Arkie at work on Bachmann image | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Arkie at work on Bachmann image

Posted By on Thu, Aug 25, 2011 at 6:51 AM

ALICE STEWART
  • ALICE STEWART
More from the New York Times on Republican candidate Michele Bachmann's work at image control — both in appearance and screening of reporters.

In the thick of it, naturally, is Alice Stewart, who moved from buffing up the image of Secretary of State Mark Martin to the Bachmann candidacy, sinking fast no matter how many makeup touchups she's provided.

Unlike other candidates who let reporters fire questions after a public appearance for 5 or 10 minutes in a scrum, known as a “press avail,” Mrs. Bachmann takes questions in a well-mannered way at a microphone stand in front of her bus — but only from reporters whose names she calls from a list, like a substitute teacher.

The list is compiled by Alice Stewart, Mrs. Bachmann’s press secretary, and whether she prescreens reporters and their questions to control the candidate’s message is an open issue.

Ms. Stewart insisted that she did not. The list, she said, is to exclude “Obama trackers” looking to provoke a gaffe, and to ensure that local reporters are not crowded out by the national news media. Local reporters’ questions often are less pointed.

Brandon Herring, a reporter for WMBF television in Myrtle Beach, said Ms. Stewart had approached him while Mrs. Bachmann spoke and asked if he wanted to ask a question. He said he did. “She said, ‘You want to ask about Myrtle Beach, I imagine,’ ” Mr. Herring said. “I was like, yeah, I guess I do.”

Stewart defended the campaign from criticism that reporters had been physically moved aside from the candidate at various events — "unusually hostile" was how Politico put it.

Ms. Stewart said the incidents were distorted and resulted from campaign staff members’ efforts to protect a candidate who is often mobbed by ardent fans.

“In light of the Gabby Giffords incident, security is the No. 1 priority every time we step out in a public event,” she said, referring to the January shooting rampage near Tucson that seriously wounded the United States representative.

Tags: , , ,


Favorite

Comments (37)

Showing 1-37 of 37

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-37 of 37

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • Little Rock school activists announce events for 60th anniversary of Central High crisis

    The group is not affiliated with the official "Reflections of Progress" commemoration of the 60th anniversary. However, at least two of the Little Rock Nine may be joining the group for an event at 2:30 p.m. at the state Capitol in the Old Supreme Court Chamber.
    • Sep 14, 2017
  • Trump tariffs hit farmers hard

    Well, the trade war has begun and the early returns for farmers are not good — sharp reductions in the prices for soybeans and corn. You may have heard that Arkansas, which overwhelmingly supported Donald Trump, has some agricultural interests, particularly in soybeans.
    • Jul 6, 2018
  • Arkansas legislature rejects bipartisan effort to study race relations

    On Friday, the Arkansas Legislative Council soundly rejected a bipartisan effort by two senators to to create a temporary legislative subcommittee to study race relations in the state.
    • Sep 15, 2017

Most Recent Comments

 

© 2019 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation