Going rogue? Palin bans gadgets, reporters from speech

The former Alaska governor joins a tradition of controversial politicians stoking up more press criticism by attempting to avoid it in the first place.

Caroline McCarthy
Caroline McCarthy Former Staff writer, CNET News
Caroline McCarthy, a CNET News staff writer, is a downtown Manhattanite happily addicted to social-media tools and restaurant blogs. Her pre-CNET resume includes interning at an IT security firm and brewing cappuccinos.
2 min read

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is a lightning rod for controversy, but a recent attempt to keep a low profile might just result in, well, more press. The onetime vice presidential hopeful Palin, who stepped down from the governorship this summer, will be speaking at a Right to Life event in Milwaukee, Wis., on Friday evening, and her team has mandated that there are no reporters allowed--or gadgets.

According to CNN, laptops, cell phones, cameras, and anything else that could potentially be used as a recording device will not be allowed into the auditorium. Tickets to the event were $30.

It's not an unprecedented move by any means. Advance screenings of movies, for instance, regularly have a no-cell-phones policy now that just about any phone can be used as a recording device. And Palin is hardly the only high-profile politician to put a no-press, no-recording rule in place for a speech: Former Vice President Al Gore did just that for a keynote address at the RSA security conference in early 2008.

But the funny part is that banning the press will generally do very little good, since anyone with a notebook or a good memory could easily post quotes or a synopsis to a blog or Twitter account within minutes of the event ending. In this case, as with Gore's press ban at RSA, it's likely that Palin's move will just end up stirring up more buzz.

Considering her book "Going Rogue: An American Life" is coming out in a matter of days, that might ultimately turn out well--or not.