Friday, May 20, 2011

GOP Starting To Duck Spotlight of Citizen Journalists

The premier political story of the past few months has been the Republican plan to dismantle Medicare and the resulting voter backlash. In town halls across the country, voters are expressing their anger at the GOP priorities of ending Medicare, extending tax breaks for the wealthy, and protecting subsidies for oil companies.

Citizen journalists have attended those town halls and recorded video of that voter backlash on smartphones. Those citizen journalists then published their reports, with video, on the Internet, allowing others who couldn’t attend in person to see the event. Those videos have often been picked up and broadcast by national cable news outlets. The GOP does not like the exposure because it puts a lie to their claim that they are doing only what the people elected them to do.

Think Progress: However, some congressmen are concerned about what could happen if citizen journalists repost their town halls on the Internet.

At least two members of Congress have taken extraordinary measures to shut down the spread of information.

ThinkProgress readers passed along the following photos, taken outside town halls held by Rep. Lou Barletta (R-PA) and Rep. Joe Heck (R-NV). Barletta specifically barred citizen journalists and other non-credentialed media from recording the event, while Heck took a more encompassing approach of “no recording devices” at all:

When Republicans won back the House in 2010, one of their central promises was “to make Congress more transparent.” However, when it comes to their own congressional events, the same standard apparently does not apply.

Indeed, with members like Lou Barletta and Joe Heck barring citizens from recording the events and preventing those who couldn’t attend from seeing what the congressmen had to say, one has to ask: what are they trying to hide?

No comments:

Post a Comment