Tag Archives: rationalization

Arrested Reporter’s Boss Gets ‘Rationalization,’ Not an Apology

Excerpt from a TNReport story, mostly on reactions of legislators — predictably, along partisan lines — to Gov. Bill Haslam’s handling of the Occupy Nashville arrests.
Haslam expressed no regret Tuesday about his decisions, although he did say Commissioner of Safety Bill Gibbons contacted an editor to express regrets about the arrest of reporter Jonathan Meador of the Nashville Scene in the roundup. Chris Ferrell, CEO of SouthComm Inc., which publishes the Nashville Scene, said Tuesday he did not consider Gibbons’ response an apology.
“It was more of a rationalization for their actions than an apology,” Ferrell said when contacted by phone.
Ferrell had publicly asked Haslam for an apology for Meador’s arrest. Ferrell talked to Gibbons on Monday, and Gibbons sent a follow-up e-mail. Ferrell said the conversation lasted two or three minutes.
But when asked if he was satisfied with the response he received, Ferrell said, “No. Because they still haven’t apologized for what seems to me a clear violation of the First Amendment, that when the officers grabbed Jonathan he clearly identified himself as a journalist.
“They should have verified that and then let him go. The fact that they did not, I think, is of concern to journalists everywhere.”
Ferrell said he had not talked to Haslam, although he had tried to contact the governor through his communications office as recently as Monday.
Gibbons’ statement to Ferrell said, in part: “Obviously, it was not our intention to take any member of the press doing his or her job into custody for trespassing. I regret any confusion regarding Mr. Meador’s role.”