Political Insider

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Senate Republicans shut down TV cameras in U.S. Capitol hallways

Republicans in charge of the U.S. Senate have apparently decided they would rather not have journalists with cameras waiting for them outside the closed doors where such things as a massive health care bill are being pieced together. From The Hill newspaper:

 Senate Republicans on Tuesday shocked the Capitol with an apparent crackdown on media access that immediately drew criticism from reporters and lawmakers.


Reporters were told they would no longer be allowed to film or record audio of interviews in the Senate side hallways of the Capitol without special permission.


Television reporters will need permission from senators, the Senate Rules Committee, the Senate Sergeant at Arms or the Senate Radio and TV Gallery, depending on location, before conducting an on-camera interview with a senator anywhere in the Capitol or in the Senate office buildings, according to a Senate official familiar with the matter.

Jamie Dupree of WSB Radio fame sends word that he understands the situation may affect TV journalism only and wouldn't be applied to print or radio reporters. Also that this may be a matter of enforcement of long-forgotten, seldom-enforced Senate rules. Here's his evidence:


On the other hand:

Another thought: Given that every cell phone is now both a video and still camera, how in the world do you enforce this fantasy?

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About the Author

Jim Galloway is a three-decade veteran of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution who writes the Political Insider blog and column.