Chicago Sun-Times
The scoop from Washington

Obama campaign selling Chicago election night coverage packages to news outlets

| 132 Comments

Update....for the details of the John McCain election night plans and coverage costs, click here

WASHINGTON---The Obama campaign is putting a hefty price tag on the best camera and reporting positions for news organizations covering Barack Obama's outdoor election night activities in downtown Chicago. If a reporter wants access to the file center--which will be the best place to find Obama officials and spokesmen--be prepared to write a check for $935. The cheapest place a reporter could stand on a riser with a view is $880.

That $935 covers one reporter in a heated file tent, power, cable tv, internet and food. I am told by an Obama spokesman who did not want his name used that this just covers costs and they are not turning a profit on this. The planners could have built in more al a carte options for Grant Park coverage.

This is an outrageous pay to play plan that caters to national elite outlets with deep pockets.

I am not asking for a free ride--news outlets pay for plane seats, other transportation organized by the campaign, hotel rooms, plus associated costs for filing centers.

But this Election Night list is pricey and does not take into account some reporters won't need power, cable, internet or food but will crave the access more than the food. As I was talking to this unnamed spokesman about this enormously expensive set-up, he did say--that a news outlet could rotate people in and out of the tent on that one credential. Great.

A general media area will be created where a reporter could watch for free, but the set-up is separate, unequal and clearly second class when it comes to getting top access to campaign people.

The campaign could not have made going to the free space more unappealing. If will be "outdoors, unassigned and may have obstructed views. General Media Area credentials do not include access to riser positions, satellite truck parking or the press filing center."

UPDATE To be clear: no one is asking for anything to be free for the press. It's just that the package of services packaged by the campaign is expensive and includes things not every outlet needs.
Obama's top donors--not the masses who donated the $5, $10 and $25 the campaign brag about--will have VIP access throughout election night and received an early heads up a week ago to plan to spend Election Night in Chicago.

Here's a story about this posted by Greg Hinz at Crain's Chicago Business.

Click below for the price list

FROM THE OBAMA CAMPAIGN....

The following coverage resource packages are available for purchase:

* Main Riser Position - $935 (Includes 4 Main Riser Credentials, 5'x8' Slot on Covered Main Riser and one 20 amp circuit)
* Main Riser Position with Telecommunications - $1870 (Includes Main Riser Position services, PLUS two unlimited long distance/local phone lines and one wired high speed internet connection)
* Cut Riser Position - $880 (Includes 4 Cut Riser Credentials, 5'x8' Slot on Covered Cut Riser, one 20 amp circuit)
* Cut Riser Position with Telecommunications - $1815 (Includes Cut Riser Position services, PLUS two unlimited long distance/local phone lines and one wired high speed internet connection)
* Press File Seat - $935 (includes 1 Press File Credential, seat in heated Press File Tent, Power, Cable Television, High Speed Wired Internet Service, Catering)
* Satellite Truck Position - $900 (includes 35'x20' parking position and 100 amp electrical service)
* Radio Position - $715 (includes table space and chair behind the riser, power and an ISDN BRI line for radio -- comes with two credentials)

Billing information must be submitted at as part of the request. Your credit card will not be charged until the campaign confirms your coverage resource package request.

(a link deleted)

Additional services may be purchased a la carte:

* Unlimited Long Distance Phone Line - $300
* High Speed Wired Internet - $275
* One 20 amp circuit - $165

For telephone service internet connectivity and additional power, orders must be placed by October 23rd, 2008. For questions on pricing or additional telecommunications assistance, please contact (deleted)

The following credentials may be requested at no cost:

* General Press Area - No Charge (Includes access to bike racked press area with standing room only)

You must fill out the form to the right to request each individual General Press Area credential.

Request media credentials for the Election Night event:

Credentials to access the General Media Area are available at no cost. Please note that the General Media Area is outdoors, unassigned and may have obstructed views. General Media Area credentials do not include access to riser positions, satellite truck parking or the press filing center.

Access to those resources are available for purchase at (link deleted). Space is limited.

Email: *
First Name: *
Last Name: *
Phone: *
Media Outlet/Affiliation: *
Media call letters (if applicable):
Base of Operations:
Country name (required if international):
City media outlet is based: *
Media Type:
Photography
TV Camera
TV Audio
TV Producer
TV Talent
TV Support
Radio
Print
Internet
* denotes required field

132 Comments

What a shock! Does anyone ever doubt the noble intentions of Obama? The masses of people who contributed small checks don't really exist. Its most likely a sneaky way to bundle large amounts of money from overseas and large corporate donors. Ah, Chicago.

Is this standard operating procedure for this type of thing because it seems really shoddy. The news media should be allowed free access but bring their own food and drink.

The whole thing stinks of a shakedown since they've got a captive audience.

stay home. All of you *G we will know who the president is on Jan 20th anyway ....

Obama's campaign raised $600 million dollars ... to make reports fork up money for this is just ... well ... shows character of the people involved

The whoring continues! What a sad joke election day has turned into!

This is outrageous; Obama is a socialist when he talks to the people, but a true unrepentant capitalist when running his own affairs.

Classic liberalism of do what I say, not what I do.

Also, this is reminiscent of Deval Patrick's over the top inaugration in Massachusetts.

Someone from Disney is in charge of the tickets.

Nobody should be surprised by this. Mary would have charged to witness the birth of Jesus, too. Thankfully, Al Gore hadn't invented the internet yet, so there was no justification for the expense. I suppose this is the price we pay for living in modern times.

