U.S. Sen. Richard Burr’s re-election campaign is refusing to provide The News & Observer with details of his campaign schedule, effectively limiting the newspaper from reporting on Burr’s public appearances.
Burr spokesman Jesse Hunt said concerns with The N&O’s coverage of the race have prompted the campaign to ban the paper from receiving event information.
“Paul (Shumaker, Burr’s lead political strategist) put an embargo on sending you scheduling details until you demonstrate the ability to cover this race from a balanced point of view,” Hunt said in an email.
The Burr campaign had been sending near-daily news releases in early October outlining where Burr would be campaigning, but The N&O stopped receiving those releases in recent weeks.
Burr’s decision to limit media access comes after Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump created — and later lifted — a “blacklist” of media organizations like The Washington Post and POLITICO. For months, Trump’s campaign refused to grant media credentials to journalists working for those publications, although many continued to attend rallies without formal media passes.
The Burr campaign had voiced concerns with The N&O’s story last week about a 2010 campaign fundraiser that conflicted with a Senate committee hearing on a costly military aircraft.
Hunt defended the Burr campaign’s openness to media coverage. “Please make sure you include that Sen. Burr has made over 35 public stops in October and done more than 20 local media interviews,” Hunt said. “And that (the ban) applies to you because Colin Campbell and The News & Observer have failed to cover the Senate race objectively and on its own merits.”