Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), Chair of the Democratic National Committee, showed up on radio row at the Tampa Convention Center at the Republican National Convention today and promptly insisted that any conservative media be ushered away. Her assistants reportedly required that National Public Radio – NPR! – issue a list of questions before Wasserman Schultz would do a sit-down. And when conservative media crowded around Wasserman Schultz, eager to ask the Chair of the DNC a question or two, her handlers complained loudly to staff, questioning why Wasserman Schultz should even be in earshot of the conservative rabble.
On radio row. At the Republican National Convention.
Scott Hogenson, the professional volunteer for the RNC who dealt with Wasserman Schultz’s aides, told the aides, “I can’t exactly tackle 30 or 40 reporters. This is a media gaggle.” As Hogenson spoke, the exchange was overheard by veteran ABC News Radio reporter Steven Portnoy, who could be seen shaking his head.
It’s not that Wasserman Schultz received treatment any different from any other celebrity on radio row. Congresswoman Michele Bachmann was thronged by reporters and admirers when she arrived on the scene this morning; so was former Senator Rick Santorum; so was Herman Cain. And it’s not just conservatives. Roland Martin of CNN received heavy attention on radio row; Juan Williams of Fox News and Thomas Friedman of The New York Times got heavy attention in the Google lounge downstairs.
But Wasserman Schultz apparently merited special treatment. When I asked her a question about President Obama’s record on Israel, she quickly looked at me – and then looked away. When I asked her handlers why she had come to the Republican National Convention if she wasn’t even going to speak with any conservative media at all, they pushed me aside – as they did with dozens of other reporters. They spoke with just a few media outlets, all of them hard-left.
This is what the Democratic National Committee thinks of the American people: they don’t deserve to hear answers to the tough questions. Instead, the DNC wants to answer only softballs from their media lackeys. No wonder Wasserman Schultz was moving so fast through the conservative crowd. She didn’t want to sully her hands with the conservative rabble – and she didn’t want to have to hear any dissenting views or questions.