Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., and his hometown newspaper's ongoing feud is still brewing.
Nunes recently barred The Fresno Bee, whose parent company he is suing, from covering an important public water forum with the U.S. Secretary of the Interior in Tulare County.
In response, the paper ripped Nunes’ “shady and questionable behavior,” and called on him to “step aside and find a new job," saying: “We expect such behavior from authoritarian countries, but not in the United States — and not here in Central California. If Nunes can’t tolerate the basic responsibilities of public life, like allowing reporters to cover his events, he should step aside and find a new job — perhaps as a Fox News commentator.”
“The Fresno Bee learned at 10 a.m. Tuesday that its reporters would not be allowed to cover the event, after receiving tickets Thursday via email after registering for it on an Eventbrite website,” reporters Carmen George and Kate Irby wrote about the water forum with Nunes and U.S. Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt.
“I want to make it clear that it’s invited press only, and you’re not on the list and your ticket will not scan at the door,” a staffer for Nunes told them at the time.
“Nunes has routinely concealed his public schedules in California for the past several years and rescheduled fundraising events when logistical details have leaked,” the reporters add.
The congressman is currently pursuing a lawsuit against the paper's parent company, Sacramento-based McClatchy, in Virginia.
In an editorial on Thursday, the McClatchy California Opinion Editors question why the Fresno Bee was barred, since “the water forum was not a private party or a fundraiser. It was a public interest event featuring public officials. Nunes’ decision to bar the region’s biggest newspaper from attending represents a new strategy in his war against the free press. It also ensured that his constituents would be unable to read about the forum in the region’s largest newspaper, despite its longstanding support of water for farmers.”
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