×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Senators Query FCC Over Manhandling of Reporter After Meeting

A group of senators have fired off a letter to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, asking him for answers as to why a reporter was manhandled by a security guard as he tried to ask a question following a meeting on Thursday.

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.

“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 National Press Club. According to Donnelly, he was then asked to leave the building.

Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) wrote in their letter that the incident was “disturbing” and added, “Given the FCC’s role as the primary authority for communications law and its regulatory role with respect to the media, the FCC should set a sterling example when it comes to supporting the First Amendment and freedom of the press for other government entities here in the United States and around the world.”

They also wrote that the incident “is not an isolated one and seems to be a part of a larger pattern of hostility towards the press characteristic of this Administration, which underscores our serious concern.”

A Republican senator, Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), also expressed concerns over the incident.

“The Federal Communications Commission needs to take a hard look at why this happened and make sure it doesn’t happen again,” he said in a statement. “As The Washington Post pointed out, it’s standard operating procedure for reporters to ask questions of public officials after meetings and news conferences.   It happens all day, every day.   There’s no good reason to put hands on a reporter who’s doing his or her job.”

An FCC spokesman said that the agency apologized to Donnelly more than once. He said that they also let him know that the FCC was on heightened alert “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 triggered demonstrations and heated rhetoric.

More Biz

  • MAGA Teens Taunting Native American Elder

    MAGA Hat-Wearing Teens Harassing Native American Elder Spark Condemnation From Hollywood

    The Internet erupted in outrage Saturday after a video of young men wearing MAGA hats and attempting to intimidate a Native American man at the Indigenous Peoples March in Washington D.C. went viral. The march is taking place amid the government shutdown, which is nearing the one-month mark and has interfered with many Native Americans’ [...]

  • Leonard Klady Dead: Film Journalist Was

    Leonard Klady, Veteran Film Journalist, Dies at 67

    Leonard “Len” Klady, a former Variety reporter and critic who most recently worked for Movie City News and Screen International, has died. His wife, Beverly Walker, said he had been diagnosed with cancer in November.  Klady was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba and graduated from the University of Manitoba. He was a founding member of the [...]

  • Jordan Feldstein

    Roc Nation Seeks $11 Million From Insurer in Jordan Feldstein's Death

    Roc Nation filed a federal lawsuit Friday seeking $11 million from its insurance carrier following the death of Maroon 5 manager Jordan Feldstein. Roc Nation, a joint venture of Jay-Z and Live Nation Entertainment, partnered with Feldstein’s Career Artist Management in 2016. At the time, Roc Nation says it took out a “key man” life [...]

  • 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 [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content