Geraldine A. Ferraro's aides denied today that a Washington Times reporter was barred from her campaign plane in retaliation for the newspaper's coverage of the Democratic vice-presidential nominee.
"We don't exclude people from the plane based on their political philosophy," press secretary Francis O'Brien said. "There's been a booking problem. The plane's been full."
In a front-page report today, The Times said correspondent Stephanie L. Nall was not allowed to board the plane.
"There's a standing number of 10 to 15 people who almost never get on the plane because there's no room," O'Brien said, adding that The Times' representatives have been among that group.
He said the campaign hopes to hire a second plane next week if demand from news organizations is heavy enough to pay for the charter. A Times reporter appeared at several of Ferraro's events this week, apparently flying commercial airliners between cities.
The press section of Ferraro's Boeing 727 has appeared full during her West Coast trip this week. A similar controversy arose last week when a New York Post reporter attempted to board the plane on the last leg of a trip from Seattle to New York and was turned away.