Palin book tour host to press: stay away

Posted: Thursday, December 03, 2009

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - She's no longer the chief executive of Alaska, but Sarah Palin should still be called "governor." And in English only, please.

That was the message sent out by officials at the Mall of America this week, who told reporters planning to cover the Minneapolis-area stop on Palin's "Going Rogue" book tour they must address the 2008 GOP vice presidential candidate by her former title. The guidelines also banned foreign reporters, allowing "only English speaking press."

Mall officials said the guidelines were a mistake, and apologized Wednesday to Palin for the mix up, which they called "an internal miscommunication" that was "inadvertently distributed."

"That should never have been in any kind of press release," said Tina Andreadis, a publicist for publisher HarperCollins in New York, who added foreign reporters would be welcome at Palin's Mall of America stop.

"That's not the message the governor wants to send out," she said.

The guidelines were likely to be mostly irrelevant either way. Palin hasn't been speaking to most reporters - either local or from abroad - during her tightly controlled, stay-on-message book tour. A speech scheduled for Wednesday night at the private College of the Ozarks in southwest Missouri was expected to draw a crowd of 5,000, and the school said it agreed to keep out reporters to secure Palin's appearance.

The few media outlets that did manage to gain access to the speech did so by using one of the free tickets given away to the public, and the college asked they not report on Palin's address.

"I can't take their tickets and ask them to leave, but we have asked them (local reporters) not to (attend)," said College of the Ozarks spokeswoman Elizabeth Andrews.

Last week, Army officials initially barred media from attending a Palin book-signing event at North Carolina's Fort Bragg, fearing it might turn political and lead to negative comments directed at President Barack Obama. The Army later relented and allowed coverage of the event, at which Palin did not give a speech.



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