AUGUST 28, 2008
A news reporter was arrested in Denver for trying to get pictures from a public sidewalk of Democratic senators and major donors leaving a private meeting at a luxury hotel that has served as a central station for the party’s top politicians this week.
The investigative reporter and his colleagues at a major television news network have spent the week probing the role of corporate lobbyists and wealthy donors at the Democratic convention for an upcoming news series. The story will apparently focus on how elite donors and corporate lobbyists use their clout to influence lawmakers at party conventions every four years.
Clearly, no one wants to be featured in this expose and the well-connected will do everything in their power to kill the segment, even if it means censorship and violating the Constitution’s First Amendment.
Video of the incident shows a Boulder County sheriff ordering the news reporter off the sidewalk in front of the Brown Palace Hotel, an upscale downtown Denver facility that claims to attract the city’s most prominent elite. The reporter refuses since he is stationed on a public sidewalk, but the officer is heard telling the reporter that the sidewalk is actually owned by the hotel. Then he pushes the reporter off the sidewalk and into oncoming traffic.
The reporter was handcuffed, arrested and charged with trespass, interference and failure to follow a lawful order. The arrest was made, according to police, because the hotel filed a signed complaint that its entrance was being blocked. For the record, the hotel does not own the sidewalk. That happens to be city property.
This marks the second time in just a few days that Democrats try to suppress the First Amendment rights of those who inconvenience them. Earlier this week presidential candidate Barack Obama tried to censor an ad highlighting his decades-long relationship with a renowned terrorist and the senator even asked the Justice Department to criminally prosecute the commercial’s sponsors.
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