Caught on camera: Republicans toss journalist


Minnesota’s Republican Party seems very camera-shy. Over the past several months Republicans have prevented journalists from recording their candidates at events. The latest incident was rather dramatic as Gavin Sullivan was tossed out of the Republican convention for district 42B for shooting video.

The UpTake’s Mike McIntee shows us Gavin Sullivan’s video and talks to another journalist who has been tossed out twice from Republican events.

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Here’s Gavin Sullivan, a citizen journalist, trying to cover the Minnesota Republican Convention for District 42 B. Watch what happens. Unfortunately it’s not an isolated incident. Over the past several months, Minnesota Republicans have repeated booted video journalists from their events.

This is Republican Congresswoman Michele Bachmann at a recent tax rally. You can see and hear her here because the rally was at the state capital. But you can’t see or hear what she said when shewas endorsed last month.That’s because the sixth district GOP banned all cameras and audio recording devices, including The Saint Cloud Times and Minnesota Public Radio.

The UpTake’s video volunteers have been booted from the party’s state convention in Blaine and a debate between Republican First Congressional candidates in Jackson, and the Republican First Congressional convention in Albert Lea. Kyle Potter, a Volunteer Journalist for The UpTake describes what happened to him.

“A few weeks ago, I got the assignment to go there and I emailed and called the person who was in charge of the event, the chair person for the first congressional district, and I got no response. So I figured, OK I’ll just go down there. I’ll talk to someone at the press credential table and we’ll see what happens.

“I went down. I didn’t see any press credential table so I walked in and I set up my camera. I filmed for awhile and I was told by the Sergeant-At-Arms that I have to register my camera. I asked him who to do that with, and he said that he would talk to the person who I emailed originally.

“The Sergeant-At-Arms comes back and says that I was denied access. And I asked why and he said there wasn’t any reason given. So I had to leave.

That’s kind of similar to another time when I was up in Blaine. I was doing pretty much the same thing. Before the event started I talked to the communications director at the Minnesota GOP and told him what I was doing there and said everything. And then later a guy aggressively approached me. That time it was aggressively approached me and said that I had to leave. And gave no reason. He didn’t identify who he was. He didn’t say why he could tell me to leave. I eventually asked him to go talk to the communications director and he came back and just said I have to leave.”

The DFL makes it a policy to allow press, including videobloggers to attend all of its conventions and debates. Republican Blogger Michael Brodkorb says it’s a policy “the Republicans should look at mirroring”.