He charges for access to him? What is he a movie star? Why would you want someone like this as the next President. Just imagine what he wooud charge tax payers.

Get ready for a whole lot of expenses coming out of your pocket. The change Obama is talking about is what is going to be left in your pockets. The Hope is that he does not trash you if you should ask him a question that truly exposes what he is and that is a SOCIALIST!

This is sick. So much for Obama being a man of the people.

God do these people have no shame? Obama and his buddies are the biggest collection of thugs that have ever existed in our great country. By now after almost two years of his campaign, and after watching everyone who even dares to question the democratic agenda being branded as a racist, I only want to say. You god--- right I'm a racist and becoming more racist by the hour
as these ass----- get a daily free pass by the media daily. But, if there is a God and I believe there is-there will not an October surprise but a big November one when the good people of the USA vote these idiots out!

He charges for access to him? What is he a movie star? Why would you want someone like this as the next President. Just imagine what he would charge tax payers.

Someone from Disney is in charge of the tickets.

Sounds like a champion for the common man.

Unbelievable. Obama apparently doesn't understand the meaning of a free press.

LOL
So typical of these snobs!

One does wonder at if theyre gonna allow any celebrating in the Chicago Graveyards where so many have been known to have voted from. (Actually it was from the Kennedy /Nixon Election, but one wonders......... ACORN has spread the question. and they have done it in more than Ohio. Unless this voting thing the Democrats set up in the off season is fied the country could be torn appart and Mr. bama might have to do more than shout to be heard much less be listened to........

All this even when he loses? LOL this ought to be fun watching this Cake melt like MacArthur Park!

I've heard some people say that O'bama is getting ahead of himself decorating the white house and flying around in Air Force "That One."

I just thought that was funny and wanted to share.

Thanks,

Dave Thurston

What did you expect from the OBAMA THUGOCRACY that you have been SHILLING for all this time..

Look here LADY.... you thought Obama was going to usher in a Utopia of inclusiveness, goodwill to all and unity.

You are sadly mistaken.... He has USED YOU!!!!
Now get out of the way..

If OBAMA is elected, many of you will wake up with one heck of a hangover, then a HUGE slap in the face to put you in your place.

You access will be cutoff... he is done with you. Now you need to leave the ONE alone so that he can bring about a NEW society.

WORDS, JUST WORDS - CLICK HERE TO SEE


OBAMA will be too busy cashing all those checks from his buddies like Ayers, Rev. Wright, Farrakhan and ACORN.

OBAMA if elected, will be tested as will the nation....we will be rocked to our core.

REAP what you SOW.

Lynn, great article! This says so much about the views, attitude, and philosophy of the Obama camp. [In my opinion, none of it good.] Despite this, your article is objective and informative. Keep up the great work.

Chicago politics all the way.Sell to the highest bidder.

What the heck is this?

What is he doing with all the money he is raising? Now the press has to pay for decent access to election night!!!!! I guess he figures that the loyal press will be happy to donate more than great coverage to his campaign. His arrogance is showing again. Tsk, Tsk.

What happened to Freedom of the Press Sen. Obama? Now that they have endorsed you, you are going to extort money from them? Typical, he is already taxing freedom of speach? What other freedoms of ours will he tax.

i charge the media too much and i have bad economic policies

Politics for sale from a Chicago community organizer.Typical.

HOw come you took you comments down. I bet you cant handle the truth...

WORDS, JUST WORDS - CLICK HERE

Obama campaign has gotten support from some portions of the media for 2 years. No doubt they will grant some media outlets access without charge.

All media are equal, but some media are more equal than others.

Boy this never ends. I cannot believe this is happening in the United States. People beware of Obama and his crew. You will be living in a Communist state and we will have statues all over our great nation in adoration to him. Our money will be distributed all over the to help those who have less. Incidentally any news on Iraq?

I hope he gets his but kicked on election night. This will be worse than a jimmy carter election, for which we are still paying for.

Boo Hoo. Get used to it. You'll find with Obama everything's for sale. Rezko schooled him well.

Why doesn't the Obama team simply surcharge big oil or send the bill to those making above $250,000; Democrats, Hollywood and media excluded of course. Clear that with Chavez, Ajmadman and castro first.

obama doesn't share his wealth with his brother who lives in a shack in africa, hypocrite

How much will it cost to use the John??? These people have no shame.

This is disgusting. He is really amping up the level of piggishness and still no one on that side sees anything wrong. God help us all.

Chicago politician, pay to play....used in the same sentence.. I won't hear of any of this. It just cannot be true.

Come on you guys, give Obama a break. Can't you see he's like a modern day Robin Hood? "I'll rob from the rich, the poor, and the middle class...and give to me."

Well, I guess this squashes McCain's whole SOCIALIST cry, now doesnt it. Sounds like a capitalist to me...and I like it! You right wing nutjobs can't seem to get your stories straight. first you hate him because he's a socialist, now that he's espousing your capitlist ways...you hate him. Some people are so hard to please!

They should let you in for free,seeing the media got him into the White House!!! 8>(

How much to get a good seat at Bob Barr's Banquet?

They should let you in for free,seeing the media got him into the White House!!! 8>(

Wait until you see the cost if he wins.

Cache it quickly...this page will be shut down before 5pm EDT today. Naughty-naughty, questioning this 'messiah' is bad juju for you.

Where are the deceased Chicago voters supposed to park their caskets during the speech???

