Capitol Hill bans filming interviews in unprecedented move

In an unprecedented restriction of media access, reporters are no longer allowed to video or audio record interviews with Senators in the Senate side hallways of the Capitol without permission, officials informed the media Tuesday.

There are four bodies, other than the Senator himself, that could grant a reporter permission to record an interview: the Senate Rules Committee, the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms or the Senate Radio and TV Gallery. Without their approval reporters cannot conduct an interview with a Senator anywhere in the Capitol or Senate office buildings.

Unsurprisingly, the restrictions were greeted with an uproar from top media officials.

“Senate Rules Committee and @SenateSAA trying to SHUT DOWN press access in halls. No more staking out hearings without permission. Not OK,” Manu Raju, CNN’s senior congressional reporter, said in a tweet.

The move follows from an emergency meeting between the press gallery directors and the Senate rules committee Tuesday, after criticism in recent weeks for not holding public hearings on their ObamaCare repeal legislation. The result was to restrict access further.

Holding the majority, the move has been attributed to Senate Republicans, and Senate Democrats are taking the opportunity to gain some political brownie points.

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) said he doesn’t need protection from the media, tweeting,  “Maybe not the right moment to lower the secrecy veil on Congress. To whoever is trying to protect Senators – we can fend for ourselves.”

Lindsay Graham (R-SC), generally one of the most accessible Senators, has more important things to worry about.

“I want you to have access to us, inform your readers, inform your viewers what we’re trying to do,” said Graham, “But, of all the problems in America, y’all are pretty down on the chain.”

Nonetheless, the floodgates have opened on Twitter.

 

 

If you would like to receive Breaking News text alerts on a smartphone or tablet, download the DML APP which is completely FREE and easy to use. Go to the Google Play Store or the IOS App Store and search for DML APP. Be sure to keep the app’s notifications setting on. Another way to receive alerts is to text to 40404 the following message: follow @realdennislynch (be sure to put a space between the word follow and the @ symbol).

To see more stories like this, sign up below for Dennis Michael Lynch’s email newsletter.







 

Comment via Facebook

Send this to a friend