Washington Post reporter Dana Milbank continues to supply noteworthy information from the campaign trail about Sarah Palin’s evolving relationship with the press. This troubling bit of news comes from a live chat Milbank hosted with readers:
…I have to say the Secret Service is in dangerous territory here. In cooperation with the Palin campaign, they've started preventing reporters from leaving the press section to interview people in the crowd. This is a serious violation of their duty—protecting the protectee—and gets into assisting with the political aspirations of the candidate. It also often makes it impossible for reporters to get into the crowd to question the people who say vulgar things. So they prevent reporters from getting near the people doing the shouting, then claim it's unfounded because the reporters can't get close enough to identify the person.
At Political Animal, Steve Benen asks the natural follow-up question: “Why on earth would an independent journalist play along with these ridiculous rules?”