with Price:
I will be looking to see if there is any follow-up on this. I have seen a suggestion that this incident was the fault of the Secret Service, not the McCain campaign. We’ll see.