Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Monahan to dig into "media bullying"

A little more than three years ago, blogger Joe Monahan, link, called on "pit rule" critics to point to  "definitive proof that the rule ... cost the state jobs ... ".

He made his point when no one pointed to proof.

Monday, link, Monahan began anther search for definitive proof; this time of "media bullying".  He offered an opportunity for "... any of those reporters, editors or producers want to tell their stories ..."about being bullied, to submit their stories to him.

It be interesting to see what turns up.

The survey would be improved I think, by a qualification of terms.  Monahan mixes terms, talking alternately about the media, free press, reporters, and producers.  "Media" and "free press" are not synonymous, the one being at best a perversion of the other.  "Journalist" is not synonymous.

The First Amendment speaks to the issue of a "free press" not  of "the media", not of "reporters", not of "producers" and not of "journalists".

I submit the following as an example of media bullying;

Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry and his antipathy toward bloggers.  He prefers to take questions from the establishment press; questions softened by their need to maintain access to his pressers.  Berry denies bloggers access because he cannot control their questions; they can ask whatever they think needs to be asked - they're not beholden for further access.

Berry refuses to "credential" bloggers. Without his credentials, the free press are denied access to his press conferences.  This though, the government; the Mayor, has no authority to credential the press, or demand credentials from them.  The First Amendment doesn't authorize the government to decide who is and who is not the press.

I submit that bloggers are the press, every bit as much as the establishment press is the press.

Bloggers are twenty first century digital political pamphleteers.  They are exactly the people the First Amendment was written to protect.  Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of the press.

In modern terms, the mayor shall make no law (rule, regulation, policy or procedure) abridging the freedom of the press.  Mayor Richard Berry abridges the rights of the press in the very act of demanding of the display of some totem, trinket, or bauble as proof of a constitutionally protected human right to be the press.

Richard Berry is treating members of the press disparately.  He gives notice of press conferences to the press who threaten him least.

It is bullying, it stinks of coverup of public corruption and incompetence.  It is not transparency.

Monahan asks; just what kind of pressure is being applied in the state's newsrooms?

The answer; denial of equal access.  Rub the Mayor the wrong way and suddenly you're on the outside looking in.

photos Mark Bralley

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