Free Speech

Court Order Protecting People Displaying Press Passes and Covering Protests in Minnesota

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From Judge Wilhelmina M. Wright's decision Friday in Goyette v. City of Minneapolis:

The individual Plaintiffs are journalists, photographers, and other members of the press who bring this lawsuit on behalf of themselves and other similarly situated individuals….

On May 25, 2020, George Floyd died as a result of an encounter with four officers of the Minneapolis Police Department, including then-officer Derek Chauvin. Plaintiffs commenced this lawsuit in June 2020 alleging that the State Defendants engaged in a pattern and practice of infringing the constitutional rights of members of the press who were documenting the protests that followed George Floyd's death. In response to the protests, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz implemented nighttime curfews in Minneapolis and Saint Paul, with an exemption for members of the press. The State Defendants allegedly disregarded the press exemption and targeted the press. According to Plaintiffs, the State Defendants threatened, harassed, assaulted and arrested members of the press in multiple incidents over several days after the death of George Floyd. Goyette moved for a temporary restraining order to prevent the State Defendants from further violating the constitutional rights of the press. The Court denied the motion without prejudice because the protests had quelled and Goyette failed to demonstrate an imminent threat of harm.

Recently, additional protests have occurred in Minnesota in connection with the now-ongoing trial of Derek Chauvin. On April 11, 2021, a Brooklyn Center police officer shot and killed Daunte Wright, which led to additional ongoing protests. Plaintiffs allege that the State Defendants continue to violate the constitutional rights of the members of the press who are covering these protests.

Plaintiffs allege several examples, including the police firing rubber bullets at a videographer who was a safe distance from other protestors, orders directing the press to disperse despite the curfew orders expressly exempting the press, and various other acts impeding the press's ability to observe and report about the protests and law enforcement's interactions with protestors….

The court granted the following temporary restraining order, to last (at least initially) for 14 days:

[2.] Defendants Minnesota Department of Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington, in his individual and official capacity; Minnesota State Patrol Colonel Matthew Langer, in his individual and official capacity; and their agents, servants, employees and representatives ("State Defendants"), are hereby enjoined from:

  1. arresting, threatening to arrest, or using physical force—including through use of flash bang grenades, non-lethal projectiles, riot batons, or any other means—directed against any person whom they know or reasonably should know is a Journalist (as defined Paragraph 4 below), unless the State Defendants have probable cause to believe that such individual has committed a crime. For purposes of this Order, such persons shall not be required to disperse following the issuance of an order to disperse, and such persons shall not be subject to arrest for not dispersing following the issuance of an order to disperse. Such persons shall, however, remain bound by all other laws;
  2. using chemical agents directed against any person whom they know or reasonably should know is a Journalist, including but not limited to mace/oleoresin capsicum spray or mist/pepper spray/pepper gas, tear gas, skunk, inert smoke, pepper pellets, xylyl bromide, and similar substances, unless such Journalist presents an imminent threat of violence or bodily harm to persons or damage to property; and
  3. seizing any photographic equipment, audio- or videorecording equipment, or press passes from any person whom the State Defendants know or reasonably should know is a Journalist, or ordering such person to stop photographing, recording, or observing a protest, unless the State Defendants are lawfully seizing that person consistent with this Order. Except as expressly provided in Paragraph 3 below, the State Defendants must return any seized equipment or press passes immediately upon release of a person from custody.

[3.] If any State Defendant, agent or employee of the State Defendants, or any person acting under the State Defendants' direction seizes property from a Journalist who is lawfully arrested consistent with this Order, such State Defendant shall, as soon thereafter as is reasonably possible, make a written list of seized property and shall provide a copy of that list to the Journalist. If property seized in connection with the lawful arrest of a Journalist is needed for evidentiary purposes, the State Defendants shall promptly seek a search warrant, subpoena, or other court order to authorize the continued seizure of such property. If such a search warrant, subpoena, or other court order is denied, or if property seized in connection with an arrest is not needed for evidentiary purposes, the State Defendants shall immediately return the seized property to its rightful possessor.

[4.] To facilitate the State Defendants' identification of Journalists protected under this Order, the following shall be considered indicia of being a Journalist: visual identification as a member of the press, such as by carrying a professional or authorized press pass or wearing a professional or authorized press badge or other official press credentials or distinctive clothing that identifies the wearer as a member of the press. These indicia are not exclusive, and a person need not exhibit every indicium to be considered a Journalist under this Order. The State Defendants shall not be liable for unintentional violations of this Order in the case of an individual who does not carry or wear a press pass, badge, or other official press credential or distinctive clothing that identifies the wearer as a member of the press.

