Gov. DeWine Stands Up for Amy Acton and News Media After Incidents Involving Protesters Last Weekend: ‘I’m Fair Game’


Gov. Mike DeWine defended the news media and Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton during Monday’s press conference after several incidents occurred over the weekend when Ohio extended its lockdown order until May 29 last Friday.

The two incidents DeWine referenced during his press conference were a protester’s interaction with NBC4 Columbus Reporter Adrienne Robbins on May 1 and people protesting in the neighborhood Acton lives in on May 2.

DeWine addressed the protesters’ treatment of news media members after a video on Twitter showed a person asking Robbins questions about her company’s coronavirus coverage.

“Cause you know that the company that you work for is lying to the America people!” the protestor told Robbins. “You know that what you’re doing is wrong, at the end of the day. You know it.”

To address the incident, Robbins tweeted, “I asked this woman to respect my space after she was yelling and spitting in my face. She said I had no right to social distancing in public and continued to follow me. Complaining about my mask (that is meant to protect her and those around me).”

In defense of reporters, the governor said he was fair game, and that it was not fair game to disrespect or be obnoxious to the news media.

“You should come after me, don’t go after people who are exercising the First Amendment rights… that we value in this country so very much,” DeWine said.

“Reporters and photographers who are doing nothing more than following that First Amendment, informing the public — just remember, they’re informing the public about what you think, what you’re saying and what you think is important,” he added.

The governor said he finds it “very sad” that demonstrators treat the news media with disrespect by not observing social distancing with them.

After talking about the incident with the reporter, DeWine defended Acton. NewsCleveland5 reported that between 15 and 20 people gathered in Acton’s Bexley neighborhood on Saturday. None of these protesters were charged with any crimes.

“I’m the elected official. I’m the one who ran for office, I’m the one who makes the policy decisions. Members of my cabinet, Dr. Acton included, work exceedingly, exceedingly hard, but I set the policy,” he said.

“So, when you don’t like the policy, again, you can demonstrate against me, that is certainly fair game,” he added. “But, to bother the family of Dr. Acton, I don’t think that’s fair game. I don’t think that’s right. I don’t think it’s necessary to get your point across.”

DeWine standing up for Acton appeared to not work as freelance photographer KRForbesPhotography photographed more protesters in Acton’s neighborhood on Monday.

“Despite the pleas of @GovMikeDeWineduring today’s #COVID briefing, a group of about 40 protestors and counter-protestors gathered at the private residence of the director of ODH, Amy Acton. noticeably louder, No weapons reported,” the freelancer tweeted.

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Zachery Schmidt is the digital editor of Star News Digital Media. If you have any tips, email Zachery at [email protected]
Photo “Amy Acton Protesters” by KRForbesPhotography. 







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