Should politicians be allowed to restrict media access to events?
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Should politicians be allowed to restrict media access to events?

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The debate over freedom of the press flared up again when a volunteer from President Donald Trump's advance team blocked a photojournalist from taking a picture of a protester being led out of a recent event. On the other side of the partisan divide, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez also caught flack for refusing to allow the press to attend a recent campaign event. Some argue politicians are within their rights to exclude the press from their events. Others say they areinhibiting a free press. What do you think?

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An AP News photojournalist caught the photo of the Trump volunteer blocking another photojournalist's camera lens as a protester was removed from the event. 

A volunteer at Donald Trump’s Indiana rally has been caught trying to block a news photographer’s lens at an event where the US president decried “political censorship”.
The man attempted to obscure the journalist’s view of a protester while Mr Trump paced on stage, waiting for the interloper to be led away.

Some could argue that because it is an event put on by President Trump and his administration, the campaign has the right to determine who is allowed to attend and what they are allowed to photograph.

Some journalists were quick to point out the irony of President Trump decrying what he sees as censorship by the media, while also blocking that very same media from reporting stories to the public.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the upstart New York Democrat, recently faced criticism for refusing to allow the press to attend a town hall. Ocasio-Cortez tweeted the decision was made to protect her constituents. 

Our community is 50% immigrant. Folks are victims of DV, trafficking, + have personal medical issues.
This town hall was designed for residents to feel safe discussing sensitive issues in a threatening political time.
We indicated previously that it would be closed to press.
...Additionally, with this town hall non-story: it was designed to protect + invite vulnerable populations to PUBLIC discourse: immigrants, victims of domestic abuse, and so on.
We indicated previously that the event would be closed to press. Future ones are open.

Some critics of blocking the press say its simply impractical—reporters can pretty easily sneak their way into events. Additionally, it draws negative attention to the politicians, something they ostensibly don't want. Per Politico

I’m pretty convinced that the press is part of the public, but I’m enough of a libertarian to be sympathetic to people like Ocasio-Cortez who want to control the gate for campaign listening tours. If she wants to hold a meeting with supporters without reporters (and it’s not an official government meeting) and can pull it off, more power to her. The press corps’ sense of entitlement doesn’t guarantee them automatic invitations to privately funded affairs, even if the subject is campaign politics. But I don’t see how an organizer of a mass event can hope to keep reporters out of such sessions unless they maintain an accurate database of the facial-signature of every member of the Fourth Estate. Even then, an enterprising news outlet could send an intern who hadn’t been scanned into the database to circumvent the blackout. It’s a losing war for a candidate.
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