October 6, 2014

Transparency! Hillary Clinton’s Security Kicks Reporter Out of Florida Hotel

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On the heels of following a reporter into the bathroom, Team Clinton’s penchant for controlling the press is rearing its head again.

The Miami Herald’s Marc Caputo says that at Charlie Crist’s fundraiser this weekend, he was booted by a Secret Service agent and denied re-entry over the Crist campaign’s pleas:

Hillary Clinton’s latest Miami visit served as a fresh illustration of how, whether or not she ever becomes president, she is America’s reigning empress of image-management.

In a replay of her trips here in September 2013 and February of this year, Clinton traveled Thursday to Miami Beach and Coral Gables in a de rigueur cocoon of U.S. Secret Service, cops and yes-men — all dedicated to the proposition that reporters aren’t created equal to contributors and sycophants.

Sure, the Secret Service has had a string of embarrassing security lapses as of late. But when it comes to keeping a free press from freely reporting, the men with guns don’t miss much as they protect a prized asset: a politician’s poll-tested, stage-managed media image.

No press questions, please.

As a result, security booted me and three other reporters Friday night out of the lobby of the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables, where Clinton helped Democrat Charlie Crist raise $1 million. The press wasn’t that close to the private fundraiser room across the lobby. Nor were reporters trying to get into the closed-door event.

“We didn’t kick you out,” a Secret Service agent told me defensively after I blamed the agency on Twitter.

“You had him kick me out,” I told the agent, pointing to a Coral Gables police sergeant.

Agent: “No. The hotel staff kicked you out. And the White House kicked you out.”

Me: “The White House?”

Agent: “No, um, her staff.”

Ahh, “her.” She who shall not be named.

At Clinton’s event last year, a docent actually swiped a man’s smartphone when he used it to take a picture of her on stage. The image was erased, and the device was then handed back to him as he protested.

A docent explained: “That’s American politics.”

It certainly is in the world of Clinton’s image-management.