The mainstream media in Ohio (specifically around Cincinnati) seem to have latched onto the story that ThinkProgress broke by showing the lengths some Congressmen will go to avoid looking bad on YouTube. Well, Steve Chabot just made himself look a whole lot worse with these sleazy tactics. They seized citizen journalists' cameras in front of news cameras.
Now Chabot is accusing ThinkProgress of having organized the protest to make him look bad. TP has found an unlikely defender in the form of that other TP, the tea party.
Chabot didn’t just take flak for his filming crackdown from the left. Tea Party Nation founder Judson Phillips discussed the matter in an article entitled “America’s dumbest Republican Congressman“:
I don’t know any other way to put this. Chabot is a moron. First, you cannot confiscate the property of a private citizen without a warrant or some other due process. Second, and I will type this slowly just in case Chabot is reading this so he will understand this. PHOTOGRAPHY IS NOT A CRIME.
If you go in public, you can expect to be photographed and recorded on video. Perhaps Chabot should go back and read the Constitution.
Here is the report and video from WLWT in Cincinnati. Below the fold are the original YouTube videos by ThinkProgress and ProgressOhio which have caused this commotion, and that Chabot will likely regret.
(WLWT) NORTH AVONDALE -- A meeting between Rep. Steve Chabot and constituents on Monday included confrontations over cameras at the event.
Two protesters had their cameras taken from them by a Cincinnati police officer at the event at the North Avondale Recreation Center. When one pulled out a camera phone to shoot a photo, he was escorted to the back of the room.
The officer pointed out that a sign had been placed at the door to the meeting stating that cameras weren't allowed, while the protesters said that it was a public meeting space and they had a right to use cameras.
Protesters complained that unlike previous Chabot events, the public was not allowed to speak, but had to submit questions in writing that Chabot would answer.