Several members of the media were forced out of Quicken Loans Arena yesterday by police while reporting from the floor of the RNC Convention in Cleveland, Ohio.
MSNBC correspondent Kelly O’Donnell was, in her own words, “hassled” by police yesterday while filming live during the chaos that erupted over a rule change vote proposed by the “Never Trump” movement, then was escorted out in the middle of taping a segment on the convention.
O’Donnell was on camera speaking to Chuck Todd for a special RNC Convention edition of the 5 pm hour of “A Place for Politics” and was:
“trying to report on the chaos that erupted when some Republicans tried to force a roll call vote to change the rules governing the convention.
Security personnel, visible behind O’Donnell, repeatedly approached the reporter and interrupted her, attempting to move her from her live reporting post.
The interruptions happened repeatedly during the O’Donnell’s report:
was broken up with repeated interruptions. Ultimately, O’Donnell cut her segment short, telling Todd that she was being told she and her camera person needed to leave the convention floor.”
See video here:
MSNBC later referred to the incident as a “misunderstanding” after O’Donnell was allowed back onto the RNC floor to report, but she wasn’t the only reporter who had this experience.
Fox News correspondent Chad Pergram tweeted the following at around the same time that O’Donnell was being removed from the floor:
Police kicked me & my crew along w/other media organizations off GOP convention flr when things got testy after rules vote. No explanation
— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) July 18, 2016
Essex Porter, a reporter for KIRO 7 in Seattle also posted live video on Facebook of himself and his crew being removed from the convention floor. He was told by Cleveland Police that he was not allowed to speak while they escorted him out even though he was complying with their orders to leave.
This is not the first time that reporters have been denied their constitutional rights afforded by the First Amendment during Trump’s campaign. Sopan Deb, a reporter of Indian descent from CBS News, was not only removed but arrested while covering the protest of a Trump rally at the University of Illinois Chicago campus in March.
David Rhodes, president of CBS News, posted the following on Twitter regarding that incident.
.@SopanDeb was handcuffed, later charged with resisting arrest; on tape you see he did not resist, identified himself as working press
— David Rhodes (@davidgrayrhodes) March 12, 2016
A reporter from Politico was removed during a rally in California in June. Ben Schreckinger was escorted out for reporting from the floor of the rally after having been denied press credentials in both March and June, although he had tickets to attend the event he was covering.
Trump has also threatened to sue reporters who dare to write negative stories about him. The GOP, those rabid defenders of the US Constitution, have just nominated a candidate who violates the rights guaranteed by the Constitution at every turn. For a man who loves free publicity, he sure does seem to hate the press.
Featured image screengrab via YouTube