Patterico's Pontifications

7/12/2019

Mississippi Governor Candidate refuses Media Coverage

Filed under: Politics — DRJ @ 10:32 am



[Headlines from DRJ]

People Magazine:

Mississippi Politician Won’t Be Alone with Female Reporter for Fear of Extramarital Affair Rumors

Robert Foster, a Republican state representative in Mississippi running for governor, has refused to let a female journalist shadow him on a campaign trip because he said he feared others might suspect he was having an extramarital affair.

“Before our decision to run, my wife and I made a commitment to follow the ‘Billy Graham Rule,’ which is to avoid any situation that may evoke suspicion or compromise of our marriage,” Foster, 36, tweeted on Tuesday — referencing the practice named after the late Christian evangelist, who famously did not spend time alone with any woman who was not his wife.

VP Mike Pence has a similar rule.

The reporter, Larrison Campbell, wrote about this earlier this week. She called it sexist. Some find it demeans women, some make other interesting points, and some are supportive.

Foster was struggling in a January 2019 poll of the GOP primary and still trailing in a recent poll.

— DRJ

18 Responses to “Mississippi Governor Candidate refuses Media Coverage”

  1. I think he’s on understandable ground not wanting to be alone for a full day with a female reporter.
    I think she’s on understandable ground in suggesting that it is his campaign who should have provided a “chaperone” for the day, not her employer.
    In the end, I would guess that Mississippi Republicans are going to look more favorably on his decision than they are on her protests.

    JVW (54fd0b)

  2. Good for him. It used to be both that 1) a lady alone with a gentleman was in a compromising situation, and 2) it was the gentleman’s responsibility, more than the lady’s, to avoid that compromising situation.

    nk (dbc370)

  3. I am overall sympathetic, but the question in my mind is how often is a reporter alone with a candidate? Aren’t there staff and other press that follow him around? Or is he such a pathetic candidate that he merits zero staff and one reporter?

    Bored Lawyer (998177)

  4. That kind of crippling fear of one’s constituents should be reason enough to not vote for someone.

    john (90b57c)

  5. This was going to be a ride-along, Bored Lawyer. He and she going around in his truck for fifteen (?) hours.

    nk (dbc370)

  6. And as Al Franken found out with the woman he took a picture with in front of her husband in a Minnesota mall, and Joe Biden with the Nevada lady politician at a rally, you don’t even have to be alone with them to find yourself accused.

    nk (dbc370)

  7. I am overall sympathetic, but the question in my mind is how often is a reporter alone with a candidate? Aren’t there staff and other press that follow him around? Or is he such a pathetic candidate that he merits zero staff and one reporter?

    Mr. Foster does say that he is boot-strapping his campaign and travels alone to events quite a bit in order to save on expenses.

    JVW (54fd0b)

  8. And as Al Franken found out with the woman he took a picture with in front of her husband in a Minnesota mall, and Joe Biden with the Nevada lady politician at a rally, you don’t even have to be alone with them to find yourself accused.

    I was thinking about the point of who should provide the chaperone, the campaign or the media outlet. I’m looking at a scenario down the road — not this year, but let’s say eight or ten years from now — when Mr. Foster is running for the Senate or has been nominated as Secretary of Agriculture or something and the reporter comes out and makes an allegation along the lines of, “Mr. Foster didn’t get physical with me, but I was made uncomfortable by his constant staring at me and at one point I think I caught him trying to look down my blouse.” You know, an allegation that would be pretty much impossible to prove or disprove either way. In that case, if you are Robert Foster would you rather have the third-party witness be a former campaign volunteer of yours whose objectivity would be called into question, or would you rather it be one of her fellow journalists who may be colluding with her for partisan reasons?

    JVW (54fd0b)

  9. “Real reason” as in Foster is losing badly, narciso, as I showed by linking the polls?

    DRJ (15874d)

  10. Good comments supporting Foster’s decision but I assume everyone agrees they apply to all genders of politicians and reporters, right?

    DRJ (15874d)

  11. sounds like common sense to me.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  12. is he the previous governor’s kid from the 90s, I think it’s a reach that people would automatically assume this,

    narciso (d1f714)

  13. Whoever the next governor of MS is, hopefully they don’t drop a Ducey.

    urbanleftbehind (b6d697)

  14. Does/should it matter to Foster, or to anyone here, that this reporter is a lesbian? Doesn’t that make it less likely that anyone would believe claims or allegations of impropriety?

    DRJ (15874d)

  15. It didn’t help Amazon executive Roy Price against accusations by Phillip K. Dick’s daughter. Moreover, would the shield laws even allow it to be introduced in a judicial proceeding?

    nk (dbc370)

  16. But, you know, it might be the real reason Foster is being demure. He does not trust her to give a Christian conservative a fair write-up, even without allegations of impropriety. I know I wouldn’t.

    nk (dbc370)

  17. Good points. The reporter notes she has been covering him all year and she covered similar points in her article:

    “Perception is everything. We are so close to the primary. If (trackers) were to get a picture and they put a mailer out, we wouldn’t have time to dispute it. And that’s why we have to be careful,” Robinson said Tuesday afternoon by phone.

    Rival candidates or supporters hire trackers to follow campaigns and record candidates, hoping to catch them in compromising situations. In November, a tracker recorded a video of Republican U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith making a remark about attending a public hanging; the incident, which she later called a joke made national headlines.

    The Foster campaign’s sudden uneasiness with this reporter covering his campaign comes despite the fact I broke the story of his becoming the the first Republican to announce a bid for governor in December. Later that month, this reporter also broke a story about Republican Party operatives offering him money to run for a different office. Since his announcement, this reporter has also interviewed Foster on numerous occasions in the halls of the Capitol, over the phone and at events.

    Foster, considered an underdog for the Republican nomination, is running to the right of his opponents to appeal to tea-party conservatives. He is known for his incendiary social media commentary, including outspoken support of the state flag, which features a Confederate battle emblem.

    The article concluded with a quote from the campaign manager that “This is the game we are playing now,” referring to how gotcha politics works now — people with cell phones tracking every move candidates make looking for compromising photos. Frankly, I think it applies to all candidates, no matter what their gender, and their associates.

    DRJ (15874d)


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