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Ear to the Ground

Media Complain of ‘Hostile’ NYPD (Update)

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Posted on Nov 22, 2011
© Jeff Pappas

Some of the nation’s most prestigious news organizations, including AP and The New York Times, are condemning New York City’s treatment of the media, writing in a letter that “police actions of last week have been more hostile to the press than any other event in recent memory.”

From the beginning of the Occupy Wall Street movement, the NYPD has behaved aggressively toward the media, particularly freelancers and citizen journalists who have not been able to win press credentials from the police department.

Cops in the city have arrested journalists trying to cover the movement, and now mainstream outlets are claiming they were prevented from even seeing the clearing of Zuccotti Park.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said police kept journalists away from the scene for their own protection.  —PZS

AP via Google:

“The police actions of last week have been more hostile to the press than any other event in recent memory,” a coalition of media organizations and journalist groups said in a letter to chief New York Police Department spokesman Paul Browne.

The New York Civil Liberties Union sent another letter to Mayor Michael Bloomberg and police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, covering similar ground.

“The numerous reports we have received and have learned of make clear to us that the NYPD is aggressively blocking journalists from doing their constitutionally protected work and in some instances is even targeting journalists for mistreatment,” that letter said.

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Update: Truthdig’s man in New York, Alex Kelly, sends this personal account of being manhandled by the NYPD while trying to cover Occupy Wall Street:

While a number of protesters were blocking pedestrian access to a sidewalk that led to Wall Street offices, across the street from Trinity Church, I tucked myself into the recess of a phone booth. Moments later a group of riot cops fell in on the protesters and began wrestling with them. I was filming the encounter with my iPhone (it’s not very good video) when another demonstrator ran past me and into a food cart. I leaned out of the the booth to get the shot, and at that moment a cop turned around and saw me. He grabbed the hand that held the phone and forced it down and behind my back, gripping tight. Then he turned me around and with his other hand grabbed me by the nape of my neck, picked me up and led me off the sidewalk into the street. I was shouting things like “I’m a reporter! I’m press! Let me go!” I managed to get the attention of a white shirt who seemed to motion to the goon to put me down. He shoved me away from the sidewalk and said, “Get out of here.”

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drbhelthi's avatar

By drbhelthi, November 23, 2011 at 2:40 am Link to this comment

@do over
“Fluf news is allowed.  Now let’s observe just how deep their commitment to
real news is.  Any bets?”

Neat observation and question.
It is sometimes useful to know who owns the dice table, before placing a bet.

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By do over, November 22, 2011 at 6:18 pm Link to this comment

The media awakened in Copistan and act surprised.  The sheepish media discovered that attempting to cover serious news is forbidden.  Fluf news is allowed.  Now let’s observe just how deep their commitment to real news is.  Any bets?

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drbhelthi's avatar

By drbhelthi, November 22, 2011 at 2:43 pm Link to this comment

Since the C.I.A. has infiltrated the NYPD, the leadership of the NYPD will support C.I.A. behavior.  Remember the C.I.A.?  The organization that was formed 1947 by NAZI SS General Gehlin, on contract by the Dulles brothers.  Whose secretive CEO was George H.W. Bush Sr., from about 1960.  GHWBushSr, who denied it, until the FBI whipped out a copy of his 1963 letter to J.E.Hoover, in which he attempted to sidetrack the JFKSr murder investigation.

Probably no one has asked mayor Blumberg why he brought the C.I.A. into the NYPD. As if he could do anything to prevent it. Just another good little “Jewboy,” doing what he is told to do, until he is set aside.

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By Jim Yell, November 22, 2011 at 9:39 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The fact is with out witnesses to the actions of our elected officials and appointed officials there is no accountablity for bad behavior from the same. The more people neutral our not who witness the more officials must be circumspect about how they apply their authority.

I agree our news process has been corrupted just as our elected and appointed officials by an election process that makes corporate contributions to the process little more than poorly disguised bribery, which is illegal and yet allowed.

What we should be concerned with in the gangster attacks on our press by the police and authorities is not just an attack on self important reporters, but an attack on all of us. It is an attack on Democracy and we are paying for our loss of freedom with our taxes if we allow this to continue.

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mrfreeze's avatar

By mrfreeze, November 22, 2011 at 9:11 am Link to this comment

“News” is a verb…....

For too long now, “news” has been the act of colluding with powerful interests, being “embedded” with the troops, covering the Kardashians and simply “making shit up.”

Wow, now that the press is getting its collective nose bloodied by the elitist thugs who own them…...I’m finding it very difficult to get bent out of shape.

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