So another press conference where WSPD on-air talent gets physically barred from a public press conference...except that this time, the Mayor cancels the public press conference and opts, instead, for individual interviews.
(Toledo Blade story here. WSPD is covering this latest incident as a news item, but doesn't have a story listed on their website, yet. 13ABC has story and video here.)
I guess the question some would have is this: does the fact that you're an on-air talent versus an individual specifically assigned to gather news (reporter) make a difference when it comes to first-amendment rights of a free press?
My initial reaction is that the news agency gets to decide who collects their information - not the elected official. And it would be a bad precedent to allow any elected official to determine who can or cannot attend a public press conference, especially when such determination is based upon the elected official's opinion of objectivity.
Further, I have no problem with not acknowledging questions from specific individuals in the audience, regardless of who they represent. If Carty doesn't want to answer questions from Kevin Milliken, he doesn't have to. But that doesn't give him the authority to restrict access to a public event in a public building.
My fear is that the only way this will be resolved is with a lawsuit...and no matter who wins such a contest, the public loses.