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
Pregnant Influencer Emily Mitchell's Cause of Death Revealed | E! News
January 14, 2021
U8urSyGmk6Q
Riz Ahmed Reveals Wife's Identity After Secret Wedding | E! News
January 14, 2021
yGDuNHPt3AU
Why Carson Daly Told Gwen Stefani Not to Date Blake Shelton | E! News
January 14, 2021
6wKU6UB4NS8
'WandaVision' Cast Reveals the Sitcom They'd Pick To Be Trapped-In Forever
January 14, 2021
DdTGaR2vUDk
‘MLK/FBI’ Director Sam Pollard on the ‘Need to Have a Reckoning About Race’
January 12, 2021
Zd7Sx_LVmC0
Matt James Talks About The Pressure of Being the First Black ‘Bachelor’
January 04, 2021
ygzXIXcNtbg
Mario Lopez, Tiffani Thiessen react to Dustin Diamond’s cancer diagnosis | Page Six Celebrity News
January 15, 2021
x4Hz209X0eg
Why 'Bling Empire' stars were skeptical to join the Netflix reality series | Page Six Celebrity News
January 15, 2021
3oHt4Cqr1J0
Bella Thorne defends Armie Hammer against allegations | Page Six Celebrity News
January 15, 2021
W0-pu9wJVkE
L.A. County Supervisor Enraged Clinics Throw Unused Vaccines in the Trash | TMZ
January 14, 2021
Upzfh-nEbq0
Drake Returns To Working Out, Looks Great! | TMZ TV
January 14, 2021
JlKeaD2mjoA
Kardashians Give 'KUWTK' Crew Rolex Watches After Final Episode | TMZ TV
January 14, 2021
_9CxQG4PwQI
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
16
Jan
ITALY: Serie A
Bologna - Verona
15
Jan
ITALY: Serie A
Lazio - Roma
14
Jan
ENGLAND: Premier League
Arsenal - Crystal Palace
13
Jan
ENGLAND: Premier League
Manchester City - Brighton
13
Jan
ENGLAND: Premier League
Tottenham Hotspur - Fulham
13
Jan
GERMANY: National cup
Holstein Kiel - Bayern Munich
12
Jan
ENGLAND: Premier League
Burnley - Manchester United
12
Jan
SPAIN: La Liga
Atletico Madrid - Sevilla
12
Jan
ENGLAND: Championship
Luton - QPR
12
Jan
ENGLAND: Championship
Bournemouth - Millwall
12
Jan
ENGLAND: Premier League
Wolves - Everton
12
Jan
ENGLAND: Premier League
Sheffield United - Newcastle United
12
Jan
SPAIN: La Liga
Granada CF - Osasuna
10
Jan
ITALY: Serie A
Roma - Inter Milan
10
Jan
ITALY: Serie A
Juventus - Sassuolo
10
Jan
ITALY: Serie A
Udinese - Napoli
09
Jan
GERMANY: Bundesliga
RB Leipzig - Borussia Dortmund
09
Jan
SPAIN: La Liga
Osasuna - Real Madrid
09
Jan
ITALY: Serie A
AC Milan - Torino
09
Jan
SPAIN: La Liga
Granada CF - Barcelona
08
Jan
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Borussia Monchengladbach - Bayern Munich
06
Jan
SPAIN: La Liga
Athletic Bilbao - Barcelona
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.