Obama campaign taking revenge?

There was no space for a New Yorker reporter on the press plane for Obama's overseas trip; some observers believe that may be related to the magazine's controversial cover image.

Published July 21, 2008 5:15PM (EDT)

Barack Obama's overseas trip is shaping up as one of the most significant events of the campaign season, but one important media outlet was left sucking jet fumes when his plane took off -- the New Yorker.

Officially, the Obama campaign said there wasn't room on the tour for the magazine's Washington correspondent, Ryan Lizza, but some media watchers are interpreting the move as a snub because of the magazine's recent controversial cover, which depicted Obama as a Muslim, and his wife, Michelle, as a militant. After all, there were 40 press spots for the trip.

"So it's gonna be like that, is it? Retribution for unfavourable coverage is a chilling thing to contemplate," wrote Huffington Post media blogger Rachel Sklar. At media gossip blog Gawker, Ryan Tate agreed, writing, "Of course the Obama campaign will say the decision was made strictly for space reasons -- it already has -- but given the publicity surrounding the New Yorker cover and around Lizza's story on Obama's early poltical career, his people had to know what signal it would send to exclude the magazine so soon after the cover flap: That the candidate of change is not above trying to manipulate the press like any other politician."

By Justin Jouvenal

Justin Jouvenal is an editorial fellow at Salon and a graduate student in journalism at New York University.

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