Erik Wemple, Washington Post media critic, called out CNN contributor, April Ryan, along with the network for their silence about an incident that happened in August where Ryan’s bodyguard seemingly assaulted a TV journalist, that was invited, to her speaking engagement.
The video went viral as Ryan is one of the thorns in the side of the White House Press Secretaries over the past couple of years. Ryan has brought racism and antagonism with her line of questioning that has been deemed provoking and unprofessional.
Wemple called for CNN or Ryan to address the assault incident with a specific demand: “Speak now or relinquish your standing as First Amendment champions.”
Wemple wrong a stinging column, ripping both as “professional hypocrisy” for failing to explain, condemn, or apologize for the bodyguard roughly manhandling a member of the press. I watched the video and it and if the journalist was invited as he claim while being forced out, the organizers had to know he would bring a video camera to record the event. Another thing, if cameras were off-limits, I don’t think he would have set up his tripod and started filming.
Ryan’s bodyguard claims he has been getting death threats after the incident has also been charged with assault, theft, and harassment.
Wemple: “It’s one thing to hire a bodyguard to protect a freedom-of-press advocate from death threats. It’s another thing when the bodyguard undermines freedom of press on behalf of the freedom-of-press advocate.”
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Wemple also told his readers that he contacted CNN and Ryan to offer a public comment on the incident, and both refused to give him a satisfactory response.
Wemple: “Though Ryan is happy to light up CNN’s airwaves with outrage over the Trump administration’s heavy-handed actions vis-a-vis press access, what does she have to say when her own actions are in the mix? She called and requested to speak off the record. No thanks.”
Wemple is like a mad dog on this subject. He contacted CNN’s public relations team who also responded with silence regarding the assault.
Wemple: “The strategy here is to ignore the situation in the hopes that it will blow over. Such an outcome shouldn’t be furnished to CNN and Ryan, given the level of professional hypocrisy at hand.”
“Speak now or relinquish your standing as First Amendment champions.”
Let’s continue to watch this materialize. CNN is not that great with responding to being called out