When is public not public? When is a public proceeding of our government seen as a private proceeding? In the era of mobile videos that can make anything public recordable, where is the line drawn?
Take the case of Oscar-nominated filmmaker Josh Fox, who yesterday was arrested by Congress Police to filming a public committee hearing on hydraulic fracturing. The Republican members of the committee cited the following:
“Personnel providing coverage by the television and radio media shall be currently accredited to the Radio and Television Correspondents’ Galleries. The individual removed was not accredited by the House Radio and TV Gallery and had refused to turn off his camera upon request by Capitol Police."
The hearing, as with all other hearings, is available on the Internet. So what is the issue here? Is it because Fox is trying to cover an issue that he feels deserves more attention? That seems American to us, and if someone else doesn't like what he is doing in a public government hearing, does that provide the cause for an arrest? Here is Fox speaking last night.