Seriously? That’s the level you’ve sunk to?
This past Saturday, a videographer working for Governor Rick Snyder posed as a CNN reporter while filming Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mark Schauer at a campaign stop in Coldwater.
Schauer staffers questioned the man who showed them this homemade media pass:
When asked where he was from, he pointed to his CNN hat. A Schauer staffer then explicitly asked Steinborn if he was working for CNN, and he replied, “Yep. We’re keeping an eye on the race.” He then proceeded to videotape the event wearing his bright orange CNN hat seen in these photos:
After the event, he left promptly without attempting to interview Schauer, an odd thing for someone from a major cable news network claiming to be “keeping an eye on the race.”
It turns out that Steinborn was NOT working for CNN. MIRS news service contacted CNN and they confirmed that they had no one assigned to cover the event in Coldwater.
Steinborn has worked for the Snyder campaign in the past and was the director of photography for Snyder’s bizarre scuba diving video. He’s given credit for it on the Vimeo page for the video
MIRS has more:
Steinborn, a professional videographer from Tennessee, told MIRS he hits the road, takes video and catalogs it so “it’s available for whoever needs it.” He denied having done work on the Snyder advertisements, even though his name is listed on the published credits for Snyder’s fall TV ad as posted on Vimeo.
“No, I don’t do anything like that,” he said.
“Have you ever done anything for the Snyder campaign, then?” MIRS asked Steinborn.
“No . . .” he answered before hastily getting off the phone.
Campaigns send photographers, observers, and people to videotape their opponent’s campaign events all the time. It’s how they gather material to slam their opponents with and it’s a normal part of politics.
Anne and I attend Republican events from time to time, for example. Anne is a freelance photographer who provides images for this blog and who sells images to various campaigns as well as the Michigan Democratic Party. When I attended an Americans for Prosperity presidential forum in Troy during the 2012 election where Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, Andrew Breitbart, and Michelle Malkin were in attendance, I checked in as media and gave them my Eclectablog business card.
We don’t pretend to be anyone we’re not and, because of this, sometimes we get turned away. Anne tried to attend Governor Snyder’s campaign launch in Detroit, for example, and was not let in. That’s fair and it’s how campaigns protect themselves in case they have a “Macaca Moment”.
Jeff Steinborn, however, lied outright and impersonated a CNN journalist. It’s bush league, unprofessional behavior unbecoming of the top Republican campaign in the state.
What we don’t know is who Steinborn was working for. He has worked for Governor Snyder in the past but perhaps he’s working for some other group working to defeat Mark Schauer. If nothing else, the Snyder campaign should answer whether or not they sent Steinborn to the Schauer event and if they instructed him to impersonate a CNN journalist.
If not, Steinborn should tell us who he was working for since he misrepresented himself as someone who he is not.