Hmmmmmm. I don’t recall any incident in which a Bush administration official had a bodyguard manhandle a reporter, at the CIA or anywhere else. Can you imagine the media reaction if this had happened a year ago?
Following Leon Panetta’s confirmation hearing Thursday, several reporters approached the CIA director-designate in the hallway outside room G-50 in the Dirksen Building.
There, CongressDaily reporter Chris Strohm — upon asking a question — was physically restrained by a man who accompanied Panetta at hearings both days.
Strohm, when reached by phone Friday, said he was unsure of the man’s role.
“I felt this hand grab my right arm and push me aside,” Strohm said.
By his account, Strohm told the man, “Please don’t touch me” more than once. Eventually, the man let him go.
CQ’s Tim Starks objected when it happened, and later told Politico’s Michael Calderon that he’d never seen any journalist pushed around like that before. Strohm downplayed it later, telling Calderon that worse things had happened to him during his career, but apparently not when asking an American public official a question.
I can imagine how this would have been covered in the Bush administration. We would have heard about it on every broadcast channel. Keith Olbermann would have complained about Nazi tactics in silencing reporters. Media organizations would have called for Congressional investigation.
Now? Somehow I doubt the media will make a stink about it. After all, this is the president they helped elect and the Hope and Change they wanted.