The White House keeps praising these journalists who are, who’ve been killed … How does that square with the fact that this administration has been so aggressively trying to stop aggressive journalism in the United States by using the Espionage Act to take whistleblowers to court?
- Jake Tapper, pressing White House press secretary Jay Carney on what one might consider to be inconsistency on the administration’s views of doing journalism in the interests of democracy.
[Update: 2/23/12 2:20 p.m.: forgot the hat tip! Thanks tcairwaves!]
In other court news, a settlement has been reached over arrest of Amy Goodman and Democracy Now! producers at the 2008 GOP convention.
According to The Associated Press and Democracy Now!, Goodman and her producers will receive $100,000: $90,000 from St. Paul and Minneapolis, and $10,000 from the Secret Service. I assume the St. Paul end of that bill will come out of the $10 Million insurance policy that the RNC Host Committee took out before the 2008 convention. The Strib reported in June that the bill for various settlements in cases related to the RNC had reached $175,000.
Democracy Now! also reports:
The settlement also includes an agreement by the St. Paul police department to implement a training program aimed at educating officers regarding the First Amendment rights of the press and public with respect to police operations, including proper procedures for dealing with the press covering demonstrations.
I am not too familiar with other settlements like this, but it seems like a solid win for Goodman and Co. I doubt they sued for the money (which, in my view of the video evidence, was justly deserved) but I think the “sensitivity training” required for the St. Paul police is an important step toward clarifying for law enforcement the limits on crowd-control actions that limit legitimate press coverage.
In January 2009, the RNC Commission Report found that police conduct during the event was “restrained and professional,” but said that planning for media coverage of the event and the surrounding protests suffered from “mixed expectations and misunderstandings that could have been avoided.” During the protests, police handled media and media arrests in a variety of ways, confusing journalists about how they could expect to be treated. In response to the commission’s findings, St. Paul police told the Committee to Protect Journalists that it would work with the media to develop protocols for handling journalists in the future, which could include “background checks” in order to issue credentials to journalists who represent “legitimate news organizations.”