Monday, August 09, 2004

Bush-Cheney campaign insisted on knowing the race of photographer
McCarthyism Watch | The Progressive magazine

Bush-Cheney campaign insisted on knowing the race of photographer:
"On July 30, the day before Dick Cheney appeared in Tucson, a rally organizer for Bush-Cheney asked about the race of several local journalists.

The campaign 'insisted on knowing the race' of an Arizona Daily Star photographer, Mamta Popat, who was assigned to cover the event, the paper reported."

Managing Editor Teri Hayt refused. "It was such an outrageous request, I was personally insulted," she said, according to an article by C. J. Karamargin in that paper on July 31. Popat ultimately did get to photograph Cheney.

Danny Diaz, a spokesman for Bush-Cheney, told the paper that the requested information was "to ensure the safety of all those involved, including the Vice President of the United States."

Hayt wondered about racial profiling. "Because she has Indian ancestry, were they going to deny her access?" Diaz later told the Daily Star he was following orders of the Secret Service.

The Secret Service denies that racial profiling was involved. Race is a "personal identifier" for obtaining accurate background information, Secret Service spokeswoman Lorie Lewis told Karamargin and the Daily Star on August 3. "We aren't using that information for profiling purposes. They are standard checks. The Secret Service does not and will not tolerate racial or cultural bias."

Hayt said in her paper that a journalist's race is "not relevant." Reached by The Progressive, she declined to elaborate. "This is an old story, as far as I'm concerned," she said. "I've got to get back to the business of running my newspaper."

The Daily Star also revealed on August 3 that the Bush-Cheney campaign had asked about the race of journalists at three other news outlets, KVOA-Channel 4, KOLD-Channel 13, and the Tucson Citizen. A "newsroom clerk" at the Citizen furnished the race of the photographer to the campaign, though the paper's senior editor, Jennifer Boice, said she "would have been hesitant to provide that information," the Daily Star reported.
con·cept: Bush-Cheney campaign insisted on knowing the race of photographerMcCarthyism Watch | The Progressive magazine