Monday, November 21, 2011

The Police are Hard of Hearing

Either they are hiring deaf cops in NY City or the Constitutional protection of the "free press" isn't worth the paper it is written on...

I would say it is pretty obvious that option #2 is in effect in America. The press is "free" to report glowing stories about "job creators" and the heroic efforts of Republicans to control deficits. But when it comes to civil society and basic rights, the Constitution is a some relic from the past that nobody is interested in despite all the claims by the political right that they are "guided" by the Constitution.

If you are curious about just how "easy" it is to get a press pass so that you can try to exercise your so-called "rights" in America, here is an article in the New York Observer that lays out some of the details and frustrations of the "process". As she points out, the law "requires":
Applicants also must submit one or more articles, commentaries, books, photographs, videos, films or audios published or broadcast within the twenty–four (24) months immediately preceding the Press Card application, sufficient to show that the applicant covered in person six (6) or more events occurring on separate days.
But to meet that requirement:
According to the last paragraph, you have to demonstrate coverage as an uncredentialed reporter in order to get credentialed. So the only way to comply with the law is to have previously broken the law repeatedly.
Ah... the joys of a bureaucratic mind. You can get a job if you can prove that you are presently employed. Meanwhile, we'll beat you about the ears for being lazy and unwilling to work because you are unemployed. That's the reality for 25 million unemployed in the US. Obviously the same screwy "bureaucratic rules" apply to getting "press credentials". First you need to be credentialed and previously covered 6 news events. This makes the insiders safe, but it create a Kafkaesque nightmare for anybody outside the system.

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