KPNX reporter Melissa Blasius is a fixture at Arizona’s state legislature building, having covered local politics for the past seven years. So it came as a shock to Blasius today when she and a photographer were blocked from entering the state house chamber.
Blasius, along with photojournalist Ed Ayala, were at the state legislature building working on a story about a minimum wage bill that was up for a vote. After gaining admittance to the house floor earlier in the day, Blasius and Ayala were blocked from re-entering the area by the House Speaker’s news spokesman, Rey Torres.
“When we attempted to re-enter the chamber, Torres told us (to my great surprise) that we had to scan state-government-issued badges to re-enter,” Blasius recounted. “When we could only produce our company-issued media credentials, he forced us to leave the area.”
Torres then took Blasius and Ayala to the head of security. While Blasius tried to find out why they were being blocked from the floor, Ayala recorded this video…
“I guess he just wanted to individually ruin our days when we were on deadline trying to gather the news,” Blasius concluded.[Via Phoenix New Times]