Hunter Walker of the New York Observer reports a troubling encounter with a vendor of official Obama merchandise in the press area of the Democratic National Convention:
The souvenir stand was in a secure area only accessible to those with a media credential and buying campaign gear means contributing to the campaign, so we asked the woman working the cash register whether anyone at the press stand had been making purchases. Her answers were quite surprising.
The woman working at the souvenir stand told us she hadn’t been “too busy” during the day, but had seen business pick up in the past half hour or so. She then asked us whether we wanted to buy anything. When we informed her that our status as a reporter means we don’t buy campaign gear, she suggested a strategy other members of the media have apparently used to pick up their Obama swag.
“Have you ever thought of making up a fake name? That’s what the other guys do,” she said.
(Emphasis mine.) Walker goes on to note that “buying official merchandise at the DNC means making a donation the Obama campaign, an activity that is generally frowned upon for members of the media.”
So the next time you hear a “journalist” pitching in with the sort of in-kind campaign contribution that Democrats love, even though they are very upset by the idea of other types of corporation participating in political speech, remember that he or she might be driving home in a car with a “Democrats Are Hot” bumper sticker, purchased under a fake name at the Democratic National Convention.
No, I’m not talking about Chris Matthews of MSNBC. He’d use his real name, and he doesn’t put the Obama bumper stickers on his car.