N.C. Policy Watch reporters blocked from McCrory press events (updated)

Education reporter Lindsay Wagner was kicked out of a North Carolina Business Committee for Education (NCBCE) annual meeting today, a press event listed on McCrory’s public schedule that was sent out to media outlets, including N.C. Policy Watch.


When pressed for an explanation, a representative who appears to be from NCBCE — which operates under the Office of the Governor — explicitly said that no one from N.C. Policy Watch was “invited” to this press event.

Wagner was at the PNC Arena to cover the governor’s comments to NCBCE during this event.

Wagner had already sat down when a representative approached her with questions about her “credentials.” After hushed discussions among NCBCE representatives, Wagner was escorted out by PNC security with no clarification on the credential issue and was denied a request to speak with someone from the governor’s office.

Listen here for Wagner’s exchange with PNC security and an NCBCE representative.

This move by the governor’s office left some scratching their heads.

But it wasn’t the first time an N.C. Policy Watch reporter was denied access to a McCrory presser.

Courts and law reporter Sharon McCloskey was barred from entering a press conference McCrory held pardoning Leon Brown and Henry McCollum just two weeks ago.

After showing her N.C. Policy Watch staff press credential, McCloskey was told by a communications representative from the Office of the Governor Greg Steele that only Capitol Press Corps members were allowed access. Shortly afterwards, a reporter from the Wall Street Journal, not a member of the Capitol Press Corps, was let in.

Despite numerous attempts seeking clarification of what “credential” is necessary for the media to cover a press event on McCrory’s public schedule, N.C. Policy Watch has yet to hear back from the governor’s office.

Terry Stoops, K12 education researcher for the John Locke Foundation, sums it up quite succinctly.

# # #

UPDATE 6/26/2015

N.C. Policy Watch reporter Lindsay Wagner has since received an email response from Communications Director Josh Ellis from the Office of the Governor. This is the first time N.C. Policy Watch has heard from the McCrory administration on the matter. The text of the email response is below.


I wanted to follow up on your email to Eric about the NCBCE event.

The public schedule clearly lists this event as open to credentialed press. The North Carolina Association of Broadcasters, North Carolina Press Association, Capitol Press Corps or members of a widely-recognized media cooperative such as the Associated Press make the decisions about who should or should not receive credentials. Simply put, we let the press determine who should be identified as credentialed press. For more information about obtaining those credentials, you can contact the organizations listed above or visit:



  1. LayintheSmakDown

    June 25, 2015 at 5:51 pm

    Ah hahahahahaha, this seems totally appropriate. Who wants someone tasked with the mission of eviscerating you at their press conferences? Besides, the PW is not really a news outfit but more a illiberal leftist propaganda machine so that makes it even more reasonable to dis-invite you guys.

  2. Tim

    June 25, 2015 at 8:29 pm

    She must have had a SCV license tag on her car which threw McCrory into a psychotic rage!

  3. Cindy

    June 25, 2015 at 8:50 pm

    NCPW must be doing something right.NCGOP are, mostly, crooks and cowards. Well done, NCPW!

  4. Bill

    June 26, 2015 at 12:12 am

    It’s the job of the reporter to comfort the afflicted, and afflict the comfortable. If our governor can’t take a little heat from the press, perhaps that’s his sign that he should step aside before the next election gears up.

  5. LayintheSmakDown

    June 26, 2015 at 8:49 am

    This is what you call press? That is totally wrong. This is a leftist propaganda site, not a news outlet.

  6. Chip Wood

    June 26, 2015 at 9:13 am

    A think tank for liberal issues is not a news outlet. Well-they put out press releases to act like a press outlet, but their primary job is NOT reporting.

    Maybe someday, America’s media will get back to real news reporting instead of editorializing all the time. Most news outlets have a bias which is evident almost immediately upon watching or listening. Walter Cronkite was a rather liberal man, but a watcher would never know by watching him on the news.

    Why should Governor McCrory allow someone into an event when their sole purpose is to shoot holes into everything he says? It’s acceptable for president Obama to do it, but not Governor McCrory??

  7. […] Wagner, who covers education issues for Policy Watch, wrote in an online post, which included audio of what happened, that she was escorted from the business committee meeting […]

  8. Charles

    June 26, 2015 at 1:52 pm

    The good governor has very thin skin, and can’t take the criticism.

  9. Cheryl

    June 26, 2015 at 5:38 pm

    And Fox News isn’t a right- wing propaganda outlet?

  10. LayintheSmakDown

    June 26, 2015 at 8:26 pm

    No more so than ABCCBSNBCPMSNBCCNN and almost all newspapers are radical progressive propaganda outlets.
    Chip Wood…is that the bald Chip?

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