Wednesday, May 19, 2010

How BP Is Like The TN Legislature

Both want to stop news from being reported.

CBS News journalists were threatened with arrest for attempting to film oil washing ashore. Watch the video here:

Yes, if nobody sees the oil washing ashore, then it surely doesn’t exist! Hey, it works for Britt Hume, right?

Meanwhile, Rep. Joe Towns, D-Memphis, tried to permanently ban AP reporter Erik Schelzig from the House chamber after Schelzig photographed a collapsed House Speaker Kent Williams last week (Williams was suffering from low blood sugar and recovered). In other words, Schelzig was doing his job.

Look, I’m glad Schelzig hasn’t been banned from the chamber, but the resolution misses the point. I want to make sure neither he nor any other reporter is ever again ejected from the chamber by the sergeant at arms and a state trooper for, I repeat, doing his job. Because seeing your colleague ushered out under threat of arrest sends a pretty powerful message--one that transcends House resolutions. If the rules of conduct need to be clarified then so be it, but let’s make one thing absolutely clear: when a legislator collapses it is a newsworthy event, and if there’s a photographer on the scene he or she damn well better be allowed to cover it. And shame on any politician, Democrat or Republican, for sending any other message.

Dear TNDP: Better Democrats, please.