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Does anyone else see the horrible irony in this?

Discussion in 'Channel Zero' started by Ski Mask, Apr 9, 2004.

  1. Ski Mask

    Ski Mask 12oz Loyalist

    Joined: Apr 11, 2000 Messages: 11,114 Likes Received: 209
    Forced erasures of Scalia speech outrage journalists

    Friday, April 9, 2004 Posted: 7:25 PM EDT (2325 GMT)

    WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Several journalism groups are expressing outrage over the actions of a deputy marshal who forced the erasure of two journalists' audio recordings of a speech by Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia at a Mississippi high school.

    The U.S. Marshals Service stopped short of fully defending the deputy's actions.

    "The deputy's actions were based on the justice's standing policy prohibiting such recordings of his remarks," said Marshals Service spokesman David Turner.

    Officials at Presbyterian Christian High School in Hattiesburg did not announce the policy before Scalia's Wednesday appearance there.

    Two reporters recorded the beginning of Scalia's speech but were ordered to stop and to delete their tapes. One reporter complied, the other refused.

    The Associated Press reported that at the event Deputy Marshal Melanie Rube demanded that an AP reporter erase a digital recording of the speech.

    The reporter resisted, but when the deputy took the recording device from her, she showed the deputy how to erase the speech, the AP said.

    Rube also made a reporter with the Hattiesburg American erase her tape, the AP said.

    The U.S. Marshals service did not dispute the AP account of what had happened.

    "In such cases the Marshals Services takes the appropriate actions," said Turner.

    But when asked whether the deputy's actions were "appropriate," the spokesman replied, "I can't go that far right now."

    Barbara Cochran, president of the Radio and Television News Directors Association, sent a letter Friday to Benigno G. Reyna, director of the U.S. Marshal Service, and Nehemiah Flowers, U.S. Marshal for the southern district of Mississippi.

    "This high-handed and unlawful seizure of a journalist's work product without any regard whatsoever for the rights and responsibilities of the news media product is totally unacceptable," she wrote in the letter published on the group's Web site.

    "There exists no legal precedent to support the conclusion that it is permissible for government officials to seize and destroy recordings reporters have made in the course of covering a public event. Actions such as those taken by Deputy Marshal Rube, which are designed to prevent reporters from disseminating information that has been lawfully acquired, amount to nothing short of censorship."

    The Society of Professional Journalists, in a statement Friday, called on Scalia "to respect the First Amendment rights of journalists to gather news when he speaks at public events."

    "In what can be only described as an ultimate constitutional irony, Scalia was praising the Constitution and its First Amendment while a federal marshal harassed reporters and curtailed their right to gather news at a public appearance," said Joel Campbell, SPJ's Freedom of Information Committee co-chair, in the statement.

    The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press sent letters Thursday to the Marshals Service and the Justice Department, complaining the deputy's actions violated a federal law that prohibits the government from seizing journalists' work materials.

    Turner said the letter had not arrived Friday, and that when it is received Reyna will respond.

    Scalia often prohibits audio and video recordings of his speeches, but does allow the media to cover his non-judicial appearances. His policy is similar to that of his colleagues on the bench.

    At an earlier event the same day, officials at nearby William Carey College announced the recording prohibition before Scalia made his remarks.

    Court officials said Scalia was unavailable Friday, and would have no comment on the matter.

    Turner said the Marshals Service had no comment on whether the actions were justified, but stressed that the agency's personnel routinely "try to be helpful to justices and judges, and to ensure their preferences are met."

    The Marshals Service has the responsibility to provide security for Supreme Court justices when they travel.

    CNN producer Terry Frieden contributed to this report.

    Copyright 2004 CNN. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Associated Press contributed to this report.
  2. destroya

    destroya Senior Member

    Joined: Sep 30, 2002 Messages: 1,714 Likes Received: 2

    so what was said?
  3. (no subject)

    (no subject) Junior Member

    Joined: Apr 7, 2004 Messages: 127 Likes Received: 0
    Things like this make me need a cigarette.
  4. rental

    rental Dirty Dozen Crew

    Joined: Jul 1, 2001 Messages: 7,641 Likes Received: 2
    i see the us crashing like a train wreck these days. so...whats the canadian national anthem?
  5. GamblersGrin

    GamblersGrin Elite Member

    Joined: Sep 24, 2003 Messages: 3,243 Likes Received: 16
  6. villain

    villain Veteran Member

    Joined: Jul 12, 2002 Messages: 5,190 Likes Received: 2
    this is one of my greatest fears with media becoming electronic. The ease with which it is revised and rewritten. I guess we should have independent and safe archives.... perhaps even time capsules... maybe encrypted databases of uncorrupted information. Hmmm...
    Also electronic voting, very disturbing.