[5.] The State Defendants are not precluded by the Order from issuing otherwise lawful crowd-dispersal orders. The State Defendants shall not be liable for violating this injunction if a Journalist is incidentally exposed to crowd-control devices after remaining in the area where such devices were deployed, in conjunction with the enforcement of an otherwise lawful dispersal order.

This raises interesting questions about who is "a member of the press"; for instance, would anyone who is gathering information to communicate the public qualify? (The First Amendment has generally been understood as protecting everyone who uses mass communications technology, rather than creating some specific rights for people who are employed by some media enterprise.) What happens if lots of people wear what appears to be a "professional … press pass" or "distinctive clothing," precisely because that authorizes them not to disperse when ordered to do so?

I don't know if much law has been developed recently that helps clarify such matters (which of course arise in other such protest coverage cases as well); but for now, I thought I'd flag the order, which seems interesting and important. If you're interested in more of the court's First Amendment analysis, see here.

NEXT: Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) Faculty Legal Defense Fund

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  1. Only 2 people have lower morals than the lawyer. One is the serial rapist and murderer of children. The other is the journalist. They are bigger Commies, liars, and enemies of our nation than BLM. Naturally, fake news is immunized by the lawyer profession.

    Today, every news story is hate speech propaganda for tech billionaires, no more valid than the David Duke website. Duke is head of the Klan and honest about his hate. These journalists have a Code of Ethics they violate every day. The sole exception is C-SPAN. Brian Lamb said, he counts stories to keep them balanced. Every other outlet is a hate speech outlet. Worthless, yet immunized.

    1. David,

      Can you do us a favor and just list folks/occupations that you like?

      It would lower your blood pressure and make the world a much nicer place.

      1. Any that is productive and not destructive, any not involving fraud or rent seeking. Even religious pastors bring comfort and morality to their flocks despite the supernatural content. That is 10 times more effective than the law. I am inpressed and feel ignorant talking to any specialist like a hotel maid. Lawyers, journalists, career criminals must be crushed. The lawyer is the dangerous and damaging.

  2. Some are more equal than others.

    1. It’s a response to what appears to be cops targeting and roughing up reporters who are not violating any laws. What do you suggest the courts should do?

      1. Tell the cops to obey the laws for everyone not just special snowflakes with magic amulets of protection?

        1. “not just special snowflakes with magic amulets of protection”

          What is your position on claims of superstition-based special privilege?

      2. Recognize that if everyone is wearing a “press” uniform, the police have no reasonable basis for identifying actual press members as opposed to rioters, and so they can go hog wild in that situation. Let the press sue the rioters if they want damages from anyone.

        1. If in fact everyone shows up to a demonstration wearing “press” uniforms, the injunction will become ineffective, because the police would not then reasonably know who is a journalist.

          In the real world, however, that hasn’t happened yet, and the police are roughing up journalists whom they know to be journalists. That is not OK.

          1. It hasn’t been “everyone” because no court previously issued this kind of order, but it has been a non-zero number. It’s happened across the country: Portland, Little Rock, DC (the antifa plant during the Jan 6 riot and several others), Portland again.

          2. “In the real world, however, that hasn’t happened yet,…”

            That’s true as far as ‘everyone shows up’, but I have seen several videos from the Portland festivities where people with ‘Press’ painted on their helmets and so on actively engaging in rioting, e.g. taking an angle grinder to the fence around the Federal building. So the notion that people who aren’t really interested in journalism might engage in a little protective mimicry isn’t unheard of.

            1. And if the police see such a person committing such acts, the police would not be barred from arresting that person because of the bolded section below.

              Defendants Minnesota Department of Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington, in his individual and official capacity; Minnesota State Patrol Colonel Matthew Langer, in his individual and official capacity; and their agents, servants, employees and representatives (“State Defendants”), are hereby enjoined from:

              arresting, threatening to arrest, or using physical force—including through use of flash bang grenades, non-lethal projectiles, riot batons, or any other means—directed against any person whom they know or reasonably should know is a Journalist (as defined Paragraph 4 below), unless the State Defendants have probable cause to believe that such individual has committed a crime. For purposes of this Order, such persons shall not be required to disperse following the issuance of an order to disperse, and such persons shall not be subject to arrest for not dispersing following the issuance of an order to disperse. Such persons shall, however, remain bound by all other laws;

              1. Right. And in fact the police would also have reason to believe the person is not a journalist as well. So two different provisions exempt that situation.

