John Edwards and Journalism 101
Former senator John Edwards gave a speech in Des Moines today calling for greater responsibility in corporate America, including limits on executive pay and increased shareholders' rights.
It's a safe bet that no one from the UNC-Chapel Hill journalism school was covering the event in person: a professor from the program said that the Edwards' campaign attempted to scuttle a student's video report about the Edwards campaign headquarters. According to the News & Observer, professor C.A. Tuggle ("Dr. T to his students" per his web site) said the campaign threatened to cut off access for UNC student reporters and other student groups if the piece aired on the student-run television program "Carolina Week." The campaign also asked for the video to be removed from YouTube, Tuggle said.
The campaign told the News & Observer that the incident was "silly," but did not comment specifically on the student's report. "We love all reporters, the problem is the feeling isn't always mutual," Edwards spokeswoman Colleen Murray said.
The video--which is posted on YouTube, despite whatever objections the campaign may have raised--shows eager volunteers making calls at the former senator's campaign headquarters in the Southern Village area of Chapel Hill. The campaign volunteer being profiled in the story notes that the Chapel Hill base shows Edwards is not an old Washington insider and is in fact the candidate for the average person.
But the reporter then cuts to a shot of a woman and young child walking leisurely across a street. The woman sips a cup of what is likely Starbucks coffee, signaling to the viewer what the reporter makes explicit: "Southern Village isn't really for everyone." It's a Starbucks-purveying affluent area. So what kind of America is John Edwards working for, if he sets up his own headquarters here? That's the question the reporter goes on to explore and what the Edwards campaign, at least according to Dr. T, doesn't want her to be asking.
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