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Leave it to Drudge
In typical Drudge-like form, the headline announcing the expulsion screamed controversy:
"The Big Purge: Skeptical Reporters Tossed Off Obama Plane"
"Despite pleas from top editors of the three newspapers that have covered the campaign for months at extraordinary cost, the Obama campaign says their reporters -- and possibly others -- will have to vacate their coveted seats so more power players can document the final days of Sen. Barack Obama's historic campaign to become the first black American president," writes Drudge.
To be fair, space on campaign planes can become limited. Especially when you are up in the polls.
It's not like the Obama campaign isn't trying to be helpful to these newspapers. Their suggestion? Get on the campaign bus or even worse -- travel with Joe Biden.
Normally traveling with Biden could be entertaining. The guy would talk your ears off and say something wonderfully quotable.
But since he's been placed in the equivalent of Al Gore's lockbox, he's no news all-the-time.
Reactions from the newspapers?
The Dallas Morning News recognizes that polls are good and Team Obama doesn't want to upset anything.
"Sen. Obama is sitting on a lead and doesn't want to risk aggressive questions by unbiased political reporters," writes Ryan Rusak.
He notes Obama hasn't held a press conference in more than a month and the interviews he has done are with pretty friendly people: Jon Stewart, Rachel Maddow and
Pulitzer prize winning journalist Mario Lopez.
But they don't necessarily think they're being punished for checking the McCain box.
"But we don't have evidence that the newspaper's endorsement of Sen. McCain had any bearing on the campaign's decision to boot us from the plane," writes Rusak.
As for the Washington Times, they aren't happy with the news. In fact, they feel like they are a pre-election victim of John McCain's main campaign theme.