Corrupt Maricopa County blocked a Gateway Pundit writer from attending on-site election news conferences, a federal appeals court said on Tuesday, giving a victory to independent media. Hopefully, this will set a precedent for other reporters who want to serve the public with real news.
During their coverage of the 2022 midterm elections, which was highly suspicious, Jordan Conrandson of Gateway Pundit and also Ben Bergquam of Real America’s Voice and Frontline America were both harassed and removed from covering official AZ government press conferences as ballots were being transported and counted and reported upon.
Bergquam reported on his Twitter that he had received an official letter from the board of supervisors telling him that he was, like Conradson, not approved to cover the aftermath of the election.
From Frontline’s previous reporting about the situation:
“Ben Bergquam is the courageous host of Law and Border on Real America’s Voice. He was forcibly removed from a press conference in Maricopa Co about the bizarre election process and told to participate in a ‘free speech zone,’ behind the fence, and removed from the ballot counting areas, so he could not report on the details there.
BIG POINT: This happened in Arizona, where the person running for office is in charge of counting ballots.
“We were denied for the same reason, they denied Gateway Pundit’s credentials, and I’m going to actually read this small section to you. It’s, it’s almost hysterical,” Bergquam said, adding:
“A- You’re denied because you a do not avoid real or perceived conflicts of interest,” Bergquam said, reading from the email, reacting, and adding- “that’s not vague at all, and B are not free of associations that would compromise journalistic integrity and damaged credibility. Therefore, you are not a bona fide correspondent of repute in your profession. “
Gateway Pundit filed a lawsuit over it- and now Maricopa County officials have agreed to pay $175,000 to settle that litigation because they were going to lose big time for infringement on free speech and a free press.
Frontline America covered the story as it developed at the time and highlighted the denial of access for both journalists:
12 News ABC reported the details of the settlement with Gateway Pundit:
On Wednesday, the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors voted to approve paying a settlement to TGP Communications after one of the company’s writers was denied credentials to attend the county’s press conferences during the 2022 election.
Records show the county restricted access to Jordan Conradson because they do not consider the Pundit writer to be “a bona fide correspondent of repute in your profession.”
After the denial, TGP and Conradson filed a complaint in court, accusing Maricopa County of violating their First Amendment rights.
The courts found that TGP had raised some valid questions about the county’s attempts to regulate the practice of journalism.
“The Court agrees that this proposition is problematic insofar as it invites the government to play a role in policing the free press, whose constitutionally protected function is to hold the government to account,” the federal judge wrote in a ruling.
Congrats to Gateway Pundit for a great victory for independent media!