Who do you think you’re taking pictures of?
A magazine writer had his smartphone briefly confiscated and a picture of Hillary Clinton removed Thursday while covering a Clinton speech in Miami.
According to the Miami Herald’s Naked Politics blog, a writer for Gray Matters Magazine named Andrew Rothberg had his Galaxy Note II taken at the Hyatt Regency Hotel while hotel security guards and volunteers policed the crowd to enforce a no-pictures, no recordings rule.
No pictures of Hillary Clinton. No pictures of the former first lady, United States senator, secretary of state and likely presidential candidate whose face has appeared on virtually every flat surface on the planet at least once (usually while lying.)
“It’s crazy,” Rothberg said, according to Naked Politics.
“That’s American politics,” a docent commented.
In one way, the docent was right. Candidates and potential candidates have always been antsy about unauthorized visual or audio recordings of their appearances — babies who puke when they’re being kissed are a godsend to political opposition teams. And that recording of Mitt Romney’s behind-closed-doors speech about how “47 percent” of Americans was unlikely to ever vote for him or any other Republican arguably helped turn the 2012 election.
But Rothberg was even more right.
Having security guards – or even volunteer docents – roaming around political gatherings confiscating images of the people aspiring to lead the country because the images might show candidates in an unflattering light has a deferential feel to it – more suited to some benighted Asian monarchy than the world’s oldest democratic republic.
And when that candidate is one of the most photographed women who’s ever lived, it’s just crazy.
Rothberg told the Herald he suspected the Clinton crowd was leery of anyone trying to get into the event to bring up some unpleasant parts of Clinton’s recent past, like those four Americans who were murdered on her watch in Benghazi in 2012.
If that’s really the case, Hillary’s people are going to be grabbing phones for a long time to come.