[UPDATED] Reporters covering Sarah Palin book-signing are locked in a room at Walmart

Coffee and snacks for reporters being kept away from Sarah Palin
walmartSarah Palin is signing books today at a Walmart near Wausau, Wisconsin. There’s a big religious-music-in-schools controversy there, so it makes sense that the former Alaska governor would stop by to promote her book about “protecting the heart of Christmas.”

It’s no surprise, too, that Palin – with the help of Walmart – would keep reporters at a distance.

“About 8 media members and myself now locked in back room,” Wausau Daily Herald reporter Theresa Clift, who is covering the Palin event, tweeted this morning. “We aren’t allowed to talk to guests here to see Palin.”

An hour later she posted: “All media will be escorted off the property after we get five minutes seeing Palin, we are told.” More updates:

Wausau Daily Herald editor Mark Treinen tells his followers that “I am sure some people are delighted to have journalists locked away.”

Update — JD Malone of the Allentown (PA) Morning Call writes: “Not sure what is going on at that Wal-Mart, but we had great access to customers and the store (Barnes & Noble) at the Tuesday night kickoff of her book tour here the Lehigh Valley (it was at the BN store in Bethlehem Township, Pa.).

“Palin was not available, and the closest we could get was maybe 10 feet away for 5-10 minutes, but we were then asked to stand in a section of the store where people exiting the signing area would pass us. We could, and did, walk around the rest of the store. …Here is the link to my coverage.”

Update 2 — Editor Treinen tells me that he was warned by that his reporter would have limited access, “but we weren’t told that she would be ushered into a room that was locked and guarded.”

Update 3 — Philip Bump is told that guard keeping an eye on the reporters in the back room was provided by Palin’s camp.

* Hundreds line up to see Palin at Walmart (wausaudailyherald.com) | Theresa Clift on Twitter
* Dear Sarah Palin: Wausau is more than “a battle against Scrooges” (wausaudailyherald.com)