Hugh Hewitt wanted to drive home a point in an interview with Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price on Friday morning.
The conservative radio host brought up an incident in which a reporter was arrested while trying to shout questions during Price’s appearance at West Virginia’s state capitol.
The reporter, Dan Heyman, was taken into custody on Tuesday after he allegedly followed Price, senior White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, and others down a hallway at the capitol, asking questions about healthcare policy.
Heyman was charged with willful disruption of state government processes.
Hewitt took up the incident with Price on Friday.
“I am a journalist, so I have to start with what happened to a member of my tribe, Dan Heyman, in West Virginia this week,” Hewitt said. “Do you think the charges should be dropped against Mr. Heyman?”
Price deferred the question to local authorities.
“Look, this fellow, we were walking into the state capitol, and a fellow was yelling at us, which is not necessarily unusual from the press,” he said. “But I turned the corner to head on into the round table, and something happened afterwards.”
Price did not elaborate. Hewitt pressed Price again.
“I know we can be jerks, and I know we can yell, etc., but we shouldn’t be arrested even when we are totally off the charts screaming at people,” Hewitt said, suggesting to Price that his staff should “nudge” West Virginian authorities to drop the case.
Price seemed to suggest the reporter was out of line for asking questions outside of a scheduled press conference he and Conway were going to. “Our detail was making certain that we were able to get to the round table and to the press conference. This wasn’t in the press conference, you know, Hugh,” Price said. “This was, this gentleman was not in the press conference.”
Hewitt implored Price one last time: “Arresting a journalist is not something we do in the United States. That’s what I would hope you would consider that.”
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