Capitol Hill reporters took to Twitter on Tuesday to complain about having to go through a metal detector to cover the Senate’s impeachment trial of President Donald Trump.
The Radio-TV Correspondents Association of Capitol Hill released a statement, saying they were “vehemently opposed” to the decision to install metal detectors. (RELATED: China Is Buying Influence In American Media, Does It Impact How They Cover The Communist Power?)
The RTCA Executive Committee supports the Standing Committee of Correspondents on being opposed to magnetometers being installed inside the Senate Press Gallery during the impeachment trial. pic.twitter.com/ohLpEifCeb
— RTCA Capitol Hill (@RTCACapitolHill) January 21, 2020
Adam Jentleson, a former deputy chief of staff to long-time Democratic Nevada Sen. Harry Reid, used words such as “chilling” to describe the installation of metal detectors in the halls of Congress.
“Chilling. This is where many of the reporters who cover the Senate work,” Jentleson said. “The door is where they can step from their desks into the gallery overlooking the Senate floor. Now a police officer is stationed in their work space and they have to pass a magnetometer to get to the floor.”
Chilling. This is where many of the reporters who cover the Senate work. The door is where they can step from their desks into the gallery overlooking the Senate floor. Now a police officer is stationed in their work space and they have to pass a magnetometer to get to the floor. https://t.co/u4pdTb4UR8
— Adam Jentleson ???????????? (@AJentleson) January 21, 2020
New York Times White House Correspondent and CNN political analyst Michael D. Shear called the arrangements an “ominous moment for the press and democracy.”
Four senate police officers just marched into the Senate Press Gallery to begin manning the metal detector that reporters will be required to pass through if we want to watch the impeachment proceedings. An ominous moment for the press and democracy.
— Michael D. Shear (@shearm) January 21, 2020
Kansas City Star Washington correspondent Byron Lowry claimed the metal detectors were “not for security but meant solely to prevent people from tweeting or filing stories during the trial.”
Note reporters already got through a metal detector/security scan every morning before entering the Capitol. This addition is not for security but meant solely to prevent people from tweeting or filing stories during the trial.
— Bryan Lowry (@BryanLowry3) January 21, 2020