The United States Department of Justice says it welcomes all journalists into their press conferences as long as they follow a short list of criteria listed on its website.
However, that turned out to be a lie as a pair of Portland journalists learned earlier this week.
The journalists were from Flossin Media, a black-owned, Portland-based digital magazine founded in 2004 that covers social justice issues as well as other general interest issues.
On Tuesday, they were trying to enter a press conference in Portland where United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions was going to denounce sanctuary cities like Portland who have refused to cooperate with federal officials in deporting undocumented immigrants.
Flossin Media journalist Michele Darr said she emailed Sessions’ press secretary, Devin O’Malley, a day earlier to RSVP for the press conference.
And O’Malley responded by asking Darr a series of questions about what type of stories they have published during the previous six months, she said in a telephone interview with Photography is Not a Crime.
Darr told PINAC that she asked other Portland media outlets if they had to answer similar questions, but was told no, that they only had to RSVP.
However, Darr was under the impression that Flossin Media would be placed on the list because she complied with the following guidelines listed on the USDOJ website, emailing O’Malley the required information.
However, when Darr tried to enter the press conference, Homeland Security officers said they were not on the list as you can see in her video.
Flossin Media photographer and videographer Hailei Aberson-Holford was also denied access to the press conference.
Meanwhile, countless other journalists were being allowed inside as Darr remained professional but persistent while standing in the rain.
According to its website, Flossing Media owns and operates within print, video, epic events, street teams, graphic design, digital distribution, online social marketing, and