These confrontations between the media and public officials are happening more and more, and the public doesn’t know the half of it.
As the president of the New York State Associated Press Association, I am wearing a second hat in this incident. On Friday, our organization authorized me to release a statement condemning the actions of the Department of Corrections officers who interfered with the reporting of NewsChannel 13.
The entire attempt to enforce security restrictions on a prison with no prisoners that is closing in a manner of days is absurd, and NewsChannel 13’s crew deserves an apology, but I doubt they will get it.
Each state administration has become increasingly hostile toward the media. Gov Cuomo’s administration tries to obstruct any flow of information to the public at every turn. This is something that all New Yorkers should be concerned about.
I am always taken aback when so many support the government in these types of incidents. It is clear in the video that NewsChannel 13 reporter Mark Mulholland was respectful and agreed to move back to Grant Cottage to finish their report. They were denied, while other members of the public were allowed to proceed. Mulholland, a native of Whitehall, may be one of the most respected journalists in the region, and hardly someone who goes looking for a fight.
This is a frightening abuse of power by the Department of Corrections. There will be a story on this incident in Saturday’s newspaper and an editorial from The Post-Star on Sunday. We expect other newspapers will be writing their own stories and editorials as well.
The New York State Associated Press Association has condemned the actions as well and will be following up with letters to the Department of Corrections and governor. I will see to that.
- Ken Tingley