January 20, 2020

Even C-SPAN Is Piqued: Senate Puts Limits on Trial Coverage
News coverage of President Donald Trump's impeachment trial in the Senate began last week with a Republican senator calling a CNN reporter "a liberal hack" in the halls of Congress and laughing about it later that night during a Fox News interview.Things haven't improved much since.Journalists are up in arms about new restrictions on their movement inside the Capitol, which they said will prevent them from easily interviewing lawmakers about the proceedings. The rules, negotiated by Republican Senate leadership, have yet to be written down, causing confusion among reporters and the Capitol Police expected to enforce them.Even sedate C-SPAN is aggrieved, calling on the Senate to allow its television crews to document the trial instead of the government-controlled cameras that -- as was the case during Bill Clinton's trial 21 years ago -- will limit what viewers see and hear inside the Senate chamber.Hurling insults at journalists is standard fare for officials at the White House. But Congress, with its protocols and rituals, was considered a relatively safe space for reporters, where cordiality was prized.The pretrial tensions suggest that the bash-the-press mentality that led the White House to kill off the daily briefing and strip reporters of their credentials has now crept into what senators like to call "the world's greatest deliberative body.""There's long been this understanding that we both serve the same people at the end of the day and that it's a mutually beneficial relationship," said Sarah Wire, a Los Angeles Times reporter who leads a committee of congressional correspondents. "Senators want to talk to us because they know we're communicating their message to their voters back home."All this," she added in an interview, "was kind of a shock.""This" is a series of restrictions abruptly imposed on reporters shortly before the start of the trial, where opening arguments are set to begin Tuesday.Instead of unfettered access to the hallways and corridors surrounding the Senate chamber -- a tradition for decades -- journalists will be confined to roped-off pens as senators come and go from the trial. Walk-and-talk interviews with senators, a staple of congressional reporting made famous by TV shows like "The West Wing," will be curtailed."This is how ludicrous these restrictions are," a McClatchy reporter, Emma Dumain, wrote on Twitter last week, describing how a Capitol Police officer interrupted her interview with a senator and insisted that she "step behind a rope in order to continue the conversation."Journalists have long been barred from entering the Senate chamber, relegated to an overhead view from the press gallery above. Now, to enter the upstairs gallery, they will need to queue up for a magnetometer meant to sniff out illicit electronics, raising concerns about their ability to quickly relay to the public what is happening inside.The effect, reporters said, is to make it harder to chronicle the you-are-there details expected of a historic political moment -- including which senators are doodling or snoozing during testimony. In stark contrast with the coverage of State of the Union addresses, a few stationary cameras controlled by a Senate office, rather than an independent news organization, will provide the only viewpoint of the trial floor."Those cameras operate under very strict guidelines: They show the person who is speaking and maybe some wide shots," Terry Murphy, vice president for programming at C-SPAN, said in an interview. "They can't show others reacting or listening. Having our own cameras in there would allow us to cover the trial with a much more full picture of what's going on."C-SPAN wrote to the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, in December, formally requesting access. As of Saturday, the network had heard nothing back.The U.S. news media has come a long way since the country's first impeachment trial, of President Andrew Johnson in 1868, when House impeachment managers sat for a still portrait by famed Civil War photographer Mathew Brady.The Clinton impeachment trial was the first to take place in the age of 24-hour cable news. But journalists in 1999 did not have to contend with the minute-by-minute demands of digital media. Trump's impeachment trial will be the first to be dissected in real-time -- and possibly by the Twitter-happy president himself.On Capitol Hill, parties on both sides of the lawmaker-journalist divide said discussions about access are active. First Amendment groups like the American Civil Liberties Union have weighed in to decry the new limits. The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press gathered signatures from 57 news organizations objecting to the rules.Elisabeth Bumiller, an assistant managing editor and the Washington bureau chief of The New York Times, said in a statement that the restrictions "will severely limit the ability of reporters to gather news during one of the most historic events in the nation's history.""These limits are far more burdensome than the rules that govern press access in the Capitol, even those in effect during the last impeachment trial, and will prevent journalists from freely documenting a public debate in Congress," Bumiller said.McConnell's office, which controls the business of the Senate, declined to comment.On Capitol Hill, there is speculation that the restrictions were put in place because Chief Justice John Roberts, who is presiding over the trial, will be present in the chamber each day. Typically, reporters' movements in the Capitol are limited when high-profile people visit, like Vice President Mike Pence.But congressional correspondents said that, even after several meetings with Senate officials, they did not know why the restrictions had been put in place. Some suspected that Senate leaders believe the less the public knows about the trial, the better."Journalists are the public's eyes and ears in the Capitol," said Leo Shane, a correspondent for Military Times. "We're asking lawmakers to make sure they're not using the excuse of security concerns as a reason to exclude the public from this trial."This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2020 The New York Times Company
Related Stories
Latest News
Top news around the world
Coronavirus Disease

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus.

Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness.

