Sal Gentile describes five examples of encroaching fascism, including this.
The raids at Occupy Wall Street encampments across the country have earned media attention primarily for their glaring instances of police brutality. But they’ve also tested the boundaries of police authority when it comes to limiting media access to police operations. As many as 30 journalists have been arrested covering Occupy protests, including many who clearly identified themselves as credentialed members of the media. Officials in New York and L.A., for example, have also tried to tightly restrict media access to the Occupy encampments, setting up barricades far away from the actual raids and allowing only hand-picked journalists to go behind police lines.
Civil liberties advocates have decried these tactics as attempts to stifle media coverage of the raids. But the media blackouts are representative of a broader trend in law enforcement in recent years in which the police have been arresting citizens simply for recording official police actions in public places. Twelve states, for example, have adopted “eavesdropping” laws that prohibit people from videotaping police actions without the officers’ consent. And in California, police officials have openly stated that they will arrest people taking photographs without “apparent esthetic value” if those people seem suspicious. Several courts have ruled these policies unconstitutional.
If PBS, home of Sesame Street, is worried, we should all be worried. Short answer to the question in the headline — yes. –ed