I know I often talk about the death of the media, but sometimes it is also the murder of the media, and this time amply be-chinned #MoscowMitch’s fingerprints are all over it, and he didn’t even try to hide it.
Roll Call (I know, don’t come @ me) tells us:
The Senate sergeant-at-arms and Capitol Police are launching an unprecedented crackdown on the Capitol press corps for the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, following a standoff between the Capitol’s chief security officials, Senate Rules Chairman Roy Blunt and the standing committees of correspondents.
The purpose of the crack-down, you see, is to protect the Senators and the building itself. They don’t say from what potential threat, but you know:
But I digress.
When the articles of impeachment are delivered to the Senate, a procession full of pomp and circumstance, just one video camera and no still photographers will be allowed to document the historic moment. No audio recording at all will be permitted, leaving radio reporters empty-handed…
During the trial, a single press pen will be set up on the second floor of the Senate, where lawmakers enter and exit the chamber. Reporters will be confined to the pen, unable to move with senators. No movement will be allowed outside the corrals, and reporters and photographers will need to be escorted to and from the pen…
Credentialed members of the media, who go through security screening to enter the Capitol each day, will be screened a second time to enter the Senate chamber to watch the trial proceedings. Magnetometers will be set up in the Senate Daily Press Gallery, requiring reporters to enter the chamber one by one after being cleared by Capitol Police operating the machine.
This has the potential to cause delays and shape coverage of the impeachment trial itself. If reporters cannot enter and exit the chamber swiftly when news breaks or something important happens, it will likely become more convenient to simply watch the trial on television or the internet.
Even on a typical day, electronic devices are banned from the Senate chamber’s upper galleries where the press can watch proceedings. That results in a predictable pattern where phone-less reporters quietly hustle out of the chamber doors when a vote is gaveled closed or a major speech concludes, rushing to their phones and laptops to tweet and send the news to their editors.
Magnetometers will severely curb this breaking news practice, likely sending reporters to their laptops to watch the historic trial, rather than taking it in firsthand.
So to report breaking news, they will have to go through something like a TSA checkpoint and then return through something like a TSA checkpoint.
So for what it’s worth, there will be very limited live coverage, and chances are good that much of America will be in the dark, but especially the base.