        2. If the cops are targeting journalists, everyone wearing press ‘uniforms’ would be an act of protection, a defence of the freedom of the press.

          1. Press who are demonstrating as well, or rioting even, are no longer journalists aside the event, and I submit should no longer get press rights to be exempt from clear orders.

            It’s extra work to do.

            1. I think all protesters should be exempt from police brutality and intimidation, myself.

                • rioting / looting / burning = “peaceful protest”
                • police trying to prevent / stop rioting / looting / burning = “police brutality and intimidation”

                You gotta love leftist language games!

      3. Modify cops immunity? Cops should not be harassing anyone, If they are, they need to be prosecuted.
        There is no legal definition of “reporter” Why would a judge single out a class that can’t be defined?

      4. I don’t see what is wrong with cops targeting and roughing up reporters as they don’t have any more rights than anyone else does.

        Assuming that curfews are actually lawful, they should apply to *everyone* with no exceptions. There is nothing in the First Amendment which says Freedom of the LICENSED Press….

        1. orders directing the press to disperse despite the curfew orders expressly exempting the press

          Sounds like the people who issued the curfew orders feel differently.

  3. Amazing that the cops go after the soft targets (media) and ignore the hard targets (BLM).

    Fucking bullies with badges

    1. Incentives matter.

    2. “Amazing that the cops go after the soft targets (media) and ignore the hard targets (BLM).”

      Study asymmetric warfare a bit and you will realize that the purported media ARE the hard targets.

  4. Presumably you have a constitutional right not to publish information about a protest.

    Many people would assume that journalists attend protests not as protestors but for the purpose of publishing neutral accounts of the protest, but of course the government can’t require this. Journalists are free to attend protests as participants as well as journalists.

    So how is it that the government can require protestors to disperse only if they don’t intent to publish information about the protest? That can’t be right.

    1. Maybe they have a religious right to protest?

      1. The Congregation Of Exalted Reason venerates journalists.

    2. Until we see rioters displaying press passes, I don’t think this objection makes much sense.

      1. Are you actually going to argue that this order isn’t going to result in protesters pretending to be journalists?

        1. We don’t know yet, at least on a widespread basis. The incentives are not as simple as you think.

          Though with you calling every protester a rioter, I suppose it’s only a matter of time before you tar journalists with that broad brush.

        2. That’s a problem for the police, brought about by the actions of the police, so who cares? They need to behave themselves and stop harassing journalists and attacking protestors.

      2. Mumia was a member of the media.

        1. Well then, I guess he would have gotten off under this law?

          Your anecdote from 40 years ago is irrelevant to this discussion.

    3. If there is a legal infraction of the demonstration authorizing clear the area orders, then any press involved in that infraction, as opposed to standing by merely documenting it, would have to clear as well.

      Pointing a camera at rioters, or road blockers, and rioting or blocking roads yourself, doesn’t get you a pass.

  5. In the 2000s it was fashionable in some circles to wear clothes resembling those that might be worn by a SWAT team. In the 2020s it may become fashionable to dress as a journalist.

    1. I doubt that very much since all journalism is by Twitter in their PJs.

      1. Disaffected, can’t-keep-up clingers are among my favorites culture war casualties.

    2. It is very easy for anyone to get a somewhat-crappy-looking Press vest by looking online. It’s tougher (but not impossible) to get a legit Press vest. So, I presume that anyone who wants Press protection of this sort can do so. And while this makes the cops’ job a bit tougher, especially in edge cases; I think that’s a fair trade-off, compared to the risks to all of us, if the cops are allowed to suppress the collection and dissemination of news.

      1. Lol, me thinks it is actually the journalists who suppress the dissemination of news with their deceptive editing and curating of the news to support their agenda. If you believe journalists are there to report, I have a unicorn to sell you.

        1. Sorry to read that you have no faith at all in the integrity of Fox News, Rush (RIP), The Drudge Report, and this website. (Plus, their liberal counterparts)

          So, when you want to learn about the world, and want to decide about issues; you do what??? Flip a coin? Roll a die? Close your eyes and throw darts at a board???

