Vice President Mike Pence’s staff has threatened to retaliate against a reporter for sharing an email sent to him by Pence’s office asking members of the press to wear a mask during an official visit to Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.
Although it is common for courtrooms in the United States to limit the use of cameras and recording equipment during criminal proceedings, the Maryland statute is peculiar in that it applies even to audio recordings produced by the courts and available for public use.
On April 28th, Sean Hannity, a Fox News host, threatened to sue The New York Times over a column that linked a Brooklyn bar owner’s death from coronavirus to Hannity’s comments that downplayed the seriousness of the pandemic.
“To allow automatic warrantless seizures of bystanders’ cell phones containing recordings of police interactions without any evidence of exigency would deeply chill the First Amendment right to record, as the public simply would not exercise this constitutional right out of fear that doing so would authorize law enforcement to seize one’s phone and hold it indefinitely,” the complaint reads.
When Collins and another reporter refused to swap seats, the White House official allegedly told the reporters that the matter would be handled by the Secret Service.
“The public health crisis provides authoritarian governments with an opportunity to implement the notorious ‘shock doctrine’ – to take advantage of the fact that politics are on hold, the public is stunned and protests are out of the question, in order to impose measures that would be impossible in normal times,” Reporters Without Borders Secretary-General Christophe Deloire said in a statement.
The suit contends that religious groups should be allowed to gather in person “regardless of the number of participants,” if they agree to “adequate social distancing.”
"While public safety is certainly part of any reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions...we are very concerned that this antiquated 'avigation' law is being used in an arbitrary and capricious manner to chill newsgathering efforts to report on a matter of grave public concern," Mickey Osterreicher, the general counsel for the National Press Photographers Association, said in a statement.