Reporter John Donnelly of CQ Roll Call says he was “manhandled” by Federal Communications Commission security guards and kicked out of the building for asking a question, NY Daily News reports.
Reporter John Donnelly said he asked FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly questions away from a podium, which led to being followed, pinned as the commisioner walked by, according to a release from the National Press Club.
After being kicked out, Donnelly tweeted:
“.@FCC guards manhandled me, forced me out of building when I tried to ask @AjitPaiFCC & @mikeofcc questions.”
Donnelly, chair of the National Press Club’s Press Freedom Team, said guards pinned him against the wall with their backs as O’Rielly walked by.
“I could not have been less threatening or more polite,” Donnelly said in the NPC statement. “There is no justification for using force in such a situation.”
NPC President Jeff Ballou condemned the action in a statement.
“Donnelly was doing his job and doing it with his characteristic civility. Reporters can ask questions in any area of a public building that is not marked off as restricted to them. Officials who are fielding the questions don’t have to answer. But it is completely unacceptable to physically restrain a reporter who has done nothing wrong or force him or her to leave a public building as if a crime had been committed.”
During Thursday’s FCC meeting, officials voted to overturn regulations on net neutrality, a boon for media consolidation and threat to startup companies.
(image via C-SPAN screengrab)