MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin — Fox News barred The Star News Network access to the all-important Spin Room at Wednesday’s first Republican presidential primary debate in Milwaukee, blocking access to the candidates and they’re surrogates.
There appeared to be a lot of exclusion going around in the Fox News velvet rope fiefdom.
Donald Trump Jr., his fiancée, Kimberly Guilfoyle, U.S. Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-AL-14), among other Trump surrogates, also were not permitted to join the designated room for candidates and their representatives to meet with media before and after the debate, via Fox News decree.
Former President Donald Trump, the prohibitive favorite in the GOP presidential nomination chase, skipped the event and instead did an interview with former Fox News host Tucker Carlson. Trump and Carlson, who was fired by the network earlier this year, stuck it to Fox, airing the interview at the same time as the heavily hyped first debate.
The folks at Fox News were not happy about that.
But the cable news network, which produced and broadcast the debate, locked out journalist access to the Spin Room, too.
The Star News Network applied for press credentials weeks ago and was granted the pass on August 9.
“Assigned press credentials grant access to the Media Center, which houses the Media Filing Center and the Spin Room, and/or Media Row,” debate coordinators noted in an email.
Upon arrival to the Fiserv Forum, home of the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks and the site of the Republican National Committee debate, The Star News Network was presented with credentials that only permitted access to the large gathering of deadline reporters on in the TV screen-laden Media Filing Center. When a Star News reporter attempted to enter the Spin Room, the gatekeepers said the reporter did not have the proper credentials and barred access. They continued to prohibit entry after the reporter explained he had applied for Spin Room credentials as well.
Trump Jr. worked around his excommunication, moving about the Media Filing Center. He was followed by a gaggle of reporters who had plenty of questions for him.
He and the other Trump surrogates were not pleased with the ban.
“It shouldn’t surprise us and it’s also why Trump was 100 percent right not to go to this debate,” the former president’s eldest son told reporters.
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M.D. Kittle is the National Political Editor for The Star News Network.