Monday, January 19, 2009

Exclusive Favoritism


The NYPD excluded journalists in a public area of City Hall to benefit a connected news outlet

By Rafael Martínez Alequín

On the morning of Friday, January 16th, Mayor Bloomberg, held a news conference at the Blue Room honoring the first responders to help and save the passengers on the United Airline flight who crash on the Hudson River.
At the conclusion of the News conference NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly, accompanied with his security detail and Deputy Commissioner for communication (DCPI) Paul Browne were met by a television crew from channel 5. Commissioner Kelly proceeds to walk out of City Hall. Mr. Yvan Osorio, a freelance cameraman for RCN-TV, as well as this writer we were not allowed to cover the news conference.

Mr. Osorio was stopped by an officer from DCPI from taken images from a conference from police officers as the vestibule in City Hall. The DCPI officer told Mr. Osorio as well as this writer that that news conference was an “exclusive for channel 5." The DCPI officer proceeds to cover the lens of Mr. Osorio’s camera when he tried to take images of the conference. When I approach the officer and I asked for his name, he told me in a threatened matter the he don’t have to give me his named. Meanwhile, his boss, Paul Browne, was there witnessing the DCPI threatening Mr. Osorio. Mr. Ivan Osorio in at telephone conversation stated: “The DCPI officer put his face closed to mine very aggressive to intimidated me.”

The question is when an exclusive interview is done in a public area? Why the NYPD, office of Communication chooses a particular media in a public area for an exclusive? Perhaps, because the Police Commissioner son,Greg Kelly, is a co-host of the morning show for that same network. A network owned by media monopolizer Rupert Murdoch, who also has possession of WOR TV, The New York Post and half of the local weekly neighbor papers in the city.

In the meantime, the denizens of Room 9 in City Hall didn’t pay attention when the NYPD was in clear violation of the first amendments
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