Citing Viral Trump Video, Richard Blumenthal Says Threatening or Attacking Journalists Should Be Federal Crime
Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) told reporters that events like the violent viral video that was shown at President Donald Trump’s Florida resort support the need for his proposal to make threatening or attacking members of the press a federal crime.
On Tuesday, Blumenthal told reporters that he would be reintroducing a version of his 2018 bill making it a federal crime to threaten or attack journalists.
“We know from the incidents that have occurred in the past, and in fact some of these attacks on journalists have been fatal, that there is a segment of the population that feels an antipathy toward the press that they express verbally in threats, and also at the extreme, physically, in direct attacks on the press,” Blumenthal said.
“So what we have to address is the continuing threat of physical violence, whether by guns or other means, against the press that may intimidate them in their vital newsgathering operation,” he continued.
“Now I offered this bill last session, before any of these videos surfaced,” Blumenthal said, referencing S.2967, the “Journalist Protection Act.”
“It is a priority for me to protect newsgathering operations no matter what their form, and the act that we are proposing would in fact establish a federal crime when someone threatens or attacks anyone doing fact gathering or news operations,” Blumenthal said, adding that “it would be punishable, if it’s bodily injury, by up to 3 years, serious bodily injury up to 6 years, and a fine.”
“And the news gathering is broadly defined to include book-writing, magazine, obviously photography, any kind of media that involves communication with the public,” he added.
The video that was shown at Trump’s resort depicts Trump massacring political and media opponents, using a scene from the film Kingsman: The Secret Service. The video was shown at a conference by the pro-Trump American Priority group.
Watch the clip above, via ABC News.
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