It’s important to take this opportunity to highlight the St. Cloud Times Editorial Board’s editorial chastizing the Minnesota Legislature’s attempt to limit reporters’ ability to cover the news. The DFL majority’s attempt to limit where reporters could go and what they could take pictures of was so heavyhanded that, according to Dave Aikens’ and Marty Owings’ interview on the Final Word yesterday, the House passed a resolution “essentially saying they believed in the First Amendment.”
One of the things that the Times’ editorial talked about was KNSI radio talk show host Dan “The OX” Ochsner having his credentials revoked:
On the Senate side, local conservative radio personality Dan â€œThe Oxâ€ Ochsner had the DFL-led Senate deny him annual media credentials this session despite having held them several other sessions.
Capitol folks have tried to justify these actions on themes such as â€œnot enough room,â€ â€œweâ€™re updating our rulesâ€ and â€œthey donâ€™t regularly cover the Capitol.â€
Sorry, but they are missing the point. Legislators are conducting the publicâ€™s business, not the mediaâ€™s business. The only rules needed are those that embrace openness, no matter who is asking for it.
I’d ask people to follow this link to listen to King Banaian’s interview of Mr. Ochsner on the subject. When you find this blurb:
Saturday February 28, 2009
The Final Word Hr 1 With The Northern Alliance
King talks with KNSI conservative talk show host Dan Ochsner, who had his press pass to the Minnesota State Senate revoked, for mysterious reasons by its DFL leadership.
Once you locate that description you have the choice of either picking the podcast or the listen now option.
Whichever option you choose to listen to the interview, you’ll be irate when you hear what the DFL majority is attempting to do and the excuses they’re using to hide behind. Here’s what the Times said about the DFL majority’s excuses:
Sorry, but they are missing the point. Legislators are conducting the publicâ€™s business, not the mediaâ€™s business. The only rules needed are those that embrace openness â€” no matter who is asking for it.
TRANSLATION: You work for us and WE DEMAND TRANSPARENCY. This isn’t negotiable. If the DFL majority needs to makes adjustments, then it’s time for them to make the adjustments ASAP. We have a right to reporters having extensive access to information that affect our lives.
When Tony Sertich attempted to restrict reporters’ movements, Mary Lahammer, Esme Murphy and Tom Hauser let it be known that that wouldn’t be tolerated but it would be reported. It didn’t take long for Majority Leader Sertich to backpedal from his initial position.
It’s time that the DFL majorities in the House and Senate stopped trying to restrict reporters’ movements. It’s time that they film all of their proceedings so the public can watch each committee hearing, whether it’s during session or if it’s during one of their unproductive out-of-session hearings.
That’s our demandment and it isn’t negotiable.