They should let you in for free,seeing the media got him into the White House!!! 8>(

The way the media campaigns for him 24/7 and does not investigate all his baggage which would have ruined any other candidate long ago, you would think that Obama would take care of these fine left-over journalists who should get credit if he wins. I call the left-over because they are way past left-leaning and have gone all the way over to kool-aid drinkers of the biggest socialist phony messiah around.

I'd like to see NBC send The One a bill for all of the free campaign advertising disguised as "news coverage" they do for him. Someone above mentioned the likeness to MA governor Deval Patrick's innauguration. That ain't gonna be the only similarity between these 2. Patrick promised relief to residents' out of control property taxes. The only relief here was the sigh of relief Patrick exclaimed when his expensive new office curtains were hung, his staff was expanded, and his Cadillac arrived. Or the relief when his supporters in drug companies got some of those huge tax breaks that are evil if oil companies get them. With Obama, you're not really going to get a tax break, we're not really going to be energy independent, and according to Biden we will be tested with a third war that will sap the money Obama was going to use for all of his other programs.

The "audacity of arrogance"!

If the Dems do win in November they will tell the American people the same thing as 'Bluto' said to "Flounder" after they totaled his car in Animal House,

"You F@#*ed up, you trusted us"

Can't wait to get the "Obama-Bucks" coupons dictating how much you can buy each month for your family. Can't wait to see the long lines in what used to be an open grocery store and after hours of waiting you're told that they are all out. Can't wait to see more and more "CHANGE" in all parts of our once proud and "free" country. Just makes me wonder why I left communist Cuba 38 years ago running away from this new "CHANGE" that Obama and his commrades offer??? Just makes me wonder...

This is unbelievable! After all the glowing, nothing-but-positive coverage the media has given the Messiah, now we find out the campaign of He, The One wishes recompense for the glorious honor of being in His presence on the night He is anointed King? How utterly dreadful!

Now the media is going to learn what the REAL AMERICANS already know. Obama is going to take your money and give it to one of his buddies.

The media needs to be treated like s**t and obama is going to do it.

Obama knows that the media will never call him on it, cuz the media is worried about being called racist. And we all know that anyone daring to write or even THINK BAD OF OBAMA is going to be put in place.

GOOD JOB MEDIA ON THE OBAMA TANK JOB - YOU DESERVE ALL THE H*LL THAT OBAMA IS GOING TO GIVE YOU


Obama-Pelosi-Reid are the axis of taxes

Wake up you stupid Obama "children of the Acorn"

argh.
Too bad i can't just buy all the slots and have NO media coverage.

would be sweet.

I think I'm gonna use my credentials and buy the most expensive position I can get to witness the rock sta crying at his embarrasing loss.....

The arrogance of the Obama campaign is amazing. If he were to win, expect much more of the same. He is turning his back on the media that is trying to elect him because he thinks he does not need them anymore. However, if Obama loses (which is a very strong possiblity) maybe one of those risers may be helpful when trying to cover the rioting that will occur in Grant Park and Chicago

It seems to me this is capitalism at its finest. There is a scarce resource (media space) and they're using money as a way to allocate the resource. I don't have a problem with it.

Gee, maybe Obama can raise $450B more and spread the wealth around!

and . . .

By Bill Nixon on October 21, 2008 12:55 PM
"Someone from Disney is in charge of the tickets."

Maybe that's why ACORN registered Mickey Mouse!

The McCain camp should use this to their advantage. "Obama is measuring the drapes, appointing his cabinet, and planning a victory rally in downtown Chicago, selling access into the Holy of Holies to the highest bidder, to get a glimpse of 'The One.' Senator Obama: The People will decide."

God forbid that this man become the president. I have never in my life seen someone so self-absorbed, so full of himself. He is not running for president for the country; he sees the country as being there to serve him and his "greatness." Damned presumptuous, arrogant fool.

This is all representative of how Mr. Obama plans to spend when he gets into the White house. The only ones tightening their belts will be the American people...50% of which seem to have lost their collective minds.

Look at all of you conservatives standing up for the poor media elite. Between the phony outrage and the sounds of the dying (broke) newspaper business, I can hardly hear myself think.


So.... um.... who SHOULD pay for all the perks the media is expecting here? It says these fees are to cover costs, which from the sounds if it makes a lot of sense -- parking places, electrical hookups, food... These things cost money, right?


Should the taxpayers of Chicago pay? Should the campaign contributors who gave money to help him get elected pay for the media to eat and be comfortable after he wins? I could see all of you calling either one of those scenarios a scandal too.


So someone tell me, after looking at the facts (including the fact that any and all media CAN attend for FREE if they feed themselves and call the story in on their cell phone), and ignoring the spoon-fed shoked tone of the article: what. is. wrong. with. this? Who--WHO?--do YOU want to pay the expenses? Saying "Obama" should pay means Joe Taxpayer or Joe Contributor should pay.


The media has been a shill for this clown for two years now. And now that it's coming out of their pockets, they're whining and complaining like babies.

I can't believe all of you in the media were gullible enough not to see this coming a mile away.

If he wins, get ready for four more years of these new taxes. Let's call this the "Press Tax"

One for You, two for ME !

The thieves, crooks, and corrupt politicians in Cook County are foaming at the mouth at the thought of getting in on Washington Politics. Gov Blago's only hope is that Obama wins and he appoints a new prosecutor before the current guy indicts him.

The Obama Nation has become an abomination!

Better the media pay the cost for the event than the Chicago Park District (Taxpayers). And that's why this is a brilliant idea.

