Facebook | Robert Foster

Politician Refuses To Be Alone With Female Reporters To Avoid Affair Allegations

Robert Foster, a Mississippi Republican looking to run for governor, says he won't let a female journalist shadow his campaign unless she's accompanied by a male guardian. Don't worry though, he says it has nothing to do with sexism...

Press coverage is important on the campaign trail.

Unsplash | Miguel Henriques

Whether a candidate is running for governor or president, it benefits them to have members of the media follow them. This gets their name out there and gives them opportunities to talk about their platform.

Robert Foster does things differently.

Facebook | Robert Foster

Foster says he denied a request from reporter Larrison Campbell to let her follow him on the campaign trail. The reason? He's afraid he'll have an affair with her, or be accused of sexual harassment, or something.

Here's Campbell's side of the story.

Facebook | Larrison Campbell

The story blew up this week after Campbell shared the story on her Facebook account. Campbell, who presumably just wants to do her job and not seduce/accuse the potential governor, seems baffled by his reasoning.

This has happened before.

Vice President Mike Pence — who calls his wife "mother" — attracted ridicule when he revealed that he wouldn't share a meal with a woman other than his wife.

Foster's decision has attracted ridicule.

Twitter | @Al3xCole

It implicitly says that either women are out to get him with a false accusation (something male reporters could also theoretically do), or that he couldn't stay faithful to his wife if another woman was in his general proximity.

Some supported his decision.

Twitter | @Elle_Ricci

Opinions on this fall mainly along political lines, but his defenders likened it to some form of old-fashioned gallantry, where men stay with their wives and don't even acknowledge the existence of other women.

It sure seems sexist.

Twitter | @TheNewsManual

Foster is literally banning Campbell from following him because she's a woman. Journalism is a tough enough field for women without politicians like Foster getting in the way of things.

Foster's doubled down.

Facebook | Robert Foster

Citing a rule named for preacher Billy Graham, Foster alluded to the #metoo movement without actually providing a list of 263 men. It would be interesting if he thought Weinstein and Cosby were the victims of smear campaigns.

Campbell's getting the last laugh.

Facebook | Larrison Campbell

This political cartoon by Mississippi Today cartoonist Marshall Ramsey sums things up succinctly. And while Campbell won't be following Foster on the campaign trail, this story has elevated her profile.

What do you think?

Facebook | Robert Foster

Maybe, just maybe, is it possible that a female reporter could cover Foster's campaign without a) ruining him with false accusations, or b) seducing him?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments!