What is this, prison? Kindergarten?
Oh, right. It’s Maryland gubernatorial candidate Anthony Brown‘s Democratic primary victory party, where members of the press are treated to the tightly controlled media operation instituted throughout the campaign by his campaign manager Justin Schall, whose relations with reporters are notoriously appalling. [Related: Schall insists that scantily clad entertainer at Vegas party attended by Brown is not a stripper]
“@BrownforMD staffers out of control. Media isn’t allowed to go to bathroom w/o escort. R u kidding?” wrote WUSA9’s Bruce Leshan last night on Twitter. He included this picture below with his news.
Similar reports from scribes covering the primary night party poured in.
Washington Post‘s Rachel Weiner also reported on the vice-like grip on media transpiring at the party. “Maryland Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown’s primary night party is largely closed off to the press. Media handlers are refusing to allow reporters to leave the media area and interview volunteers or other guests,” the story says.
The update they later added to the story is probably the funniest part: “As multiple news organizations called the race for Brown, campaign staffers allowed reporters to move around.”
Oh really? Brown wins and finally reporters are allowed freely move around and maybe relieve their bladders? Perhaps next time they should hand out pocket catheters.
And Washington Post‘s Paul Schwartzman: “Brown campaign keeping reporters from joyous supporters. How dare they chronicle euphoria! #groundcontroltobrown”
ABC7’s Mike Conneen also reported on the tightly controlled atmosphere toward the press. “At Brown’s campaign party, media not allowed in lobby or past the rope line separating the room.” He later added, “On the next episode of #Veep: rope line restrictions for media (bathroom chaperones offered) STRICTLY enforced then lifted w/no explanation.”
And WAMU City Hall reporter Patrick Madden: “Brown campaign keeping reporters away from supporters here at election watch party. Very odd.”
Leshan soon started cracking jokes about taking a leak. “Might be able to sneak ’round back. Don’t tell anyone,” he continued. “Screaming to go!” When a D.C. Fox5 photojournalist joked to him that he used a 32-ounce plastic container, he replied, “Funny! I may just get to that point. But maybe I’d rather grovel for an escort!”
Seriously. Do reporters really need escorts at campaign parties to urinate?
Meanwhile, here’s Brown, happily onstage thanking supporters for his victory. Presumably comfortably relieved as no doubt he had no bathroom stipulations last night.
The Mirror sought comment from the Brown campaign’s Justin Schall.
It reads: “Dear Justin, I’m curious why the press was treated to such stringent rules last night at Brown’s primary party. I’m seeing reports on Twitter from several members of the media that your staff required them to be escorted to the bathroom. Why would they need to be escorted to the toilet?”