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Update: White Supremacist Group Bars Media from Attending Richard Spencer's Talk

March 05, 2018, 5:43 PM

Richard Spencer (Facebook photo)

A white nationalist group declined to issue coverage credentials to at least four major Michigan media outlets reporting on Richard Spencer's incendiary visit to Michigan State University on Monday, this MLive reporter tweets. 

Original article, Monday afternoon:

White supremacists kicked and screamed and took legal action to have Richard Spencer speak on the campus of Michigan State University, a publicly funded school. In January, the school decided to settle the lawsuit and let Spencer appear today.

"This is a resounding First Amendment victory for the alt-right," attorney Kyle Bistrow told the Detroit Free Press in January. "Left-wing censorship of right-wing ideas in academia is unacceptable."

Now, two representatives of the First Amendment -- the Detroit Free Press and Lansing State Journal -- are denied credentials to cover Spencer's campus speech at 4:30 p.m. Monday, David Jesse of the Freep reports.

Lansing State Journal reporter RJ Wolcott received an explanation of how the decision was made.

"We are allowing some media in — it is important to have a journalistic presence — but far fewer than in Florida, which became a chaotic and unwieldy event from multiple perspectives," NPI [National Policy Institute] spokesman Evan McLaren emailed. "We are not granting you or your outlet press credentials for this event.

"We are arranging one live feed and disallowing all other photography and recording. I have also been filtering media requests based on outlets' past coverage of Richard Spencer and NPI.

"If an outlet has misreported any of several easily verifiable facts — for example, whether Spencer spoke at the Unite the Right event in Charlottesville (he did not — no one was permitted to speak), whether he organized that event (he did not), or whether he sued Michigan State or the University of Florida (Cameron Padgett was the plaintiff, not Spencer or NPI) — then I elect not to grant them access."

♦ Update: Wolcott entered the event and is live-tweeting, though not allowed to take photos or video, according to a tweet by Whitney Carlson, a video producer at the Lansing paper. 

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