By Invitation Only
No coverage for us, please:
On Tuesday night, The New York Times reported that no reporters would be traveling with First Lady Michelle Obama to China, and that she would be giving no interviews while there. Nicholas Kristof, the Times columnist, called the First Lady's decision "a mistake," and said it "signals weakness or fear of coverage." Several conservative outlets picked up the Times report, including the influential Drudge Report, which linked to a Weekly Standard article about it.They'll get their pre-approved questions answered when she gets back...
Shortly after noon on Wednesday, I reached out to the First Lady's office to inquire about the decision. A spokesperson for the First Lady responded to my inquiry but declared the response "off the record," meaning I wasn't allowed to use the information therein. When I told the spokesperson that I needed a response I could use, the spokesperson replied with another off-the-record statement regarding the First Lady's trip.