          1. Not at all. He figures out what seems plausible to him, and that’s today’s news. The important point is that his method is just as good as any other, and notably better than the crap you get from so-called professional journalists.

            1. To be fair, anybody who’s had personal knowledge of an event the professional media reported on is usually going to end up with a low opinion of the media. Gell-Mann amnesia has its limits, and once they’re breached, there’s no repairing the damage.

              1. The saddest thing the past four years was the conversion of CNN from a slanted if normal journalistic operation into a full-throated left wing Fox News.

                1. Based on your own objective and immovable standards?

                  1. So, we’re pretending that those Project Veritas videos don’t exist? That we don’t have a CNN producer outright admitting it?

                    Oh, wait, of course you are.

                    1. We’re not pretending Project Veritas is a reputable journalistic organisation? Oh, of course YOU are.

                    2. That’s epistemic closure in action: Any source of information that might tell you something you don’t want to hear is rejected.

                      These are recordings, you can hear the guy’s actual words, not printed paraphrases with a few words in quotes thrown in for flavor.

                    3. No, it’s complete lack of credibility and integrity. His job is confirming your pre-existing biases. At this stage a baby could do it.

                    4. Yeah, sorry, Brett, they lie.

                      Besides, that’s not the proof you need anyhow – you want statistics. Done by political scientists. You know, evidence.

                      But you didn’t look there, you looked for lying bullshitmongers who edit stuff out of context to push whatever you want to year.

                    5. “Yeah, sorry, Brett, they lie.”

                      After the last four years, you can pretend the MSM don’t? They just tell lies you happen to like, so you don’t get mad about them lying to you.

                      How many anonymously sourced stories that fell apart did you swallow in the last few years? Collusion with Russia, Trump disparaging the troops, you name it.

                      At least Veratis provides video, not supposed anonymous sources.

                    6. No, lies are ‘Trump won the election’ and ‘Hilary Clinton’s been under house arrest since 2016.’ ‘Trump colluded with Russia’ and ‘Trump disparaged the troops’ are observable phenomena about which the reader/viewer can make up their own mind. Project Veritas isn’t even on the same scale, being closer to something like Jackass, only more painful to watch.

                    7. Brett, there are places to have a discussion about Russia and whatnot.

                      This is not that place.

                      Quit distracting from the point, which is that your feelz about what CNN has done are proof of nothing.

                    8. Ah, right, I forgot for a moment you were violently allergic to context.

      2. But nobody should be attacked and threatened by the police, and this is only an issue if the police target clearly identified and accredited professional journalists.

  6. “a press pass, badge, or other official press credential or distinctive clothing”

    On the one hand, what’s to stop Rob the Rioter and Lulu the Looter from making themselves big “PRESS” placards and hanging them around their necks? (Yes, I know if there’s probable cause to believe Rob specifically, or Lulu specifically, committed a crime the court’s order doesn’t protect them, but it allows them to mill around with the crowd until the opportunity for mischief presents itself).

    On the other hand, how does one customarily dress if one’s intent is to write about a protest? Is a dress code necessary?

    Did Norman the Novelist (Norman Mailer) write a book about some protests in the 60s? Does that make him a member of the press?

    1. Here’s the Norman Mailer book I was thinking of – Armies of the Night.

      https://amzn.to/3eb8b8V

    2. Then there are reports of the Portland mostly peaceful protestors attacking actual journalists that might not be sympathetic to them or who are recording events which could identify them.

      Seems in some circumstances identifingy yourself as a journalist might actually be dangerous.

      1. This is textbook asymmetric warfare — and control of the media is part of it.

  7. So, what happens if at the next protest, all the protestors all come wearing jackets with a big “Press” label on the back?

    Can they not be told to disperse?

    1. Ha – “if.” Markets wire around inefficiencies.

      1. I’m not a betting man, but I’d take that bet if I were.

        Humans are not market-based robots. Next protest is also pretty quick for the info to pass.

        Such cocksure predictions are more about narrative than a real sense of the future.

        1. You’d prefer “materially increased numbers” at “subsequent protests”? Or was there a deeper point in there somewhere?

  8. All of which is irrelevant because the police have cheerfully gone ahead and violated the terms of the order.

    https://eu.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2021/04/17/brooklyn-center-protests-police-round-up-journalists/7268057002/

    1. Reading that, I’m a bit curious why any real reporter would object to having their face and press credentials photographed. The riotersprotesters, I can understand.

