New York Times reporter Amy Chozick, who is covering Hillary Clinton for the paper, wrote about an unexpected and unsettling experience when she needed to use the bathroom:
But, for me, perhaps the person who stands out is the friendly 20-something press aide who the Clinton Global Initiative tasked with escorting me to the restroom. She waited outside the stall in the ladies’ room at the Sheraton Hotel, where the conference is held each year.
Security, foundation aides told me, dictates that the hordes of journalists, many of them from overseas news outlets, be cloistered in a basement at the Sheraton. An elaborate maze of security barricades separates where reporters enter and roam (though not freely) from the lobby of the hotel, where actual guests enter.
An escort is required wherever we go, lest one of us with our yellow press badges wind up somewhere where attendants with an esteemed blue badge are milling around. When asked about the practice, Craig Minassian, a spokesman for the initiative, directed me to a press release about American Standard’s Flush for Good campaign to improve sanitation for three million people in the developing world. ‘Since you are so interested in bathrooms and C.G.I,’ Mr. Minassian said.
What the “Flush for Good” campaign had to do with the need for Chozick to have an escort is beyond me, though there is no doubt that Hillary’s expected run for the presidency requires increased security. But escorting reporters to the bathroom sounds more like something that would have taken place in the old Soviet Union or North Korea, not the U.S.
If Hillary Clinton wants to win the media over to her side for 2016, requiring escorts to the bathroom is probably not the best way to do it.