Why Mitt Romney's new spokesperson doesn't read the New York Times


Amy Graham is leaving Florida Gov. Rick Scott's office to join Mitt Romney's presidential campaign, the Miami Herald reported Thursday. Scott announced Thursday that all emails to and from Scott and members of his leadership team would be made available online. That same day, SaintPetersBlog's Peter Schorsch published a sequence of increasingly testy emails between members of Scott's communications staff and New York Times reporter Serge Kovaleski. The transaction soured, and Kovaleski accused Scott communications director Brian Burgess of "distortions" when he was reporting on the Trayvon Martin case.

“This guy is exactly why I don’t read the New York Times," Graham wrote in an email to Burgess.

On Wednesday Romney met with conservative media outlets in an off-the-record session in Washington, D.C., a meeting one attendee characterized to Michael Calderone as "sort of an olive branch to conservative media":

Some conservative journalists left satisfied with what they heard. At one point, Romney told attendees that the campaign intended to work closely with their outlets and will even help conservative outlets writing about Obama with opposition research, according to an attendee.

The Romney campaign also prompted a minor rumpus when it initially declined to allow BuzzFeed to join its press pool. "We do not have a separate blogger pool report," Romney spokesperson Andrea Saul told Calderone. Traditionally, the press pool, not the campaign, decides which media organizations will cover a campaign; other news organizations including The New York Times and The Huffington Post pushed back against the decision. BuzzFeed's editor, Ben Smith, told Calderone, "We are part of the pool, and are looking forward to receiving tonight's pool report and taking our turn in the rotation."

  • Andrew Beaujon

    Andrew Beaujon reported on the media for Poynter from 2012 to 2015. He was previously arts editor at TBD.com and managing editor of Washington City Paper. He's the author of the 2006 book "Body Piercing Saved My Life," about Christian rock and evangelical Christian culture.


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