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Trapped in a Closet Without Vanna White

March 29th, 2011

Recently, the blogosphere–and a good portion of the news media–went nuts about how Joe Biden “locked a reporter in a closet” during a Democratic fundraiser. Even the milder reports made it sound like the man was stuffed into an actual closet, the sort in which jackets are hung, with no lights, where you have to stand up in the dark. Not so; it was a “closet” only in the sense that things were stored in the room. The room itself was not dark or even windowless, and was big enough to hold storage and have enough space for a table and chair. But now everyone calls it a “closet,” despite the fact that the word is highly misleading.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, the right-wing echo chamber immediately exaggerated the exaggeration so we got headlines like “Biden Thugs Imprison Reporter.” Of course, nothing of the sort ever happened. The reporter’s own story:

Here’s what happened. I showed up at the private home of developer, philanthropist and political contributor Alan Ginsburg Wednesday morning to file a pool report on the visit there by Biden and U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Orlando. When I arrived I was told I would not be able to speak with any of the people at the party, and that I was to wait in a room until Biden and Nelson arrived. I went in willingly, with the understanding that I was free to leave — but if I left I’d probably have to leave the house entirely, and not get to cover the speeches.

I called it a closet, because it was stuffed with shelves, boxes, baskets and other items in storage, and it felt like a closet. The vice president’s office called it a room used for storage. It had a light, a window somewhere in the back behind the shelves full of boxes, and a few square feet of open space in the front. They set up a small table and a chair for me. They offered me food, which I declined, and brought me a bottle of water. They closed the door.  I sat to wait, mistakenly thinking it would be only a few minutes. The door wasn’t locked, though every time I opened it and stepped out to see what was going on a staffer told me I couldn’t come out yet. He’d let me know.

So, this “closet” was a room with a window with enough space to set up a table. They offered him food and drinks and a place to sit. The only bad thing was that the room was also used for storage, and wasn’t roomy. The door was never locked, and the reporter was free to leave at any time.

From that, we get the story that Biden uses thugs to imprison reporters in closets. Compare this to last year when a private security agency hired by GOP Senate candidate Joe Miller handcuffed a reporter in a public area and held him for about half an hour against his will. No media headlines at that time used terms like “thugs” or “imprisoned.”

Damn that liberal media.

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  1. Tim Kane
    March 30th, 2011 at 02:29 | #1

    Essentially, what entertainers would call a dressing room.

    Or… my office at the last real job I had reading and writing contracts – except I didn’t have any windows, just four white walls and an excessively bright fluorescent light and contracts piled up to the ceiling waiting for me to read.

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