      But why would genuine journalists object?

      1. Object? If you watched any livestreams, they are pushing their brands for subscribers.

    2. “If it weren’t for his protective gear – goggles, respiratory mask and helmet – Evans said he would have been badly injured.”

      If it weren’t for his dressing like a rioter, he probably would not have been mistaken for one.

      1. He dressed like a person expecting acts of police brutality and violence – you would approve if the police treated this as a provocation?

  9. Folks commenting here might benefit from knowing that a legitimate press credential, although not typically a government document, is not something you just make up and stick in your hat band. It also isn’t a formally controlled thing, with just one defining source.

    Who authorizes press credentials can vary. At the lowest level of deference, maybe your own publication gives you something, saying you report for them. How far that gets you may depend on whether your own publication’s credential says, “New York Times,” instead of something no one ever heard of.

    Other press credentials get authorized for specific events, by event sponsors. Trusted journalists tend to get those. How to do good reporting and stay trusted is part of the skill set. Everyone has seen plenty of journalists who do badly at that.

    Press credentials for reporting on the Supreme Court (last I heard) came from a possibly self-serving association of other Supreme Court reporting institutions. That was controversial, but useful in that it worked around the problem of having government make arbitrary decisions about a valuable scarce commodity.

    In disorderly situations, press credentials can sometimes come from the folks in charge of keeping order—the cops, or a military commander, for instance. The case in the OP is kind of like that.

    The most practical press credential is to be personally known and trusted by authorities who have seen you do reporting, and seen you getting it straight. Contrary to what I know VC commenter opinion is likely to say, I got decent responses from police on that point, even after writing stories which criticized police. They had previously seen me take their side, where that was warranted.

    Reporting stories straight and getting it right is the best press credential anyone can have—and a reputation for doing that actually works to help good reporters get access. Smart news gatherers husband reputations for reliable reporting for a host of reasons—access being one of the most important.

    Investigative journalist Seymour Hersh enjoyed unparalleled access to the highest-level sources in the American military and intelligence communities. He got that not because anyone ordered top officials to cooperate with him, but because those officials knew Hersh could tell them things about what their own departments were up to—some of which they knew nothing about—and because they also knew Hersh might or might not be about to tell the world about what those top dogs didn’t know.

    If you look that over, you may notice that almost all of it depends on having a working connection to the institutional press. Even Hersh discovered that when he tried to go it alone, and cut ties to major news institutions, he couldn’t even get in the door with his sources.

    That is the insuperable problem for Joe Keyboard on the internet. You cannot have one rule for press credentials which applies alike to everyone. There are not enough seats for journalists in the Supreme Court. And you can’t afford to deny press credentials to everyone, because no news gathering means no news.

    Contrary to what VC commenters will say, the 1A guarantee of press freedom really does encompass protected liberties for the institutional press. It cannot be otherwise.

    You may suppose the nation can thrive without public reporting of what government is up to; you may suppose private opinion on the internet can fill in after institutional media are struck down. You would be wrong on both counts.

    1. The press lies by omission as does the David Duke website. None is any more reliable nor filled with less hate. Duke hates Jews and Blacks. The press hates America.

    2. “Other press credentials get authorized for specific events, by event sponsors. ”

      Yeah, the problem with that, is that only reporters who are known to be sympathetic get THOSE. Reporters who might report the dark side of the protest? “Snitches get stitches.”

      “Contrary to what VC commenters will say, the 1A guarantee of press freedom really does encompass protected liberties for the institutional press. It cannot be otherwise.”

      What we say is that the 1st amendment guarantee of press freedom extends to everybody. Because otherwise the government can regulate the institutional press by deciding who gets accepted as institutional press. And because that’s what it means, regardless of whether it’s a good idea.

    3. “Contrary to what VC commenters will say, the 1A guarantee of press freedom really does encompass protected liberties for the institutional press. It cannot be otherwise.”

      The Bill of Rights was written to secure individual liberties.
      The “right of a free press” is not a special right conferred on the corporate press. It is the right of everyone to write and publish their views. The corporate press has appropriated this right to themselves, going as far as trying to say it does not apply to bloggers and others trying to publish their views. The press has the same right to publish anything they can see and hear from anywhere the public is allowed to go. They do not have some special right of access to protected areas.

    4. If you want institutional press organizations to be treated differently than an individual blogger, or even a journalist wannabe, then legislation (perhaps even licensing) is required.

