The GOP’s health care bill, and who is and isn’t covered, is of great public interest at the moment, and it’s natural reporters will be asking Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price about it. It is, after all, his job. But a reporter in West Virginia was arrested for asking Price about his work.
Dan Heyman, a veteran reporter for the Public News Service, was reportedly attempting to ask Price and Kellyanne Conway, who was in attendance for reasons that aren’t entirely clear, if domestic violence would be a pre-existing condition under the overall bill Republicans are considering. Price didn’t answer, so Heyman did what any reporter would do: He kept asking. And that’s when things took a turn for the worse, and Heyman was arrested:
Authorities said while Secret Service agents were providing security in the capitol for Price and Kellyanne Conway, special counsel to the president, Heyman was “aggressively breaching” the agents to the point where they were “forced to remove him a couple of times from the area,” according to a criminal complaint.
This is unprecedented in several ways, not the least of which is that essentially Heyman stands accused of, well, talking too loudly to somebody. Furthermore, he’s a veteran reporter who’s been published across the nation and has been working for PNS in West Virginia for nearly a decade. Heyman, by all accounts, was doing what journalists do when somebody won’t answer their questions, follow them through a public space until they either get an answer or the person leaves public space. It’s not clear what, exactly, caused this arrest to happen, but it’s likely to mean Tom Price, and the Trump administration, will face even harder questions in the days ahead.
Here’s a PNS clip that doesn’t show any of the questioning taking place by Heyman. The clip’s caption claims he was arrested for “causing a disturbance by yelling [questions].”
— Public News Service (@PNS_News) May 9, 2017