Rep. Lawler bans media cameras from town hall meetings

Rep. Mike Lawler spoke with News 12’s Carol Wilkinson about his policy of banning television news cameras from his publicly funded town hall meetings.
Lawler said the practice is aimed at protecting the privacy of his constituents and offering them the opportunity to speak freely at the meetings, without fear of retaliation or ridicule.
News 12 also spoke with political analyst John Murtagh about whether the practice is a violation of the first amendment guaranteeing freedom of the press.
"He wants to talk to his constituents, he wants to talk to the people he serves and he can do what he has to do to make sure that's who he's communicating with," said Murtagh.
Lawler said he will re-examine his ban on television news cameras at town hall meetings and decide whether that ban will continue in the coming year. 
“We want to make sure that people feel free to have a discussion with me and that it doesn't turn into a little bit of a spectacle," said Lawler.