Still scared of the little old Arkansas Times after all these years. The Huckabee campaign denied access to today’s events to Times reporter David Koon and photographer Brian Chilson, who are currently in Hope covering the announcement.
Koon and Chilson, both wearing their media credentials, were told that they had improperly RSVP’d to general admission rather than media (the Times, of course, was given no media advisory). They were denied entry to the event, including to the general admission area. At the time, as the event was underway, there were numerous media passes available.
So it goes, and perhaps this was just some confusion around RSVP procedures. Of course, there is a whole lot of history here, and let’s just say that the Clintons aren’t the only Arkansas pols with a salty relationship with the press. When Huckabee was governor, he ended press services (publicly financed) altogether to the Arkansas Times (no news releases, notices of news conferences, responses to routine queries, etc.).
Earlier this year, Mother Jones took a look back at these shenanigans:
Even before he destroyed his hard drives rather than grant the public access to his records, Huckabee took a combative approach to public records requests. When Arkansas Times editor Max Brantley (who has also weighed in on Huckabee’s transparency record) requested documents from Huckabee in 1995, the then-lieutenant governor flipped out. In a press release issued by his campaign, he attacked Brantley as a “disgruntled and embittered wannabe editor” from a “trashy little tabloid”—and went after Brantley’s wife, a Clinton judicial appointee, for good measure. All because the editor filed a request for records every citizen was entitled to.
No hard feelings, Huck!