Bloomberg Spokesperson Admits Arresting Credentialed Reporters, Reading The Awl

Stu Loeser, Mayor Bloomberg’s spokesperson, just sent out a note regarding an Awl report listing the names of reporters arrested

Stu Loeser

Stu Loeser, Mayor Bloomberg’s spokesperson, just sent out a note regarding an Awl report listing the names of reporters arrested during the Occupy Wall Street protests. In the email, reprinted below, he goes on the attack, noting that only 5 of the 26 reporters arrested are credentialed by the city, almost as if to distinguish between the rights of credentialed and non-credentialed reporters.

And who were the actual, real, card-carrying, government certified reporters arrested? AP reporter Julie Walker and Patrick Hedlund from DNA Info were both issued Desk Appearance Tickets for Disorderly Conduct, while Paul Lomax of DNA Info and Karen Matthews and Seth Wenig, both of the AP, had their arrests for trespassing voided.

Full memo after the jump. Do enjoy, and, don’t forget: Bloomberg’s spokesperson reads The Awl. Be less stupid:


To:       Interested Parties
From:   Stu Loeser
Re:       Just 5 of the “26 arrested reporters” are actually credentialed reporters
Date:    Thursday, November 17, 2011

Like all of you, I’ve heard and read many reports of reporters who supposedly were wearing valid NYPD press credentials, yet allegedly encountered problems on the streets of New York. Like some of you, I had those stories in mind when I read The Awls’ rundown of “The 25 26 Arrested Reporters and What They Do.”  (In case you missed it, that piece, that piece is linked here.)

Not being familiar with many of the media outlets for which The Awl says these reporters work, I had the list of “26 arrested reporters” checked against the roster of reporters who hold valid NYPD press passes.

You can imagine my surprise when we found that only five of the 26 arrested reporters actually have valid NYPD-issued press credentials. Note that we didn’t check – and don’t really care for the sake of this exercise – if the reporter’s credential lists the media outlet for which he or she currently works.

One more thing. Of the five reporters with valid press credentials who were arrested, three were arrested for trespassing and had their arrest voided. As the Associated Press and others reported, there’s no doubt that these personnel – and others – were in fact trespassing.  There’s no question that protesters sliced open a chain link fence and tried to take over private property.

This report was published by the AP:

“Reporter Karen Matthews and photographer Seth Wenig of The Associated Press in New York were taken into custody along with about eight other people after they followed protesters through an opening in a chain-link fence into a park, according to an AP reporter and other witnesses. Matthew Lysiak of the Daily News of New York was also arrested at the park, according to witnesses and the Daily News.”

Thanks for taking the time to read this.


Update 9:59 p.m. Stu Loeser responded to our post from his @stuloeser Twitter account (and also made some very helpful copy editing suggestions!).

Also, @Megan, it’s not “AS IF” I’m distinguishing btw “credentials and non-credentialed reporters” (sic), that’s exactly what I am doing

& @megan, you don’t have a press pass; that’s your option. But why should some random NYPD take your word that you’re press?

As a point of reference, the eligibility guidelines for NYC Press Credentials include:

Applicants must be a member of the media who covers, in person, emergency, spot or breaking news events and/or public events of a non-emergency nature, where police, fire lines or other restrictions, limitations, or barriers established by the City of New York have been set up for security or crowd control purposes, within the City of New York; or covers, in person, events sponsored by the City of New York which are open to members of the press.

Applicants also must submit one or more articles, commentaries, books, photographs, videos, films or audios published or broadcast within the twenty–four (24) months immediately preceding the Press Card application, sufficient to show that the applicant covered in person six (6) or more events occurring on separate days .


Bloomberg Spokesperson Admits Arresting Credentialed Reporters, Reading The Awl