Comrades,
This is interesting reading the comments. No one here is defending this. Finally maybe his comrades are seeing the light.

Lynn, you sound shocked! LOL, you liberal people in the media created this monster, now deal with it. Obama is a fake, a fraud and a phoney BUT he is TELLING all of us what his intentions are! God forbid that he actually wins this election, because there will be Hell to pay for it.

It will be the death of America.

WE WILL Have full investigation on this election we will go after every medial out let obama iisnt fit to be president not enough to be president

This strategy makes sense. Let the redistribution begin with the media fools. Then, we'll go on to take money from the "wealthy". Where will the money go??? Well, of course right into the pockets of Obama and his Robots. Some people know his practices as bribing (the media), and taking (communists) from the "wealthy", who maybe earn just $42,000. Oh well, this is the "change" we've been waiting for?

What do you expect from a democrat? IF they can put their hand in your pocket they will.

Are they going to refund this when he looses the election?

Get ready for widespread denials, and the prompt burial of the story by his MSM whores.

Where does the money go? His campaign is swimming in money so....?

I hope it rains.................

Obama's people are investigating Joe the Plumber and trying to pin anything they can on him. Why? This guy is not running for office. All Joe did was ask Obama a question that "the King" did not like. This my friends is what we can expect in an "Obama Administration". The days of critizing him like we are doing now are over. This guy and his people are playing for keeps. Even the lemmings that love Obama so much will be watched to see if they remain "faithful". Look out Big Brother is truely watching. This is how the Fascist got started in Germany. Do you want this for America? I am going to say it while I can "DOWN WITH OBAMA". Do you think I am a racist??


Colorado

DO NOT FORGET TO VOTE. WE HAVE THE POWER TO CHOOSE - WELL ALMOST, ONCE WE OVERCOME THE VOTER FRAUD PEREPTUATED BY ACORN AND OBAMA'S OTHER GROUPS. HE IS A CHICAGO POLITICIAN SPREADING THE CHICAGO STYLE OF VOTING - STEALING IT. AND MARK MY WORDS, BILL AYERS AND JERMIAH BULLFROG WILL BE INVITED TO HIS INAUGURATION, ALONG WITH LOUIS FRAUDAKAN. DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW MUCH OBAMA IS LAUGHING AT HOW GULLIBLE AND STUPID WE ARE. HE IS LAUGHING HIS HEAD OFF. LIKE SHOOTING FISH IN A BARREL. GOOD FOR YOU OBAMA SPITTING ON THE PRESS THAT (GOD FORBID) MIGHT GET YOU ELECTED. SHOWS JUST HOW MUCH RESPECT YOU HAVE FOR THEM. VOTE! PEOPLE! VOTE! YOU HAVE THE POWER!!!

I hope it rains.................

Barack 'Capone' Obama, spread the wealth around. I'm sure he's doing this to help his opponents pay their bills. He will be sharing his ill gotten gains with the Socialists, Communists, Libertarians, Greens, etc. I know he will do it because he is our new messiah.

His gift for fundraising outshines his rhetorical talent... imagine what he could do FOR this country if these dollars were genuinely going toward the "greater good".

When will we realize that political donations are just the price of a ticket to the circus and has no history of really making this country better.

LIMITED PUBLIC FINANCING ONLY! Is it any surprise Congress isn't trying to "cap" this vulgarity?

If you've read anything about Obama's history in Illinois, you'll know that this is how Obama operates. Now, while Obama needs the press, there is no charge, even to "cover costs". But as soon as he wins, he no longer needs the press, so why not stick it to them.

I hope the press stays away, but unfortunately, I know that won't happen.

My heart bleeds for any media that complains about obama. If they'd dug into his life like they did Palin and Joe the Plumber, obama might not even be a candidate. They get what they desrerve (though the American people certainly don't deserve it).

Hmmm - is this what "vote for change" is all about? Will work for change ... or even will work for $935 !!!

What BS! I'm going to contact Rezko and ask him if I can use his seat. Only in Chicago do we allow this political BS to go completely under our noses....but if Rex Gross throws three interceptions we'll march onto the field with torches!

This gets more obnoxious everyday!!!!

"General Press Area - No Charge"

Did you not read your own article?

Oh Boo Hoo! Who cares? I got bigger concerns than this...

Obama’s plan taxing money from wealthy corporations and giving it
to those who have not earned it is wrong. A welfare handout. After
all most profitable business’s have worked hard to earn their wealth
by hiring more employees as they worked their business up to the
top. Who in their right minds believe taxing corporations more will
help the economy as they will hire fewer employees to do their work.
Jobs will be lost. If workers think they are being overworked now
we have seen nothing yet as their employers will demand more work
to make up the extra expense that increased taxes will cost them.
Others will become so outraged with Obama’s taxes that they will
close their factory or business and leave their employees without a
job. What will this do for our economy at a time when we are going
into a depression? Oil companies will just raise gas prices at the
pump. Grocery stores will raise their price of food and the cost to
keep warm in the winter and cool in the summer will soar. Health
insurance costs will skyrocket We will be digging into our savings
accounts just to make up the difference! Are we to believe Obama
will not tax our lower income people? Once he rolls in his tax
money from higher income corporations he will become greedy and
soak everyone with higher taxes. Internal Revenue service would
have to hire scores of people just to handle the extra work load of
Obama’s tax the rich and give to those who have not earned it plan.
Taxing and spending is already out of control. We cannot afford to
break America’s bank any further.

