This is one part hilarious and one part depressing.
According to Buzzfeed, the media is now fighting what’s left of the Romney campaign because the campaign has reportedly grossly over-billed organizations for the campaign’s own mismanagement.
For example, on Oct. 11, each reporter was charged $812 for a meal and a rented “holding” space, where the press waited before moving to the next event. On Oct. 18, the bill for a similar set of expenses was $461. And on the night of the vice presidential debate, the campaign planned a “viewing party” for the reporters with Romney, complete with a large rented room with a patio, massage tables, fresh cut flowers, and lots of food and booze. One campaign aide told BuzzFeed that campaign officials’ orders were to “go big” — a nice gesture, perhaps, but one that wasn’t discussed with every media outlet.
The tab for the party: $745 per reporter. [...]
Indeed, reporters on the trail grew accustomed to having five or six catered meals offered to them every day, with long tables full of food awaiting them at each campaign stop. The meals often went untouched, and were sometimes consumed by campaign staff. It remains unclear whether those aides shouldered some of the costs of the meals.
In this instance it would appear that the media is correct in their refusal to pay $800 dollars for a single meal, however in my opinion this reiterates just how terrible of an idea permanently embedded reporters are.
Based on my own observation over the course of several campaigns, the longer a reporter is embedded within a campaign, the less objective they become. Part of this is human nature, but apparently another part of it is massage tables.
This is not to say we should view embedded reporters as innocent bystanders, because none of these events compelled any of them to write about the Romney campaign’s excesses until after they were given a bill. On the contrary, Romney was, for the most part, painted as an efficient businessman.