MoDo banned from McCain plane; we're oddly torn

Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

Of course we don't like the idea of any campaign "banning" a journalist because the candidate doesn't like what was written or said about them. That's petty and wrong and disrespectful toward journalism.

And that's exactly what the McCain campaign was guilty of when it recently banned NYTimes columnist Maureen Dowd from the candidate's traveling press plane.

But it was Dowd's comment after the banishment that gave us pause: "It was disappointing because I didn't think John McCain would ever be as dismissive of the First Amendment as Dick Cheney."

We're torn because we can't think of a single elite columnist who we'd rather not have invoking the solemn rights of the Constitution in a press fight, simply because we don't think Dowd is a serious journalist. So we're not comfortable with her representing any sort of professional journalism community.

In fact, we're in heated agreement with Firedoglake commenter "JoeBuck":

McCain and his people are jerks, of course, but Dowd reveals what a total waste of column inches she is by her remark. Bumping her from the campaign plane because the campaign doesn't like something she wrote is juvenile and mean-spirited, but the First Amendment doesn't guarantee MoDo a plane ride. She has a prize position on the NY Times Op-ed page, and she basically puts out a high school gossip column, full of petty name-calling.

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