I don't know why I'm surprised. Check out Obama's record of donations to charity and compare it to McCain's record. Obama is a capitalist when it comes to his own income, though he clearly loves the idea of redistributing other people's income. Comparisons to European socialists are too generous--he's more in line with Third World dictator socialists.

OK, this is sad. Obama is finally starting to show his true colors. Pretty sad that it has taken so long....hopefully this will help the truth to come out. Wow. In a reply to Indiana46278 I would like to ask....when did food, electricity, and other such necessities become so expensive, that it has required $935 to stay in a tent???? No, this is not simply paying for expenses, it is paying Obama for being a liar and a conman..... good for him. He has deceived you Indiana46278.....He has deceived many others. What can the poor innocent liberals say to defend their god now?

I would pay a grand to be able to be the one to snap a photograph in that sweet moment he realizes the election is lost. Someone should show this article to the ward bosses of philly as they are coming up empty handed trying to get "street money". Should knock a couple votes off his PA tally, eh?

Hmmmm, so what do you expect from the party that use to rent out the Lincoln bedroom? But oh wait, this is the new improved Chicago version... move over Willy! Barry's gonna show you how to shake 'em down!
LOL... yeah, he's "The One", the one with the terrorist friends, marxist buddies, and black militant armies ready to march at his command.

Anyone with their high ideal elitist views that believes his enlightened message, is in for a rude awakening if he wins. And they have the nerve to call Palin/McCain nazis! I smell a dictator in the making, and with all of these sycophants swooning over him, he'll be unstoppable before it becomes obvious what he truly is.

Thank you, good people of Chicago, for the great gift you have bestowed upon our nation. I have never visited your fair city but shall be happy to now that The One won't be spending so much time there.

I would love to see the rate charged Fox News versus MSNBC...you know cris and keith

The article and many posts are unrealistic. Why would any generator of news, even one as wise and generally fair as Team Obama, think that it makes sense to equate the lowliest blogger with the needs of, say, the NYT. There is no need and there should be no expectation that they are equal.
To enforce such equality would be, laughingly, communistic, and that is not the direction of the Obama campaign. Nor would it be, I dare say, the wish of the vast majority of American news consumers.
So, it is too bad the campaign appears to be passing through costs--they ought to not do that given their cash position. But don't expect equality. There is no reason or desire for it, except from the likes of the the braying little people.

Let's see...

Since news agencies make money by selling advertising during broadcasts, especially high profile events. $935 for press access, parking, power, phone lines, etc. doesn't seem unreasonable, then, does it?

Keep in mind, the NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN etc. all booked out the top floors of hotels in Rome for OVER A YEAR prior to the death of Pope John Paul II, just so they could have a "Vatican" backdrop for the news coverage that would follow.

I guess I'm just not all that sympathetic.

BTW, I was one of those millions of small donors. I don't expect to get an invite to his election night festivities. Frankly, I was thrilled to get a Obama-Biden made in the USA, organic cotton, Union label tee-shirt.

Off course, if I'd donated to McCain, I could have paid for Palin's $150,000 shopping spree at Sak's and Neiman's instead.


WOW! The right is great at making something about nothing!

It is OK for the McCain campaign to spend $150,000 of money they don't have (they had to pull out of key battleground states due to lack of funds) in two months, which is more than she makes as a governor! You are the same people who flipped out over Edwards' $400 haircuts. Meanwhile, he reimbursed the money and even if he got a haircut per week, it would take him over 7 years to spend what McCain's campaign spent on Palin's clothes in two months. How is Neiman Marcus, Saks, etc. "one of us?" Talk about elitist! It is all in the campaign spending disclosures. Check it out.

It is also OK for each candidate to charge $2000 per day for the press to fly with them. That more than covers costs and includes a little profit.

The press will have FREE access at the event. Essentially, what they are saying is if you are a blogger, who is considered a member of the press, you will have a private press area but it will be bare bones. Want more? You have to spend. Bloggers will still be able to file their reports from their notebook computers using the mobile broadband access.

However, if you are a network and want to install a giant camera and crew with the best shot available, then you are going to have to pay for it. Otherwise, you can get regular press access without the bells and whistles -- for FREE.

Also, please do not forget that Palin has granted hardly any interviews. That is not unlimited access to the candidates if they will not even speak to the press. McCain/Palin have also made it a point to throw members of the press who disagree with their policies off their campaign plane. What happened to have someone present dissenting views? It is not fair to only allow pro-campaign members of the press on board -- that is a way of censoring press coverage.

So, before you go on and on about the candidate who has the majority of America behind his campaign and has proven it by recording record donations, do your research about your own candidate.

I get my news from may sources, including sources I do not like, in order to get a well-rounded view and have the ability to make informed decisions. When everyone is agreeing, as is the case here, it is easy to lose the ability to reason.

What's more outrageous is that this pay-to-play plan has received virtually NO coverage. Nothing on ABC. Nothing on main web sites.

No, it's jsut the Messiah as usual.

I have also read a lot in the comments about Obama being a socialist.

Are you aware that as governor, Palin has taxed big oil in the state of Alaska and distributes the proceeds to each Alaskan citizen? That is the definition of socialism.

The largest bailout in history, which is taken place right now is corporate socialism.

Obama, meanwhile promises more of the same, which is tiered taxes based on income and everyone is flipping out.

