DIARY: Bush: Reporters? Who needs 'em?

If Texas Governor George W. Bush's recent visit to San Francisco is any indication, the days of politicians getting up close and personal with the local press are long gone.

If Texas Governor George W. Bush's recent visit to San Francisco is any indication, the days of politicians getting up close and personal with the local press are long gone.

At a recent fund-raising appearance at the St. Francis Hotel, reporters from both local and national media were ushered into a room ? on an entirely separate floor from where Bush himself was speaking ? to watch the candidate via TV monitors. No pesky media questions for this fast-rising GOP star.

KPIX-TV reporter Hank Plante said he couldn't believe the shabby treatment.

'This is a whole new territory. Even with Clinton, we were always allowed at least in the same room,' he said. 'I could have stayed in the newsroom and watched the satellite feed, and gotten the exact same story.'

But Plante points out, 'He's 16 points ahead and doesn't need us anyway The longer he can remain a blank slate, the better.'

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