Herman Cain campaign turns on the media

Dylan Stableford
November 18, 2011

The Herman Cain campaign's increasing disdain for the media is reaching a fever pitch. Hours after canceling an important interview with New Hampshire's Union Leader newspaper over a spat about its proposed length, the Cain campaign said that its candidate was the first in the Republican field to be granted Secret Service protection--in part because of the increased media scrutiny.

"[He] draws anywhere from a dozen to 50 media at his events," Cain spokesman J.D. Gordon told the Washington Post. "When he gets out at a rally or a campaign stop, it has been increasingly common for media to be physically putting themselves and others in danger by trying to follow him with a lot of heavy equipment and cameras in close quarters like we saw yesterday."

On Wednesday, Cain's campaign apologized for a member of its security team "clothes-lining" a CBS News reporter into the side of his campaign bus.

The reporter, Lindsey Boerma, was trying to videotape Cain returning to the bus from an event in Coral Gables, Fla., on Wednesday. "The reporter was running up along the side of the bus with no identification on identifying herself as a reporter," Coral Gables Lt. Joe McHugh told CBS News. "So the officer stuck his arm out to prevent her from getting to Mr. Cain and at which time he was successful."

Boerma--one of a handful of reporters following Cain for CBS and the National Journal--said she was not wearing a press badge, but the video camera was emblazoned with a CBS decal.

Gordon said the Secret Service protection began before Cain's appearance on the "Late Show With David Letterman" on Thursday.

On Friday, Cain gave a speech in Palm Beach, Fla., that was closed to the press. Yahoo News political reporter Chris Moody tried to cover it, but was asked by Palm Beach police to leave The Breakers resort, where Cain was speaking.

Also on Friday, Union Leader publisher Joseph McQuaid ripped Cain for canceling the interview with his newspaper after the paper balked at the campaign's request to shorten the scheduled hour-long sit-down to 20 minutes.

"It's kind of funny, I think, that with candidates complaining that the media doesn't give them enough time for depth, that Cain's camp blows off an in-depth interview," McQuaid said. "It's politics and campaigns. I don't think he's going anywhere from here at this point, anyway."

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