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ABC, NBC News reporters cited over coverage of Dennis Hastert arraignment

Two national television news reporters have been cited over alleged violations of media security rules at a federal court in connection with their coverage of the arraignment of former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert.

Brian Ross, the chief investigative correspondent for ABC News, and NBC News reporter Gabe Gutierrez were cited by the court Thursday afternoon for attempting to speak with Hastert outside a roped off media section at the federal courthouse in Chicago following Hastert’s arraignment.

According to court documents reviewed by The Desk, security officials at the courthouse observed both Ross and Gutierrez attempt to interview Hastert “outside the designated media area” in violation of court policy.

Gutierrez was accused of walking backwards through a metal detector, while Ross was said to have pursued Hastert to an elevator bank inside the courthouse. Both men have been summoned to appear with a network news representative before Chief Judge Rubén Castillo in July.

Castillo will determine if Ross and Gutierrez should be let go with a warning, or if sanctions are necessary. Such sanctions could include levying a fine or banning them from the courthouse, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Court documents say ABC and NBC were made aware of the federal courthouse’s media policies days before Hastert’s arraignment. Both news agencies declined to comment.

Hastert entered a plea of not guilty on Thursday on various criminal charges stemming from an investigation in which he allegedly paid millions of dollars to conceal a history of sexual misconduct.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).