Erik Wemple, media critic for The Washington Post, called out CNN contributor April Ryan (shown above) — along with the network — for silence about an incident that happened in August.
In the incident, Ryan’s bodyguard seemingly assaulted a TV journalist who had been invited to her speaking engagement.
The video went viral. Ryan has been one of the thorns in the side of White House press secretaries over the past couple of years.
She’s brought an antagonism in her line of questioning that has been deemed provocative and unprofessional.
Wemple called for CNN or Ryan to address the assault incident with this specific demand: “Speak now or relinquish your standing as First Amendment champions.”
In Wemple’s stinging column, he ripped both Ryan and CNN for their “professional hypocrisy” in failing to explain, condemn, or apologize for the bodyguard’s roughly manhandling of a member of the press.
We watched the video; and if the journalist was invited as he claimed to be, the organizers had to know he would bring a video camera to record the event.
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Another thing: If cameras were off-limits, would this individual have set up his tripod and started filming?
Ryan’s bodyguard claims he has been getting death threats after the incident.
He has also been charged with assault, theft and harassment.
Wemple wrote, “It’s one thing to hire a bodyguard to protect a freedom-of-press advocate from death threats. It’s another thing when the bodyguard undermines freedom of press on behalf of the freedom-of-press advocate.”
#NEW on New video surfaces showing a bodyguard for CNN’s AprilDRyan trying to snatch the camera of a local journalist and assaulting him. The reporter was filming Ryan’s speech when the guard forcibly removed him and his camera. pic.twitter.com/ksrgaYLVuV
— Ex California Lady! (@QuinnLisaq) August 14, 2019
Wemple also told readers that he contacted CNN and Ryan to see if they wanted to offer a public comment on the incident; both refused to give him a satisfactory response.
Wrote Wemple, “Though Ryan is happy to light up CNN’s airwaves with outrage over the Trump administration’s heavy-handed actions vis-a-vis press access, what does she have to say when her own actions are in the mix? She called and requested to speak off the record. No thanks.”
Wemple also contacted CNN’s public relations team — which also responded with silence regarding the assault.
Said Wemple, “The strategy here is to ignore the situation in the hopes that it will blow over. Such an outcome shouldn’t be furnished to CNN and Ryan, given the level of professional hypocrisy at hand.”
“Speak now or relinquish your standing as First Amendment champions,” he also wrote.
Let’s continue to watch this materialize. CNN is not that great with responding to being called out by others, in our estimation.
This piece originally appeared in The Political Insider and is used by permission.
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