      I imagine that granting or refusing a press license to certain institutions to be hugely divisive.

      1. Archibald Tuttle, demands that bloggers get every press privilege are not made thoughtfully, nor even seriously. They come from people who want to hamper the institutional press. They want the institutional press beaten down to match the state suffered by bloggers, typing away and supposing they practice journalism. Most bloggers (some here are exceptions) don’t gather news, and they want others to stop.

        On the flip side, no one ever demands that each blogger be allowed to join the institutional press, and get press privileges that way. That demand never happens because nothing prevents doing it. You can even start your own press institution. Anyone can. Press freedom is already alike for everyone.

        Repeated demands for equality which already exists come from hostility to press freedom. Goaded by standards they remain too uncommitted to match, internet bloggers try to force press practices down to whatever level they can match without effort. Most of them never gather news, publish nothing but their own idiosyncratic opinions, and get justifiably shunned. Of course they want change. Opposing press freedom is their heedless notion of how to go about it.

  10. “What happens if lots of people wear what appears to be a “professional … press pass” or “distinctive clothing,” precisely because that authorizes them not to disperse when ordered to do so?”

    That was the question that immediately occurred to me, too: Isn’t that predictably going to result in the riotersprotesters all dressing up in journalist costumes?

    The second thing that occurred to me is that it’s quite common for journalists who aren’t in tight with the protest organizers to be targeted for violence by the protesters, who don’t want their lootingpeaceful protest documented for some reason.

    This order doesn’t do undercover journalists any good, does it? So, the only journalists who get any protection either upfront or afterwards, are those who are on good enough terms with the organizers to avoid being attacked by the protesters?

    1. Darn, unclosed html.

      1. We get your point – you are too partisan to tell the difference between speech and violence.

        1. Who is this ‘we’?

          Brett has a perfectly cogent point – ‘mostly peaceful’ protesters have indeed violently attacked mainstream media reporters because they don’t want photographs taken that might allow them to be identified.

          1. ‘mostly peaceful’ protesters have indeed violently attacked mainstream media reporters because they don’t want photographs taken that might allow them to be identified.

            First, that’s not all he’s saying – he is conflating protesters with rioters broadly.

            Second, what you describe is not nearly as widespread as police harassing reporters.

            1. “what you describe is not nearly as widespread as police harassing reporters”

              FWIW, not my sense of things.

              1. But you do get that being attacked by rioters who are in the middle of a riot and being attacked by cops just for being press are different categories of violence and danger, right? Journalists really should not be at risk from BOTH.

              2. Just do a web search. Blame it on liberal bias if you want, but police harassing and even arresting reporters during the protests this year has been widespread.

                1. “Just do a web search. ”

                  Sure, it’s happened. As has Antifans going after mainstream reporters because they don’t want to be ID’d from coverage.

                  Here’s the thing – partisans on either side generally immerse themselves in a media bubble. Or maybe people who immerse themselves in a media bubble then become partisans, whichever. The two media bubbles commit different sins of omissions – in this case the left bubble under reports antifans going after reporters, and the right bubble under reports police going after journalists. And people from either bubble make the argument ‘just google and you can find my sources’. Well, sure, except I don’t have to do that search, I have already seen the sources from your bubble, because I watch both bubbles. ‘Ignore the stuff I haven’t seen and focus on what I have seen’ is not a persuasive argument from either side.

                  1. Except journalists eagerly follow and boost stories about their own getting harassed. And so just by following like CNN or CBS or whatever, you’re going to get both stories.

                    And guess which there are lots more of?

                    Cnn: Police harassing journalists: 1,400 results
                    Antifa harassing journalists: About 213 results

                    1. That’s some hard core science there. I tried to replicate:

                      police harassing journalists site:cnn.com gives me 4160 results
                      protesters harassing journalists site:cnn.com gives me 5780 results
                      antifa harassing journalists site:cnn.com gives 259

                      This was from a clean browser, no google login.

                      Using google search counts is … not a robust research method.

                    2. So, do YOU have statistics, since you’re claiming the police attacks are more common?

                    3. The data on this is not yet in enough for any kind of probative study. So yeah, I guess we’re all blowing hot air at each other in the end.

                      But I do find it incredible that y’all think the police have been kinder to journalists than have protesters.

                      In the same breath as Brett, at least, calling journalists shills for the rioters. Come on, man.

