March 28, 2011
An aide to Vice President Joe Biden has apologised to a reporter who was locked in a closet for hours after he was invited to cover a Florida political fundraiser because they did not want him talking with the guests.
Spokeswoman Elizabeth Alexander said the decision to hold local reporter Scott Powers there was a ‘mistake’.
And she claimed an inexperienced staffer had put Powers in the closet instead of a ‘hotel room’ as was their normal practice.
The Orlando Sentinel reporter was ushered into the closet inside wealthy property developer Alan Ginsburg’s Winter Park mansion, after being told that Joe Biden and Senator Bill Nelson had not yet arrived.
He was told he could only come out when the politicians were ready to give their speeches.
After 90 minutes he was allowed out to hear Biden and Nelson speak for 35 minutes, before being taken back to the closet for the remainder of the event.
The incident is especially embarrassing for the administration because it comes at a time when the White House has been condemning the treatment of journalists trying to report in Libya.
Just ten days ago, President Obama’s spokesman Jay Carney told reporters: ‘journalists should be protected and allowed to do their work.’