The First Amendment is under Trump attack

The six journalists charged with felony rioting were among 230 people detained in the anti-Trump demonstrations.

Source: Felony Charges for Journalists Arrested at Inauguration Protests Raise Fears for Press Freedom – The New York Times

At least six journalists were charged with felony rioting after they were arrested while covering the violent protests that took place just blocks from President Trump’s inauguration parade in Washington on Friday, according to police reports and court documents.

The charges against the journalists — Evan Engel, Alexander Rubinstein, Jack Keller, Matthew Hopard, Shay Horse and Aaron Cantu — have been denounced by organizations dedicated to press freedom. All of those arrested have denied participating in the violence.

“These felony charges are bizarre and essentially unheard of when it comes to journalists here in America who were simply doing their job,” said Suzanne Nossel, the executive director of Pen America. “They weren’t even in the wrong place at the wrong time. They were in the right place.” [My bolding]

Carlos Lauria, a spokesman and senior program coordinator for the Committee to Protect Journalists, called the charges “completely inappropriate and excessive,” and the organization has asked that they be dropped immediately.

“Our concern is that these arrests could send a chilling message to journalists that cover future protests,” Mr. Lauria added.

This, in combination with intimations I’ve picked up on Twitter that Fox News will be the preferred media coverage at the Trump White House–one writer pinned it down as “State TV”–is as horrendous as anything else spewing out of Trump the last few days.

So here it is. Accredited journalists, whom we depend upon to tell us what’s going on in places we can’t be, were arrested for covering and reporting on the news.

Alt-fax triumphs. Temporarily, I trust. But still.

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