MacIver Banned From Government Briefing

Well, well… I seem to remember liberals getting their knickers in a twist when the White House banned a single reporter (not the news agency) from briefings.

Evers administration made that clear — again — on Thursday afternoon, when his handlers barred MacIver News Service from attending a Capitol Press Corps budget preview powwow behind closed East Wing doors.

This, despite the fact that MacIver has long been a credentialed Capitol news organization in good standing.

The usual players were there — the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the Wisconsin State Journal, the Associated Press, TV reporters.

They were all on the “list” that Evers’ comms director Melissa Baldauff sent out earlier in the week. MacIver News Service learned about the press briefing and sent two requests – at 12:30 Wednesday afternoon, and again Thursday morning — asking to attend.

Crickets.

Two MacIver News Service reporters arrived with other Capitol Press Corps journalists just before 1 p.m., when the press briefing was slated to begin. An Evers official told the reporters that MacIver News was not on “the list.” When a MacIver reporter noted the news agency had sent two email requests to attend the briefing, the governor’s handler said she would speak to Baldauff.

She came back a moment later and said that she was sorry but news organizations had to “RSVP” to the meeting by 12:30 p.m. Thursday. Those who did not would not be allowed in. When a MacIver News Service reporter informed the official that MacIver did not receive a notice and could not possibly have RSVP’d, the official suggested MacIver call Baldauff, who, of course, would not be taking calls at the time of the briefing.

Baldauff and other Evers’ communications officials have repeatedly failed to respond to MacIver News Service’s request for comment and information. They did finally respond to MacIver’s open records request seeking salary information for Evers’ cabinet members. That document revealed state secretaries have received double-digit raises from the salaries of their predecessors in the Walker administration.