Republicans don’t want us to know what’s really going on. And now they are banning the press from doing interviews at the Capitol.
On Tuesday, Senate Republicans shocked and outraged everyone when they announced to the press that they will no longer be allowed to record interviews with politicians in the hallways of the Capitol.
“Reporters were told they would no longer be allowed to film or record audio of interviews in the Senate side hallways of the Capitol without special permission.
Television reporters will need permission from senators, the Senate Rules Committee, the Senate Sergeant at Arms or the Senate Radio and TV Gallery, depending on location, before conducting an on-camera interview with a senator anywhere in the Capitol or in the Senate office buildings, according to a Senate official familiar with the matter.”
“Senate officials on Tuesday appeared to also announce new restrictions on the movements of all reporters, including print journalists, in the basement of the Capitol, where it is easiest to catch up with lawmakers before and after votes and lunch meetings.”
This new ban was issued by the Senate Rules Committee and breaks with years of precedent. A Senate Democratic aide told The Hill that this latest decision to block the press was made unilaterally by Senate Rules Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.).
Following the wide-spread outrage about this decision, Shelby tried to cover his ass by putting out a statement saying that he’s not changing the rules, but instead is just enforcing existing rules.
#Break: New statement from Rules Committee Chairman Richard Shelby. Says “no changes to existing rules” https://t.co/BNiAqzWJlJ pic.twitter.com/KSz3VbUuCs
— Dylan Byers (@DylanByers) June 13, 2017
This whole thing is alarming. Democracy depends on a free press. But Trump and the Republicans are systematically trying to block and restrain it for nefarious reasons.
Following the announcement, many journalists and reporters spoke out against this bullshit. The DNC also made a strong statement.
“Republican senators want so badly to hide their healthcare repeal that they’re barring the filming of interviews in their hallways,” DNC deputy communications Adrienne Watson said in a statement. “This is a pathetic and disturbing attempt to silence the press as Trump and Republicans prepare to take away healthcare from millions and millions of people to give millionaires and billionaires another massive tax break.”
CONDITIONS for any interview: Previously granted permission from senator AND Rules Committee of Senate
— Kasie Hunt (@kasie) June 13, 2017
Can't help but notice this comes as Congress is crafting major legislation behind closed doors without the usual public process there either https://t.co/XutcMJPLj4
— Benjy Sarlin (@BenjySarlin) June 13, 2017
The real test of whether an elected official cares about 1st amendment is whether they'll defend it when it's INCONVENIENT. So far so bad https://t.co/l6KzME2Ti3
— Chuck Todd (@chucktodd) June 13, 2017
RTCA Pres Craig Caplan of C-SPAN tells me he nor any mbr of assn alerted of policy change in CapHill coverage today
— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) June 13, 2017
Sounds like Putin's Russia, not the USA. https://t.co/cGlGUNAL6T
— Stuart Rothenberg (@StuPolitics) June 13, 2017
Have these people read the Constitution? https://t.co/ojpVPeY5hn
— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) June 13, 2017
This is a stunning change of precedent. https://t.co/AJ04NOUmjb
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) June 13, 2017
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