Army limits media's access when Sarah Palin visits Fort Bragg in North Carolina

RALEIGH, N.C. — The U.S. Army will allow the media limited coverage of Sarah Palin's appearance at Fort Bragg, but will bar reporters from interviewing her or her supporters on the post, officials said Thursday.

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The Army initially said it would ban the media from her book signing next week, fearing it would turn into political grandstanding against President Barack Obama. After media protests, Col. Billy Buckner said the post would permit restricted access.

A small pool of reporters will be allowed to view and document the event but will be barred from the interviews. The public will be allowed.

Buckner said the setup will allow reporters their right to access while preventing the appearance from turning political — something that officials believe would violate policy.

Fort Bragg, which is the base for some 35,000 soldiers, does not hold many promotional events, especially not with political figures. Officials said they worried that media coverage would turn the appearance into a chance for people to express political opinions "directed against the commander in chief."

"The main reason is to stop this from turning into a political platform," said Fort Bragg spokesman Tom McCollum. "There are Army regulations that basically prohibit military reservations from becoming political platforms by politicians."

Palin has agreed not to give a speech, McCollum said. She will sign her new book for people and will not stop to pose for photographs, officials said.

Palin began a promotional tour this week for Going Rogue with plans to travel through several states that were key to the 2008 election, including North Carolina.

Army limits media's access when Sarah Palin visits Fort Bragg in North Carolina 11/19/09 [Last modified: Thursday, November 19, 2009 11:20pm]

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