As someone who will have his taxes raised by Obama, I still support him. Spending has got to get under control, which he will help with and then we have to work on paying back the huge deficit we are running. The ONLY way to do that is to raise taxes -- we cannot come up with $10 trillion quick enough by cutting spending. That $10 trillion is like a large credit card balance that you can never pay down if making minimal payments. Under Obama's plan, my taxes will go up a whopping $20 a month. That will still leave me over $18,000 a month to spend. I will be OK giving up $20 to help my country.

It is great to see all the concern for the poor "MEDIA" from the right wing. Wah Wah Wah. You go to a National Park and you pay an entry fee, you camp you pay a site fee, you need electricity you pay, you need sewer you pay. Get over it! It is still less than the cost of Palin's red jacket.

You trolls are nuts. The O campaign will use that money wisely...they use all money wisely...as he will do as Pres...he will not squander our riches as the Repubs love to do...wait and see America: Papa O is about to teach us all a lesson in the virtue of frugality. count on it, and be ready to CHANGE your habits for the good of our great nation.

I think this is a brilliant idea from the Obama campaign. For one thing, these fees appear to be nominal. People have paid more for two seats to a Rolling Stones concert or the Superbowl, and didn't get nearly as much comfort, facilitation and convenience as this plan proposes.This is potentially a once in a lifetime moment of American and World history, regardless of if one admires Sen. Obama or not. Also, this is an acknolwedgement to the power of independent media in that it allows independent outlets equal footing with the MSM; at least so far as this event is concerned. Any legitimate independent media that can come up with a nominal fee can enjoy the same access as the blowhards at Fox, CNN and MSNBC. It's a farce to see corporate media shills whine about a couple of thousand bucks when this event will enable them to take in untold amounts of money in ad and licensing revenues. Apparently media has forgotten what "fair access" means; whereas Obama's campaign has provided a method for those who have the least to be on an equal playing field with the those who have the most.

This is just another clearer example-
for all you Literally Thoughtless Blubbering BamaManiacs- of Income Redistribution...

In This Case relative to the Campaign's Recycling/Laundering Tens(Hundreds) of Millions from Questionable(OverSeas)Sources into exclusionary Blocking Buyouts of Media Ads,
then charging the gorged LameStreaMedia TopShelf
pricing for(their Historic) seat to THE O SHOW...

Perfect Circular Logic applied cross dimensionally.

I recommend the Blue Plastic Barrels, they're a little lighter & more narrow than the Wooden ones worn in our Last Depression as well as having no Splinters!

All Hail the Magic Negro, Our Lord Saviour, OBAMA the First & Worst...

Okay, this thread has officially reached levels of ignorance in the upper stratosphere.

(and an amen to the poster 'fut'. You hit the nail on the head.)

When did McCain supporters become a bunch of tin foil hat wearing trolls?

The packages available, it seems, are not mandatory. They are providing FREE access to any credentialed sources that request it. The prices being paid are likely at the cost of what they are paying. Have you ever staged an event like this? Do you know the prices these vendors (Like Qwest (telecommunications), or Sodexo (catering and event staging), or any or the permits needed from the city of Chicago to pull off something like this actually cost?) The cost on this alone will be into the 7 figures. Think: overtime to cops or security guards, coordinators, engineers, site facilities employees, EMT's and paramedics on standby. Go ahead, call and ask any major company what their prices are in Chicago for an event with, say, 10,000 people. Prices are that high, and they will be the same in NYC, or LA, or Dallas, or New Orleans, or anywhere else you stage a major event.

Seriously, get a grip. It's not a conspiracy and it's not price gouging. Why would they care about turning a profit? The election will be over and they can't just pocket the money leftover.

And, by the way, to you seriously uneducated posters who keep commenting on ACORN, keep in mind it's voter registration fraud, not voter fraud, and it was ACORN that brought it to the attention of the authorities. It was also ACORN that took action to correct the matter long before any of these registrations cards were processed. Do you think the 15 Mickey Mouse's are actually going to show up and vote in Illinois or Ohio?

Has anyone here found out what the McCain campaign is charging for the same access for their election night coverage? Call The Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix, and ask them what it costs to book entire use of the facilities for a week. Call the Phoenix Police Department and ask them what they charge for security, call an EMT company, call a catering company.

This isn't a wedding at the local Holiday Inn.

This is a major event, in a major city, with enormous needs.

Turn off your television and do you're own fact checking.

.3Hey McCain Clones, or is it clowns at this point?

Stop whining. For decades republicans have had cash galore, charging $10,000 a couple dinner parties and racking in the dough. Now that the American people have ganged up on yall and decided that Obama and Company are far and away the best option, you start complaining at every little fact.

Dont be such sore losers, if anything be grateful that Bush only got us into two unwinnable wars.

Good riddance to Republicans and their sense of "fiscal conservatism" "national defense" and deregulation....it was just a big con game in the end

Hey McCain Clones, or is it clowns at this point?

Stop whining. For decades republicans have had cash galore, charging $10,000 a couple dinner parties and racking in the dough. Now that the American people have ganged up on yall and decided that Obama and Company are far and away the best option, you start complaining at every little fact.

Dont be such sore losers, if anything be grateful that Bush only got us into two unwinnable wars.

Good riddance to Republicans and their sense of "fiscal conservatism" "national defense" and deregulation....it was just a big con game in the end

This sets a very bad tone to start a presidential administration because Obama ran on reforming Washington's use of money to access politicians. Asking the media to pay is even more troubling. Providing press coverage of our political events is fundamental in allowing the American people see how our election process operates as our form of democracy. I plan major event so I know how expensive production cost can be—especially to provide the media with all the technical support they need to televise an event. But charging them is not the answer especially to those small media outlets who can not afford the fees. The Obama campaign needs to think how their decisions impacts a nation and how it is perceived by all citizens as a whole.

