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Black reporter told to leave Florida rally

Wed., Aug. 6, 2008

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – A newspaper has asked John McCain’s campaign why a black reporter assigned to cover a rally was singled out by security and told to leave a backstage area.

Stephen Price, a reporter for the Tallahassee Democrat, was among four Florida capital press corps reporters behind the scenes at a Panama City rally Friday when a Secret Service agent approached and asked if he was with the national media traveling with McCain. Price said no, and the agent told him he had to leave. Price said he then pointed out that there were other state reporters in the same area, but was still told to leave. The other reporters were white.

The McCain campaign said it asked Secret Service to look into the events. Campaign spokesman Brian Rogers said it “found that no one from the campaign was involved.”

Secret Service spokesman Eric Zahren said two other Florida reporters were removed along with Price and any other reporters who weren’t with the national press should have been removed as well.

McCain’s campaign called Price and Bob Gabordi, the newspaper’s executive editor, on Tuesday and apologized.


 

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