The Houston Police arrested a VICE news reporter, Alex Thompson, at the Omni Westside Hotel on the charges of trespassing while he was inquiring about the press rights to cover Donald Trump’s campaign event.
The Trump campaign had a list of "blacklisted" media outlets that are barred from covering any of his rallies. It mostly included liberal, left-leaning publications like BuzzFeed, The Huffington Post and The Washington Post, among others. The list has since been discarded.
VICE reported that it had applied for press credentials to cover Trump’s rally a week prior, but had been informed that its status was "pending."
At the time of his arrest, Thompson had gone to the hotel to talk to the communication staff of Trump’s campaign, asking if a final decision had been made regarding the "pending" status.
The hotel manager warned him that if he did not leave the hotel, he will be arrested. A couple of minutes later, Thompson was hauled away by the Houston Police without any warning. He is being kept in the Houston Central Jail.
In a statement, the Omni Westside Hotel maintained that Thompson had entered hotel premises after he was warned by the manager and asked to leave. The management therefore called the police.
This is not the first time that relations between Trump’s campaign and the press have soured. Looking at the string of prior events, it seems like a tradition.
In February, a Time magazine reporter was choked and slammed by a Secret Service agent when he tried to document the Black Lives Matter protesters who were trying to disrupt the rally.
In March, CBS reporter Sopan Deb was thrown to the ground by the police, and then arrested for filming a man with a bloodied face who was lying on the ground.
Meanwhile, the Trump campaign has claimed that it had no part to play in Thompson’s arrest.