Go Obama! The better choice for America! McCain has ran the sleaziest campaign ever! The republicans are the ones who put this country in the toilet! I can not believe the ignorance on this forum. You people certainly don't care about real issues. Just your made up republican fear mongering lies about Obama.

Well this will be his first opportunity to try out silencing free speach!!! Wake up America

What is the problem? If the press needs connectivity, like high speed internet and unlimited LD dialing, they probably have a big operation they are feeding. They will be on funded travel covering flights, rooms and meals. This is just another expense. How do you expect the event planners to distribute a limited resource like high-speed internet? Why would you respect this to be free to the (for profit) press core covering the event? Come on! We live in the free market, not a socialist country. right?

The 15 Mickey Mouse's registered by ACORN are not showing up to vote...and even if they did, who's to say they would vote for Obama? Dumb.

Has anyone arranged a space at a trade show or convention?

This is not an Obama facility. It is owned by a private company, who charges an arm&leg for every single item. Booth space...$400 to $1000 for about 10ft by 16ft (about double what is in the Press Package) plus carpet, power is extra, phone line extra, table and chairs extra, don't even ask about dedicated wired T1 access. If you want food, forgetaboutit.

While I understand some amount of wariness, waiting for an anticipated revelation that Obama is just like the others', I don't think that I have to wear Birkenstocks to prove that I am environmentally responsible.

We've been led around by the nose for the past 15 years or so by being fed bullsh88t that sounds right but has no relationship to reality.

News/Media conglomerates (there are what, about 6 in the whole wide world) are perfectly capable of covereing the expenses, and it's a tax deduction. While all newshounds are equally worthy, there are only so many square feet available.

So what would you do?

LOL...Another great way to cover up some laundered money...This guy can think of anything for his pocketbook but hasn't a clue on how to run a Country. I wouldn't even put him on poop patrol at a legit dog kennel.

As a resident of Chicago, I know there is concern by everyone that the taxpayers of Chicago not be stuck with the bill for the election night celebration. (And there are actually some Republican voters in this city, who would be even unhappier to be charged.) The Obama campaign is being responsible and reasonable in trying to ensure that the burden does not fall on the city, for licensing, policing, clean-up, etc.

Interestingly, first Obama a "Socialist," and now he's a Capitalist! That's almost as shocking as his being an undercover Muslim in Christian's clothing! You guys will never be pleased, because you just don't like Obama. Be honest and go write something HONEST and newsworthy.

"* Main Riser Position - $935 (Includes 4 Main Riser Credentials, 5'x8' Slot on Covered Main Riser and one 20 amp circuit)"

So, it's not $935 for one reporter, it's $935 for four reporters. This article is about as accurate and well-written as its replies.

As anyone who has ever attended a Business Convention can tell you, it is very expensive to hold these sort of events in the City of Chicago.

Everything (Including tent setup, break down, electrical work, loading and unloading,...) has to be done by Union workers. Otherwise you can bet things will go wrong (Like power lose in the middle of speech).

Obama's team is doing it right. The people and city of Chicago need not to subsidize a political event.

We are concern about a news media ,,which pays their personal like O'Reilly $10 million dollars a year..
They are bitch about pocket change to them..
Let them eat cake like the rest of Americans..

How does Fox news pay for their propaganda personal for spreading their deceit..

What do they pay to be a Bush's press conferences, or one of the elite on McCain's plane..
They pay for it with our constitutional and freedom..

O'Reilly $10,000,000 a year....
Sheppard $ 8,000,000 a year...
?
?
?
?
?
?
and the news media is bitching about paying their own way...

If Obama were in fact a socialist like nearly everyone on this board is saying, then he would have the citizens of Chicago pay for this event. He's not! His campaign has stated that the city will not pay for this. Everything for this event, including cleanup, security, rental for the space, utilities etc will be paid for by the campaign. If you're a news outlet, you cover your end of the costs, because you're reaping the benefits. What's terrible about this? Nothing! Sounds pretty fair. Imagine the ratings and ad revenue??! John McCain has a smaller event planned where he'll address a SMALL crowd in front of a hotel, and he's charging over $600 for press to get a good look at him. And he won't be in a crowd of thousands of supporters, consider the huge difference in logistics.

As a Chicagoan, I can't wait to be a part of election night, and I can't wait for the world to see us come out in support of Barack Obama. After 8 years of someone ignoring our needs, our voices can finally be heard!

This article was a good example of why the Sun Times is doing so poorly.

What happened to "free" press?

lynne sweet is great. great article. the sun times is a really good paper.

All the high dudgeon worked up by many of the early posters here is laughable! If you'd bother to check the link posted by Ms Sweet, you can see that the McCain campaign...guess what?....also CHARGES for media access!!! And although their charge is a bit less than Obama's ($635 for one pass vs $935 for 4 passes at the lowest level that includes phone lines/internet access/food/drink, in a city with a generally lower cost of doing business), they do not offer a FREE option like the Obama campaign does. How quick you all are to jump on the bandwagon so you can once again start screaming your freeper charges of "Rezko!" "Ayers!" "Chicago politician!" when--oops--your guy does THE SAME THING!

Move along, no news here.

