A few hours ago, NBC's Kasie Hunt tweeted out the following:
There is exactly one reason for Senate Republicans to do this: They're afraid to own the legislation that strips 24 million Americans of their healthcare. After witnessing the nightmare House Republicans endured at their town halls, the Senate GOP has clearly decided that secrecy and speed are necessary to force the immensely unpopular ACA repeal through. Do I even need to mention the almost unlimited hypocrisy of hiding what they're doing after Republicans spent years screaming the lie that Obamacare was crafted behind closed doors (they had over 100 public hearings)?
Of course, Trump supporters will love this because "Hahaha! Liberal media bad!" Never mind that whole First Amendment freedom of the press thing, that's so last year! But if they stopped and thought about it for a second, they'd realize that refusing to let the press film Republicans refusing to answer questions doesn't actually stop the press from asking those questions. It does, however, keep anyone from airing the footage of Republicans fleeing reporters like rats. This is less about blocking the press than it is about Senate Republicans protecting their image ahead of what promises to be a brutal midterm election, especially after their voters find out just how badly the GOP screwed them over. Trump is immune to repercussions of his actions but Senate Republicans are not.
Since the first tweet went up, Hunt has been trying to confirm the validity of the ban without much luck:
A larger issue here is the casual assault on freedom of the press by the GOP. At some point, they're going to embrace the fact that there is no penalty to be paid by Republicans when it comes to attacking the press. Greg Gianforte got community service and a small fine for physically attacking a reporter. He also got a large bump in donations and the enthusiastic support of Montana voters and much of the right wing media. He also got a seat in Congress.
Maybe Republicans will back down this time and maybe they won't but either way, this is yet another one of those steps down that slippery slope we keep being told doesn't exist. The Washington Post recently changed its motto to "Democracy Dies in Darkness" and this new insult to American values by Republicans is what that looks like.
As of this writing, the official statement from the Senate Republicans says that no one authorized the ban but clearly someone put out the word. It's just as likely this was an "accident" that just happens to keep the media from filming Republicans at a critical time. Funny how that works out, no?
There are 510 days left to the 2018 elections.
- This article kills fascists
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