When KSTP-TV’s Tom Hauser had a complaint or two about the daily press briefings conducted by the Minnesota Department of Health, he took to Twitter earlier this week to unload. I compiled a bunch of those tweets in here. Tom noted somewhere in his tweets that he hasn’t been blacklisted. I have.
MDH included me on the press briefing conference call notices and responded to my questions by email until April 27. Then they cut me off. They have refused to tell me why. They have failed to respond to any of my several inquiries. Something happened. I don’t know what it is.
It seems to have had something to do with the questions I was asking. Working on a story about my experience, however, the Washington Free Beacon’s Collin Anderson elicited a statement from MDH to the effect that they only allow “professional journalists” on the briefing. And yet I was included until April 27. Collin’s story about my experience is here. I wrote about Collin’s story here.
I think my blacklisting by MDH is illegal and have retained counsel to do something about it. Theresa Bevilacqua of Minneapolis’s Dorsey & Whitney law firm has agreed to represent me. Theresa is chair of Dorsey’s Minneapolis trial group. She has enlisted the assistance of Dorsey associate Ian Blodger on my case.
Theresa filed the complaint in federal court late yesterday afternoon. The complaint sets forth the facts as I know them in a straightforward fashion. I have embedded it at the bottom of this post.
By the way, notwithstanding MDH’s disparagement of me, I have been accredited as a reporter by the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota, where my case is venued. A photo of my current press pass is above. Whatever happens with the daily MDH press briefings, I shouldn’t have any problem reporting on my own case. It makes a newsworthy sidebar to the daily press briefings.
Scott Johnson serves on the board of directors of Alpha News