Army relents, will allow media at Palin book event

AP News
Posted: Nov 21, 2009 1:22 AM

The U.S. Army said Friday it would open Sarah Palin's appearance on Fort Bragg to media, a reversal from earlier in the week when the military wanted the event closed out of fears it would prompt political grandstanding against President Barack Obama.

The attempt to ban media at the event scheduled for Monday was met with protests from The Associated Press and The Fayetteville Observer. The military then proposed limited media coverage, but lifted that plan Friday.

"Given an outpouring over the past two days of media interest in covering the Nov. 23 book signing at Fort Bragg's North Post Exchange, Fort Bragg will assist interested news media who wish to cover former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin," said a statement released by Fort Bragg spokesman Tom McCollum.

The Army now plans to allow any interested media to cover Palin's appearance, including allowing interviews with people who attend the event and rotating journalists into the building where Palin will be signing books.

McCollum said Thursday officials planned to allow the general public on base but prevent media from attending so the Palin book signing would not become a political platform to express opinions "directed against the commander in chief."

Palin's visit to Fort Bragg is one of many stops on a tour promoting a new memoir, "Going Rogue." Publisher HarperCollins said Friday that the book sold 300,000 copies its first day, among the best openings ever for a nonfiction book.