                    4. What I’m arguing is that the rioters have not been kind to journalists they don’t know to be on their side. So you don’t get a lot of them, it’s a very risky business that can put you in the hospital.

                      Journalists who wouldn’t be recognized by the rioters as friendlies have to do so undercover. This judge’s ruling gives undercover reporters no particular protection.

                      And, again, the word is “rioters”. I’m not playing along with this lie that events where windows are smashed and buildings looted are “protests”.

                      There were protests AND riots last year. Typically the former during the day, and the latter at night. Few people would have been confused about which they were attending, after the first few days.

        2. I was putting up chicken wire to keep the chickens out of our garden, and my fingers are covered in band-aids. Apparently chicken wire and peripheral neuropathy don’t mix well.

          No, I can tell the difference between speech and violence just fine. I can also tell that the media frequently lie about which side of that difference riots are on. Remember last year’s ‘mostly peaceful protests’ that caused over a billion dollars in property damage?

          I think at this point you know as well as anyone that the media are prone to calling riots “protests”, so long as they like the rioters’ politics. And protests, riots, if they don’t.

          Personally, I judge the difference by whether or not stuff is getting trashed, and people being attacked, not by who’s doing it.

          1. No, Brett. I don’t think the protests caused a lot of property damage.

            Because I don’t conflate the two.

            The rioters, despite what you lot say, get arrested and will be tried for their crimes.

            The protesters are committing not crime other than disagreeing with you.

            1. “I don’t think the protests caused a lot of property damage.”

              Is that because you think ‘billion’ is a small number, or that you think ‘billions’ is an overestimate?

              “$1–2 billion in insured damages in the United States (May 26–June 8, 2020”

              n.b. that’s for a 12 day period, and only insured damages.

            2. I don’t think the protests caused much property damage, either, because once you’re causing property damage on any significant scale, you’re not protesting anymore.

              You’re “rioting”.

              My point is simply that the media spent all last year calling actual riots, involving arson, smashing windows, massive looting and violence, “protests”.

              “The rioters, despite what you lot say, get arrested and will be tried for their crimes.”

              Bullshit.

              We’ve seen it over and over in the last year: Rioters arrested, then the local DA drops all charges and lets them go.

              1. if the charges were dropped, surely they weren’t actually rioters? Perhaps the police arrested protestors, not rioters, because the protesters were the threat to them, their power and immunity, not the rioters.

                Astonishing that people who fetisihise the violence represented by guns as equivalent to freedom balk at property damage in the face of such rampant abuse of power and authority.

              2. We’ve seen it over and over in the last year: Rioters arrested, then the local DA drops all charges and lets them go.

                No, we haven’t. You just think we have because you only believe stories that agree with your narrative.

            3. The rioters are NOT being prosecuted.

              1. OK. But you know all sorts of things that aren’t true, though.

                So I’m going to continue to go with the stories about rioters being prosecuted, including for nonsense like curfew violations.

                https://www.cnn.com/2021/01/08/us/dc-police-arrests-blm-capitol-insurrection-invs/index.html

                  1. In any other circumstances you would conclude that therefore the people arrested had committed no crime.

                    1. You arrest one person during a riot, and they don’t get charged, that’s a reasonable inference.

                      You arrest 194 people during a riot, and not one of them gets charged? Statistically, no longer a reasonable inference. That’s a DA who approves of the rioting.

                    2. Unless, Brett, the police were abusing their powers against protesters!

                    3. Or the police arrested protesters, not rioters.

        3. Quick questions: Which side’s partisans are fond of saying “silence is violence”? Which one believes offensive speech is a form of violence? Which one claims riot is a protected form of expression, and shouldn’t even be criticized because who are we to say how they express their outrage at oppression?

          I think we all know who is too partisan to distinguish speech and violence.

          1. First, the left doesn’t equate offensive speech with violence. Microaggressions suck, but beyond crazy twitter, you’re talking out of your hat.

            No one says rioting is protected expression, you yahoo.

            Second, don’t whattabout so hard. Brett did his usual anti-speech nonsense, and you trying to distract from it just shows where your priorities lie.

            1. No one says rioting is protected expression, you yahoo.

              This is not true. Go see on social media as they pass around memes of Spongebob Squarepants or Lisa Simpson explaining violent destruction and looting (straight up, not euphenmisms for anything) are perfectly reasonable expressions of upset at unjust power structures.

