Friday, May 08, 2020

CORANOVIRUS: Knox County, Tenn. Discriminates Against Science Reporter for Doing His Job. (WaPo)

The Mayor of Knox County, Tenn. is a Republican professional wrestler, whose response to First Amendment protected activity is bullying, like the President of the United States, DONALD JOHN TRUMP.  It is illegal content discrimination to retaliate against a news reporter.

From The Washington Post:

10:23 p.m.

Tenn. county bars reporter from pandemic briefing after article scrutinized health department

A Tennessee science reporter was barred Friday from participating in a county’s daily coronavirus briefing, a day after publishing an article scrutinizing gaps in information about how officials are gauging readiness to reopen.
Vincent Gabrielle, of the Knoxville News Sentinel, was blocked from joining Knox County’s video conference call. The briefings are live-streamed for the public, and reporters are typically able to ask questions through a Zoom connection.
County spokesman Mike Donila told The Post, “We allowed Mr. Gabrielle’s boss [executive editor Joel Christopher] into the Zoom meeting. All of Mr. Gabrielle’s questions were answered. We emailed the answers and posted them on the health department’s website. We encourage Mr. Gabrielle to ask more questions.”
Gabrielle will be allowed to participate in Monday’s briefing, Donila said.
Donila earlier told the News Sentinel he barred Gabrielle because of “unprofessional behavior directed toward the health department and his inaccurate reporting that has been constantly riddled with half-truths, missing facts and a constant false narrative.”
The backlash came shortly after Gabrielle’s Thursday story headlined, “Knox County Health Department won’t share targets behind roadmap for reopening.” 
Gabrielle wrote that local officials have not explained what goes into green color codes signaling the county is on track to proceed with reopening measures.
“Without clear criteria it’s impossible to determine what’s a success and what’s a failure,” Gabrielle wrote. “Knox News asked several experts in epidemiology and risk communication to evaluate the system, and all said they were unable to figure out the health department’s benchmarks from looking at its website.”
With more than 425,000 residents, Knox is the third most-populous county in Tennessee. Since September 2018, the county’s mayor has been Glenn Jacobs (R), better known as pro wrestler Kane.
By Steven Goff

No comments: