Gov. Pat McCrory ousts press—from press conference | Triangulator | Indy Week

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Gov. Pat McCrory ousts press—from press conference

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In what's become something of a regular exercise, Gov. Pat McCrory abused his power last week when his henchmen directed PNC Arena henchmen to toss Lindsay Wagner, a reporter for the nonprofit N.C. Policy Watch, from the N.C. Business Committee for Education annual shindig.

How did Wagner even know there was a meeting? Well, she got a press release from the governor's office.

Wagner recorded the exchange with "Clinton" of PNC.

"Can you explain why I'm being asked to leave? ... Can I see someone from the McCrory administration?"

"They haven't sent any press invites out."

"Yes they did. I got one ... I'd like to know what kind of credentials are required."

The invite did specify that only credentialed media could attend, whatever that means in the era of bloggers and online publications. But no problem: Wagner had credentials from her media outlet.

Oh, wait, the henchman said, we meant credentials from the Capitol Press Corps.

Over the years, there's been much discussion within the corps about who gets a badge and who doesn't—pick me, pick me!—but The Wall Street Journal doesn't have that golden ticket. And yet two weeks ago a WSJ reporter was allowed into a press conference that supposedly was open only to the corps—while McCrory's jackbooted thugs barred N.C. Policy Watch courts and law reporter Sharon McCloskey from that event.

Oh, and here's a thing: While McCrory's team expelled Wagner, they did allow in a writer from Jones + Blount, a brand-new, not-credentialed website that so happens to be the brainchild of Drew Elliot, until recently communications director at the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

McCrory's spokesman told The News & Observer that this was just an oversight, and we totally believe him.

Anyway, suggestion to the Capitol Press Corps: We should all turn in our credentials. We don't need no stinking badges.

Reach the INDY's Triangulator team at triangulator@indyweek.com.

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