Around the World

Celebrity News

> Latest News in Media

Watch It
Julia Fox defends viral ‘Uncut Gems’ interview moment: ‘I was stoned’ | Page Six Celebrity News
February 17, 2022
4m-p0_-ePd8
Alexia Echevarria pushed ‘RHOM’ producers to show more of son Frankie’s recovery | Page Six
February 17, 2022
E-wTaN9NfkI
Pete Davidson rejoins Instagram amid Kanye West drama | Page Six Celebrity News
February 17, 2022
SsC3dmsI6t4
Aaron Rodgers And Shailene Woodley Reportedly Break Up | TMZ LIVE
February 17, 2022
FoErdRE8Qe4
Chet Hanks Done Talking About Famous Parents, Becoming Personal Trainer | TMZ
February 16, 2022
5_UrULOkQ6o
Woman Stabbed at Foot Locker During Nike Shoe Release
February 16, 2022
TfuXMs1JdVg
Steph's Freaky Side, "Summer House" & "Love During Lockup"
February 17, 2022
9W_raO0zlA8
Tay or Nay, Offset's Sushi Anxiety & Nick on Monogamy
February 17, 2022
PauYHpJRA6o
Kim Kardashian & North West TWINNING in Matching Pajamas | E! News
February 17, 2022
b-_Oib6R108
Adam McKay - Hollywood Walk of Fame Ceremony
February 17, 2022
tYtzsHoOZzo
Tom Holland, Mark Wahlberg, and the Cast of 'Uncharted' Talk Most Challenging Stunts
February 15, 2022
d3ksX-SKi8c
Ryan Reynolds and Walker Scobell on ‘The Adam Project’, ‘Deadpool’, and Possible ‘Star Wars’ Role
February 16, 2022
5TxJsbJr9Dk
TV Schedule
Late Night Show
Watch the latest shows of U.S. top comedians

Sports

Latest sport results, news, videos, interviews and comments
Latest Events
04
May
CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Playoffs
Seattle Sounders - Pumas
04
May
USA: Major League Soccer
FC Cincinnati - Toronto FC
03
May
ENGLAND: Championship
Bournemouth - Nottingham Forest
02
May
ENGLAND: Premier League
Manchester United - Brentford
02
May
ENGLAND: Championship
Fulham - Luton
02
May
SPAIN: La Liga
Getafe - Real Betis
02
May
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Bayer Leverkusen - Eintracht Frankfurt
02
May
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Borussia Monchengladbach - RB Leipzig
02
May
ITALY: Serie A
Atalanta - Salernitana
01
May
ENGLAND: Premier League
Tottenham Hotspur - Leicester City
01
May
SPAIN: La Liga
Barcelona - Mallorca
01
May
ITALY: Serie A
Roma - Bologna
01
May
ENGLAND: Premier League
West Ham United - Arsenal
01
May
ENGLAND: Premier League
Everton - Chelsea
01
May
ITALY: Serie A
Udinese - Inter Milan
01
May
ITALY: Serie A
AC Milan - Fiorentina
01
May
ITALY: Serie A
Juventus - Venezia
01
May
SPAIN: La Liga
Rayo Vallecano - Real Sociedad
30
Apr
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Mainz - Bayern Munich
30
Apr
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Borussia Dortmund - Bochum
30
Apr
ENGLAND: Premier League
Newcastle United - Liverpool
30
Apr
SPAIN: La Liga
Athletic Bilbao - Atletico Madrid
30
Apr
ENGLAND: Premier League
Leeds - Manchester City
30
Apr
SPAIN: La Liga
Real Madrid - Espanyol
30
Apr
ITALY: Serie A
Napoli - Sassuolo
28
Apr
ENGLAND: Premier League
Manchester United - Chelsea
27
Apr
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Semifinal
Liverpool - Villarreal
27
Apr
ITALY: Serie A
Bologna - Inter Milan
26
Apr
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Semifinal
Manchester City - Real Madrid
25
Apr
ITALY: Serie A
Sassuolo - Juventus
24
Apr
SPAIN: La Liga
Barcelona - Rayo Vallecano
24
Apr
ITALY: Serie A
Lazio - AC Milan
24
Apr
ENGLAND: Premier League
Liverpool - Everton
24
Apr
ENGLAND: Premier League
Chelsea - West Ham United
24
Apr
ITALY: Serie A
Empoli - Napoli
23
Apr
ENGLAND: Premier League
Brentford - Tottenham Hotspur
Find us on Instagram
at @feedimo to stay up to date with the latest.
Featured Video You Might Like
zWJ3MxW_HWA L1eLanNeZKg i1XRgbyUtOo -g9Qziqbif8 0vmRhiLHE2U JFCZUoa6MYE UfN5PCF5EUo 2PV55f3-UAg W3y9zuI_F64 -7qCxIccihU pQ9gcOoH9R8 g5MRDEXRk4k
Copyright © 2020 Feedimo. All Rights Reserved.