The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

Media creates Giuliani access

No media would be allowed in Rudolph W. Giuliani Tate Lecture Series. That decision was made public last week.

Monday night, minutes before Giuliani was expected to take the stage, the decision was overturned. Three news organizations were present, one of those being The Daily Campus. The following events describe how the media overcame those limitations.

Thursday afternoon

Daily Campus editor in chief Feras Gadamsi speaks with Bob Wright, director of SMU news and information, concerning press admittance into the Rudolph W. Giuliani Tate Lecture Monday night.

Wright states that no press will be allowed in the lecture.

Friday Afternoon

Gadamsi calls Kit Sawers, director of the Tate Lecture Series, for an additional comment on the restrictions placed on the media. She tells Gadamsi that no media will be allowed into the event at Giuliani’s request.

His contract states that no media and no photographers, except for the Tate photographer, will be granted access. The press ban even includes official SMU photographer, Hillsman Jackson.

Monday Night

6:50 p.m. WB-33 reporter Dawn Tongish and a cameraman are taping footage outside of Moody Coliseum because they are not allowed inside. Unable to talk to Giuliani, they tape opinions of Tate Lecture Series patrons instead. Tongish said the station is questioning why the decision was made to restrain the media.

“It’s disappointing [the limitations set on the media], coming from the man who’s been so open and honest,” Tongish said.

7 p.m. KTVT-11 reporter Jay Gormley and camera man Mike Lozano take their position outside of Moody, along side of their competition. Gormley agrees with Tongish that it is odd and frustrating that the press wasn’t allowed inside, however, he thinks that Giuliani’s might have his reasons for avoiding the media.

“Maybe he’s just tired,” Gormley said. “He’s probably constantly berated by media requests.”

With less than an hour before Giuliani will speak the only media present are KTVT-11, WB-33 and The Daily Campus.

7:05 p.m. SMU President R. Gerald Turner comes out of Moody Coliseum with a comment to the press. Turner said SMU is honored to have Giuliani speaking on campus. Turner was asked about SMU’s opinion concerning the press ban.

“It is up to the speaker if they want to allow press in,” Turner said.

7:15 p.m. Sawers answers questions concerning ticket sales. Sawers said 1,000 tickets were set aside for students, however demand raised the number of tickets available to 1,300.

“Right now, there are about 200 student tickets that have not been picked up and are available,” Sawers said.

7:25 p.m. Wright is questioned again about SMU’s opinion about the limitations on the media.

“It is not SMU’s policy not to let the media in,” Wright said. “However, we have to honor the request of the speaker.”

7:50 p.m. Giuliani emerges from his dinner in the Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports and proceeds to walk towards Moody Coliseum. The remaining press quickly confront him. Camera’s are rolling from KTVT-11 and WB-33. Tongish asks what his speech will be about.

“I am talking about leadership and some of the lessons I’ve learned about leadership through the time I was mayor, district attorney and 9/11,” Giuliani said.

He also commented about the success of the student forum, held earlier Monday in the Hughes-Trigg ballrooms. Giuliani believed the experience talking with and answering questions for students was wonderful.

“You can learn a tremendous amount from young people,” Giuliani said. “They are so honest and open.”

Giuliani was also asked to comment about the restriction placed on the media agreed upon in his contract.

Media limitations are “up to the university – that is not up to me,” Giuliani said.

According to previous statements made by SMU officials, this comment contradicts the clause in his contract that he signed with SMU stating that he wanted no media to cover his speech at the Tate Lecture Series.

7:55 p.m. Jody Shervanick, associate photo editor for The Daily Campus, asks Wright if he just heard Giuliani’s comment about the media. The comment is confirmed by Gormley. Reacting to what he just heard, Wright asks if the four remaining members of the media would like admittance into the event. He then goes inside to check with the proper authorities.

8 p.m. Don Carty, Chairman and CEO of American Airlines emerges from Dedman and pauses for a short interview.

“American Airlines decided to sponsor this because we were at the heart of what happened in New York City,” Carty said.

8:05 p.m. It is confirmed that reporters and photographers can be admitted into Moody Coliseum to cover Giuliani’s speech.

8:06 p.m. Wright escorts Channel 11 reporter Gormley joined with his camera man and a Daily Campus photographer and reporter onto a platform adjacent to the main stage in Moody Coliseum. Lee Jones, camera man for Channel 33, soon joins the other four press members.

Through persistence, three media organizations got the scoop.

“We lucked out and luck is part of the job,” Gormley said. “You never know what you’re going to stumble into.”

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