How times have changed. When I was a reporter, once upon a time, most of the events I attended for work required a press pass, which was customarily worn in plain sight. We all knew each other pretty much and the occasional visitor from a media outlet without press credentials was, as I recall, usually tolerated. Much happened at the old LA Press Club and lots of uncredentialled people showed up, often with whoever had called the presser.
It was understood that the media asked questions and not the general public
The author makes an excellent point, how do you check credentials these days? Do you? When does an event at a public meeting become an exclusive news conference? Would they have reacted so if someone from a hard left paper arrived? The Daily Worker? What about the Catholic Worker?
The fact that they knew the author on sight argues that they new he worked for a news outlet, they just didn’t like the outlet. Vey interesting. I’ll have to ask some colleagues still working the beat what the new rules are.