Safe Mode: On
VA seizes reporter's tape - while doing a story on poor treatment by the VA

This a pretty remarkable story:

Last Tuesday night, [public radio reporter David Schultz] was covering a public event at the VA Hospital in Washington, D.C. While interviewing one of the veterans about the poor treatment he was receiving at the hands of the VA, [Gloria Hairston, an internal communications specialist with the United States Department of Veterans Affairs] demanded that Schultz stop recording the interview and hand over his recording equipment.

"She said I wouldn't be allowed to leave," Schultz tells WTOP.

At first he refused. But after being surrounded by armed police officers who stood between him and the exit, he looked for a compromise.

"I became worried that I was going to get arrested," Schultz says.

Schultz convinced Hairston that all she really needed to confiscate was the memory card to his recorder, rather than all of his equipment. While this was going on, many of the veterans from the meeting had come out to watch the confrontation.

One of those veterans, an amputee in a wheelchair, approached Schultz and asked him for his phone number.

"I started to give it to him and then the woman {Hairston} became irate, she said you can't give him your phone number. You have to give me all of your equipment, or I'm going to get ugly. She used the phrase 'get ugly,'" Schultz says.

Like any good reporter, Schultz stood his ground and called his boss for direction. Longtime newsman Jim Asendio is the news director for WAMU.

"I told him to give them the flash card and get out of there," Asendio says. "I didn't want this to get out of hand."

Schultz reluctantly handed over the memory card from his recorder.

A message left with the VA press office wasn't immediately returned.

Source: http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0409/VA_seizes_reporters_video.html


Click to view image: 'va'

Added: Apr-11-2009 Occurred On: Apr-7-2009
By: wet501
In:
News
Tags: Veteran, VA, Reporter, rights, constitution, illegal, seizure
Location: Washington, District of Columbia, United States (load item map)
Views: 5838 | Comments: 13 | Votes: 1 | Favorites: 0 | Shared: 0 | Updates: 0 | Times used in channels: 1
You need to be registered in order to add comments! Register HERE