Photo by Erik Schelzig

It’s bad enough that Tennessee lawmakers pounced on an Associated Press reporter for simply doing his job; documenting the most newswsorthy event to come out of the  house chambers Thursday afternoon after House Speaker Kent Williams collapsed on the floor from a diabetic episode.

But the fact that these assholes have now proposed a resolution to bar the reporter from the house chambers smacks of pure ignorance and arrogance.

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, everybody wants to be an editor. Hopefully, these self-appointed editors get voted out of office.

After Williams collapsed from low-blood sugar, AP reporter Erik Schelzig climbed up on his desk to photograph the melee surrounding the house speaker as several men hovered around him. It was the most natural thing for a journalist to do.

After all, there was no doubt this story would be going national. And there is no rule or law barring photography from the chambers.

But the roomful of politicians started yelling at Schelzig even though he was not physically interfering with the medical emergency. In fact, he was still inside the press box behind a glass partition.

Check out the video here. The action starts two minutes into the video.

A group of state troopers then escorted him out of the chambers as one politician called him a “piece of shit.”

And then democratic state representative Joe Towns drafted the following resolution, which proves these self-absorbed assholes are anything but true representatives of the people of Tennessee.

WHEREAS, during a medical emergency in the chamber of the House of Representatives, a member of the Capitol Hill Press Corps acted without thought and good
judgment in attempting to take photographs and thereby needlessly hindering emergency medical personnel from providing necessary medical care; now, therefore,
Hill Press Corps is urged to revoke Erik Schelzig’s designation as a member of the press to be admitted, pursuant to Rule 22 of the temporary rules of order of the House of Representatives of
the 106th General Assembly, to the House Chamber thirty (30) minutes prior to and during any floor session for the remainder of the second session of the 106th General Assembly.

Towns is a complete moron. And a liar. He almost sounds like a cop in the way he created his own version of the story.

He claims Schelzig was “hindering emergency medical personnel from providing necessary medical care” when it is obvious from the video that he was not interfering.

He also urges the “chair of the Capital Hill Press Corps” to revoke Schelzig’s credentials.

State Rep. Joe Towns

But guess who is the chair of the Capital Hill Press Corps?

You got it. Schelzig himself.

It should be Towns that is barred from the chambers or anything else involving common sense.

I mean really, starting a war with the press? Look where that got Sarah Palin. Fucking moron.

The incident reminds me of the story told by Los Angeles Times photographer Boris Yaro, who happened to witness the assassination of Robert Kennedy in 1968.

A woman, who claims she was also a photographer, grabbed his arm and ordered him not to take photos.

Yaro pulled away from her grasp and snapped the photo anyway.

“Goddamn it, lady. This is history!,” he told her.

Photo by Boris Yaro