By Duncan Smith
Because the First Amendment’s press protections should apply universally regardless of media competition, Fox News has issued a statement condemning the arrest of a CNN crew covering the Minneapolis riots following the death of George Floyd.
“Fox News Channel has always supported the First Amendment and this instance is no different,' said the network in a statement, reported The Hill. 'We denounce the detainment of the CNN crew and stand with them in protecting the right to report without fear or favor.'
MSNBC issued a similar statement, The Daily Wire reported.
'We condemn the arrest and detention of a crew of @CNN journalists who were simply doing their jobs in a tough situation on the ground in Minneapolis. This is a time when the work of journalists continues to be necessary to inform and educate the public,” the network said.
'Any infringement on press freedom flies in the face of all of our freedoms and should not be condoned. We support and stand with our colleagues,' said the network.
The CNN crew captured the arrest on video. The crew clearly can be seen trying to cooperate with and be accommodating to state police officers when suddenly, the broadcast correspondent is cuffed.
— CNN (@CNN) May 29, 2020
The Daily Wire notes further:
During the arrest, as the crew members were taken away from the scene, CNN's live coverage reported that the state police accused the crew of not moving after they were told to do so. While it's not clear what happened before the video, a crew member can be heard at the beginning of the video expressing their willingness to relocate.
'We can move back to where you'd like, we can move back to where you'd like here. We are live on the air at the moment,' said a crew member, speaking to an officer who cannot be heard well.
'This is the four of us, we are one team,' he said, noting that the state police can 'put us back where you want us, we were getting out of your way, just let us know.'
Minnesota State Police released the crew about an hour later, claiming in a statement that officers were not certain of their identity.
'In the course of clearing the streets and restoring order at Lake Street and Snelling Avenue, four people were arrested by State Patrol troopers, including three members of a CNN crew. The three were released once they were confirmed to be members of the media,' said the department.
In the course of clearing the streets and restoring order at Lake Street and Snelling Avenue, four people were arrested by State Patrol troopers, including three members of a CNN crew. The three were released once they were confirmed to be members of the media.
— MN State Patrol (@MnDPS_MSP) May 29, 2020
The Trump campaign blasted the arrest as well, stating that no one in power there seems to be in control.
Mayor Frey & Gov Walz have completely lost control in Minneapolis in a catastrophic display of failed leadership.
The city is on fire & they outrageously arrested a CNN crew.@realDonaldTrump called in DOJ to investigate George Floyd's death.
Clear-eyed justice must be served! https://t.co/QvA6zvYGuu
— Team Trump (Text TRUMP to 88022) (@TeamTrump) May 29, 2020
For his part, Walz took responsibility.
'A few minutes after hearing that, I was on a call with CNN President Jeff Zucker, who demanded to know what happened,' said Walz. 'I take full responsibility, there is absolutely no reason something like this should happen.'
'I have spent my time as governor highlighting the need to be as transparent as possible, and have the press here. I failed you last night in that,' he said, adding that 'the idea that a reporter would have been taken while another police action was in play, is inexcusable.'
'The issue here is trust. The community that's down there that's terrorized by this, if they see a reporter being arrested, their assumption is, is because somethings going to happen that they don't want to be seen,' said the governor. 'That is unacceptable. We will continue to strive to make sure that that accessibility is maintained.'
What’s interesting to note is that police were nowhere to be found earlier this week when rioters were looting stores and destroying property.
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