Michelle Obama Bans Media From Upcoming Speech

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Former First Lady Michelle Obama has an upcoming speaking engagement in Connecticut, but the press is not invited.

Obama will be participating in a "moderated conversation" Nov. 16 at the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts, according to the Hartford Courant. 

The conversation is presented by Bushnell and the Connecticut Forum, and representatives from both organizations said that Obama's representatives stipulated that the event be closed to the media.

"Press credentials are just not available," said Doris Sugarman, co-founder and executive director of the Connecticut Forum.

The Harry Walker Agency, which represents Obama, has not offered comment on why the event will be closed to the press. 

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The Forum sold all 1,400 tickets for the event in 14 minutes. A handful of extra tickets will be made available at the box office just before Obama takes the stage.

The theater has also set up an overflow room for 950 guests to watch a live broadcast of the moderated conversation.

Reporters who were able to snag a ticket will be able to attend and write about the event. 

The president and CEO of The Bushnell, David Fay, said that he will honor Obama's request.

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"We’re not in a position to be … rocking the boat," he said. "We always respect the wishes of whoever is appearing on our stage."

The former first lady is currently engaged in a limited speaking tour and has addressed several corporate events and technology conferences.

Obama has given at least one other speech this year to which the media was not invited. On June 6, she spoke at the Apple developer's conference but the event was closed to the press, according to Business Insider.

Apple has a longstanding policy of keeping reporters out of the annual developer's conference, other than the main keynote address on the first day. One Reuters reporter said that he was pulled out of the line by company representatives and told he wasn't even allowed inside the building.

Obama's Connecticut speech, however, marks the first time she has stipulated a media ban. 

Nonetheless, Sugarman and Fay are excited for the visit, which they both believe will put Hartford on the map.

"She could go anywhere, and I think the fact that she picked Hartford is a big deal," Sugarman told the Courant. "To have her pay us a visit is huge."

The former first lady has also spoken in Salt Lake City for an online video training company’s conference and in Chicago for the Obama Foundation’s international summit.

Sources: The Hartford Courant, Business Insider / Featured Image: DoD News/Flickr / Embedded Images: Gage Skidmore/Flickr, Disney ABC Television Group/Flickr

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