I do want to add, though, that I'm disappointed that Ms Sweet apparently posted the info about the Obama Campaign's rates, and her obvious disappointment with it, but waited two days before acknowledging that upon comparison with the McCain Campaign's rates, it seemed no less fair.

Not what I'd call well-researched reporting. Guess that's what you get with a blog, but I would hope that her articles in the Sun-Times are better constructed.

LYNN SWEET REPLY
The McCain rates were not released at the time of the first post. The McCain information was posted shortly after the campaign issued the price list.

Talk About Audacity!
The annointed one wouldn't even be where he is today w/out the media giving him a free ride and not exposing him for what he is.

Well, what do you expect, he's a chicago machine alumn, raised on pay to play.

Just when I couldn't be more disgusted with him and his machine run campaign, now this.

If you were smart, you'd boycott the whole thing.
What a waste of our beautiful lakefront!
I bet he weasels out of paying the WHOLE tab,
because he is such a LIAR, you can't believe anything he says.

I hope it turns out to be a victory celebration for McCain, that would serve this presumptious bum right. And, all you kool-aid drinkers, keep your comments to yourself, I've heard them all and they just make you look more stupid and brain-washed! GOD help Chicago, the USA and the world if this "one" gets in.

THE PERFECT STORM FOR A DEPRESSION ...
A far left Media ...
A far left President ...
A far left Congress ...
A far left Senate ...
A far left Supreme Court ...
This would eliminate all the checks and
balances that our democracy is based upon.
Barack Obama formed his political and economic
ideology, and his radical associations, during the
TWENTY YEARS ... yes, that's TWENTY YEARS ... when
he followed Marxist Black Liberation Theology, in
Jeremiah Wright's anti-American, racist church.
And, now, with our country on the brink of depression,
Obama wants to impose new laws which would change
America into a third world country.
You may be upset with George Bush, but in spite
of Obama's slogans, John McCain is NOT George Bush ...
so don't over react to Obama's 600 million dollar
Propaganda campaign designed to highjack America !!!
A vote for Obama is a vote for changing America beyond
recognition ... and, it would be a vote for voter fraud,
a corrupt media, socialism, and the end to America as we know it.
Keep America free, strong, safe, and American ...
Elect McCain/Palin on November 4th.

I and tens of thousands of us VERTERANS fought and died for this!!
Is part of his blood infected with AL COPONE'S? Who the hell does he think he is! He talks, as I was taught by the Indians of AZ, New York, with a "DEVIL FORK TOUNGE"! He has to "LOOSE"!! or our NATION WILL! He will destroy what little faith and justice we have died for! Vets help!!
Bring this " HIPPOCRATE DOWN "!!! Investagate! FOLLOW THE MONEY!!!
Remember that from " WATERGATE "!!!
This is AMERICA GATE!!!!! STOP THIS " DEVIL!

This is standard procedure for an event of this size. a lot of you are complaining about the media being in the pocket of the campaign, but you then complane when the campaign makes them pay their own way.

900 dollars for park and power for a sat truck is low, I have paid as high as 2500 for 2 days park and power in NYC.

900 something for the riser position is average.

300 per phone line is what I paid in philly at the primary.

these charges are not out of line, it is the cost of doing buisness.

It wasn't so long ago that hatred of black people wasn't seen as deviant. Very many bigots here are sophisticated enough not to directly attack the candidate's ethnicity (many are not). Instead some posters here (and elsewhere) elevate minor issues to the level of crisis then criticize the candidate with what a detached observer might call a 'straw man' argument. The issue of paying for a 'good' position to cover the candidate seems very much like those sky boxes that proliferate at sporting arenas. Many may believe the �bigot� label might be unfair, perhaps. A bigot or racist doesn�t necessarily burn crosses or spew hatred, not in this day and age, but instead they typically wrap themselves in rhetorical structures that are racist in intent but could be plausibly made to look like serious discourse. For example the recent issue of who is �unamerican�. I think this story is news worthy, but it hardly rises to the level of an issue that reveals the candidate�s hidden depravity or whatever. Besides, no one had sympathy for �the media� when they all wanted to consolidate. Remember Kevin Powell and the FCC hearings? We were all screaming that they had too much power, now we�re bemoaning that they have to pay $900? Seriously?

Does anyone know the url to sign up for general media coverage on election night? As a freelancer, I'd like to get in. It hasn't been easy to track it down with google. Thanks in advance if anyone can pass it along.

All of these stupid Obama haters here are really angry because McPain is gonna lose.

OBAMA 2008 !!! the Republi-KKK-an party is history.

Why all the dissing? People here seem pretty quick to jump on the cynic train. Look, the press area is specially set up with heat, tent, etc.-- It all costs $$$! Why SHOULDN'T the press pay for a SPECIAL AREA for them? If they want free access ITS BEEN PROVIDED! Or they could have done what "normal people" have to do and get a ticket, stand with the common man. Who cares how "unattractive" it is. Stop crying and support our guy! GOBAMA!! BARACK THE VOTE!

I don't find these prices out of line at all. Having worked in local and network news, and having managed a budget for live shots, the prices quoted are not out of line. Many years ago, I recall having to negotiate with a homeowner to park our microwave van in her driveway close to cover an execution. We paid her $1000 for one night. Of course, she did provide a roast turkey dinner for our entire crew.

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on October 21, 2008 11:07 AM.

Oprah Winfrey role in a Barack Obama White House was the previous entry in this blog.

Obama makes it official: Chicago's Grant Park on election night. is the next entry in this blog.

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