              1. ‘They’ doing a lot of work there.

                I could as easily ask which side is full of antisemetic and racist positions. But I won’t, because that’s dumb and nutpicking.

                Though as to which side wants to be able to run protesters over for blocking the street…well, that’s gotten passed as laws.

                1. “I could as easily ask which side is full of antisemetic and racist positions. But I won’t, because that’s dumb and nutpicking.”

                  You won’t, because we’d throw left-wing antisemites and racists in your face.

                  1. Brett, like it or not but the ‘Jews will not replace us’ Zionist Occupied Government bullshit is coming from the right these days.

                    The left is not clean in this, but y’all managed to capture the white supremacism crowd, and all that goes with it.

                    1. The actual right is the biggest supporter that Israel has.

                    2. Conflating Israel with Judaism in an attempt to ignore antisemitism in your party…

                      Well, that’s a pretty big fail there, Ed.

                    3. Are Reps Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib Democrats, or aren’t they?

                      In 2019, when a Congressional delegation was traveling to Israel, instead of traveling with their fellow members, they decided they’d travel with MITFAH, instead. And then attacked Israel for not admitting them in the company of a group linked to Palestinian terrorism.

                    4. Dr Ed…”the actual right”

                      LMAO

                      You put yourself in a corner, then complain about being cornered.

            2. “First, the left doesn’t equate offensive speech with violence.”

              That’s all you’ve got, straight up denial?

              When Is Speech Violence?

              But I suppose she’s a right-winger.

              1. A NYT opinion piece whose actual thesis is: “That’s why it’s reasonable, scientifically speaking, not to allow a provocateur and hatemonger like Milo Yiannopoulos to speak at your school. He is part of something noxious, a campaign of abuse. There is nothing to be gained from debating him, for debate is not what he is offering.”

                Do better.

                1. Why do I need to do better than an actual claim of speech being violence?

            3. > the left doesn’t equate offensive speech with violence.

              The *@& it doesn’t.

              If you want credibility try not to lie in your opening salvo.

              1. Well, that’s a great argument.

                Care to try and engage rather than just declare?

                1. You first. Prove that the NYT essay that Brett Bellmore doesn’t say what it clearly says. Prove that https://medium.com/@jakepagano/the-language-that-drinks-blood-toni-morrison-reminds-us-hate-speech-is-violence-13e1aa9bfcc5 doesn’t say what it clearly says. (More replies incoming, to work around the moderation of comments with more than one hyperlink.)

                2. Next prove that one of the people interviewed at https://www.vox.com/2020/6/30/21300294/bipoc-what-does-it-mean-critical-race-linguistics-jonathan-rosa-deandra-miles-hercules doesn’t assert that “lack of nuance is a violence.”

                3. When you’re done proving that those words don’t mean what they say, go on and prove that https://www.currentaffairs.org/2020/06/why-property-destruction-isnt-violence also doesn’t say what it clearly says: That riot is not “violence”. Prove that it doesn’t implicitly say that police are not human, because it wants us to exclude attacks on police officers from the definition of “violence”.

          2. Which side’s partisans love parading around armed as performative opposition to tyranny while the police brutalise protestors who are actually standing up to tyrannical behaviour? Now, that’s a form of violent silence.

  11. All animals are equal. Some are more equal than others.
    Why no discussion of the separation of powers issues with a judge telling the police, prior to arrest, who they can’t arrest.
    We are being governed, badly, by bad lawyers and worse judges.

  12. The only way a “Press Pass” works is if you have an enclosed area with controlled access. The riots in the last year have many examples of “Press” actively participating, only to revert to their “Press” roll when threatened with arrest.
    In public situations the press has the right to be anyplace the general public is allowed. This order turns that on it’s head.

    1. Mike 45, in non-public venues under its control, government has power (and discretion) to admit some people but not others, especially if all cannot reasonably be accommodated. It is not a rule of government that if it admits one, it must admit all.

      I mentioned the example of reporting on proceedings before the Supreme Court, where government has chosen to exercise that power indirectly. But elsewhere, it is direct government power which makes the choice. Who gets embedded with troops in a war zone, for instance. Which scholars may be admitted to certain archives—or even know where they are. Whether reporters, and sometimes which reporters, may be admitted to disorderly or dangerous places under heightened government control.

  13. Lathering the rubes
    A right-wing law professor
    Lathering his rubes

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