atie Couric is touring the nation before taking over as anchor of the “CBS Evening News,” and she is scheduled to visit San Franicsco on Monday. But if you’re a blogger and want to cover her “Town Hall” meeting, you better not take a pencil or notebook. According to this morning’s (July 12) Minneapolis Star Tribune, a man at Couric’s “Town Hall” meeting in Minneapolis yesterday had his pen confiscated by personnel from the local CBS station after they discovered he was a blogger. The event was tightly run, with a hand-picked crowd and no media invited, except for the local station’s top anchorman. “It seems like something the president would pull,” Jane Kirtley, University of Minnesota ethics professor, told the Star Tribune. “At a time when the news media is trying to gain the trust through transparency, to have a meeting closed to the media and the general public is unbelievable.” The blogger, Matt Bartel of MNSpeak, was invited by the station to attend. But when staffers at the station they realized he was a blogger, they pulled him out of the auditorium and said, “We don’t want you to attend,” he said. Then they offered him a choice — surrender his notebook or leave the event. “I wasn’t going to give them my notebook; I had business stuff in there.” A compromise was reached — the local CBS station staffer confiscated Bartel’s pen instead. But Bartel said that there wasn’t much to take notes on anyway. “No one said anything all that remarkable.” (Photo by Richard Drew of AP.)

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