We normally stick to UK politics. But I couldn’t resist passing on this gem from the New York Times, sent by one of my senior colleagues in the US. The Washington journalists are up in arms about not being allowed to travel on the charter plane that accompanies Air Force One, the report says.
I can’t decide if it’s more an insight into the financial state of the news media or the self-importance of political journalists (not exclusive to the USA).
The only reporters who are in the so-called presidential bubble are the dozen in a travel pool that fly on Air Force One and take notes and pictures for the rest of the press corps.
The rest have to buy tickets on commercial flights and hope they make it to the presidential event in time.
The FT doesn’t accompany every trip by the UK prime minister (he usually travels on the same chartered aircraft as the press pack) not least because we have a much bigger network of correspondents around the world than any other British newspaper. But we don’t miss major trips, eg to Washington or major international conferences.
My last one was with Gordon Brown to New York over a year ago, memorable for several reasons, eg:
1] We got to hang out with Sarah Ferguson and Elle Macpherson (the former was much more fun).
2] Gordon Brown told me off in an angry manner. Sadly – under the rules of engagement – the exact words have to stay off the record.