Palin handlers bully CNN cameraman at book signing
Sarah Palin’s aides opted to use a little bit of force to end an otherwise polite conversation with a CNN news crew Thursday.
CNN’s Jim Acosta and his camera crew were invited to attend a Palin book signing in a Spirit Lake, Louisiana Wal-Mart. But one of Palin’s handlers put a hand in front of the camera before Acosta could finish his questions.
“They brought the media in three by three if you can believe this, and led us into a room where Sarah Palin was signing those books,” Acosta explained to CNN host Wolf Blitzer Thursday.
“They had the music playing loudly presumably to discourage us from asking questions. At the end of our time with the governor, observing her during the book signing, we decided to ask her the question which is often asked of presidential contenders in Iowa, ‘When are you going to make your announcement on running for president?'” Acosta said.
At that moment, the music stopped.
“Are we doing interviews?” Palin asked. “I thought we were talking to the nice people. Where’s the music and where’s our good enthusiasm?”
“Well, we’re nice too,” Acosta told Palin.
“Not always, but maybe you are,” Palin replied.
Not surprisingly, the former Alaska governor said that she was not any closer to announcing her run for president.
The British newspaper Guardian reported that Palin aides were searching for office space in Iowa, a crucial primary state.
Acosta asked Palin for a reply to Mitt Romney’s comment on the Tonight Show that he wouldn’t have quit his job as governor of Massachusetts like Palin did in Alaska.
“It’s hard to imagine a circumstance where I’d have quit,” Romney had told Jay Leno. “It’s a great job. I loved it. But [Palin] had her reasons.”
As the loud music returned to the book signing, an unhappy Palin answered the question about Romney’s comments. “He probably had some different conditions,” she said.
Before Acosta could get out another question, one of Palin’s handlers put a hand in front of the camera and the CNN crew was forced to leave.
“Who stuck his or her hand in front of that camera lens at then end of that little clip?” Blitzer wanted to know.
“That was one of her handlers and at that moment we were asked to leave,” Acosta answered. “Asking the question obviously did not go over well.”
“They should not put their hands in front of the camera lens like that,” Blitzer said.
Mediaite first noticed that Acosta had been booted from the Palin event.
“And on that note, a friendly tip to anyone charged with keeping the peace at such an event: absolutely do not stick your hand in front of a camera unless the person holding it is causing a scene, because few things will make you look like more of a bully,” Glenn Davis wrote.
This video is from CNN’s The Situation Room, broadcast Dec. 2, 2010.