×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Reporter Says Guards Manhandled Him After He Tried to Ask Questions at FCC Meeting

John M. Donnelly, a reporter for CQ Roll Call, said that he was shoved against a wall by two security guards after he tried to ask questions to an FCC commissioner following the open commission meeting on Thursday.

“When Donnelly strolled in an unthreatening way toward FCC commissioner Michael O’Rielly to pose a question, two guards pinned Donnelly against the wall with the backs of their bodies until O’Rielly had passed,” according to a release sent out by the the National Press Club.

“One of the guards, Frederick Bucher, asked Donnelly why he had not posed his question during the press conference. Then Bucher proceeded to force Donnelly to leave the building entirely under implied threat of force.”

“I could not have been less threatening or more polite,” Donnelly said in a statement. “There is no justification for using force in such a situation.”

Neil Grace, an FCC spokesman, said, “We apologized to Mr. Donnelly more than once and let him know that the FCC was on heightened alert today based on several threats.”

At the meeting, the FCC took the initial steps toward rolling back a key provision of the net neutrality rules, an issue that has in the past triggered demonstrations outside the agency’s headquarters. A number of public interest groups staged another one before the meeting on Thursday.

After the meeting, the FCC chairman and, on occasion, other commissioners hold press conferences with reporters.

According to Donnelly, the security guards were plainclothes security personnel who “shadowed” him “as if he were a security threat.” He said that he was displaying his congressional press pass and held a tape recorder and notepad. He said that they even waited outside the men’s room at one point.

The National Press Club said that another reporter, Todd Shields of Bloomberg, told Donnelly that Bucher had taken his press pass when he was talking to a protester at an FCC meeting in July. The agency apologized and restored his credentials.

O’Rielly tweeted a response to Donnelly on Thursday evening, apologizing for the incident and offering to answer any of his questions.

More Biz

  • Walt Disney HQ LA

    Disney Unveils Financial Data for DTC Unit, Sets April 11 for Investor Presentation

    Disney has rejiggered its business segments for earnings reporting to make room for the new unit housing its global streaming operations. Disney on Friday released restated earnings for fiscal 2018, 2017 and 2016 to give investors and financial analysts better visibility into its spending on the launch of the Disney Plus, ESPN Plus and other [...]

  • R. Kelly

    R. Kelly Dropped by Sony Music

    Sony Music has decided to dissolve its working relationship with R. Kelly, Variety has learned. No external announcement of the move is planned in the immediate future, says a source, who added that the company took its time to wade through the issues “responsibly” and avoid legal ramifications. R. Kelly was removed from the RCA [...]

  • CAA HQ LA

    Ex-Agent Stuart Manashil Ordered to Repay CAA in Fraud Case

    Former literary agent Stuart Manashil was ordered on Thursday to repay a $23,975 commission to CAA, which he admitted he had illegally diverted to a friend. Manashil, who now runs his own management company, pleaded guilty in March 2018 to a federal wire fraud charge. In a letter to U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood, Manashil [...]

  • "The Continent," directed by Chinese racer

    Alibaba Pictures Buys Into Chinese Director Han Han's Film Studio

    Alibaba Pictures confirmed that it has invested an undisclosed amount in Chinese celebrity blogger-turned-film director Han Han’s Shanghai Tingdong Film. Han’s upcoming “Pegasus” is one of the most anticipated films of the year in China. Alibaba Pictures, part of e-commerce giant Alibaba, is now the second-largest stakeholder in Tingdong. It has a 13.1% stake, according to Chinese [...]

  • Phil McIntyre Steps Down as Roc

    Phil McIntyre Steps Down From Roc Nation Management, but Remains Affiliated With Company

    Phil McIntyre has stepped down as president of Roc Nation Management, but his PhilyMack management company remains affiliated with Roc, a source close to the situation tells Variety. PhilyMack, which McIntyre founded in 2006, partnered with Roc Nation in 2015. The source stressed that McIntyre’s role at Roc Nation Management  — whose clients include Rihanna, [...]

  • Harvey Weinstein Trial

    Ben Brafman Drops Out of Harvey Weinstein Rape Case

    Harvey Weinstein has officially parted ways with defense attorney Ben Brafman, releasing a joint statement Thursday announcing the move. Weinstein had clashed with his defense attorney over strategy in his rape and sexual assault case. The pair issued a statement saying their parting was amicable, and that Brafman would cooperate fully with Weinstein’s new attorneys. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content