Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
July 24, 2014

A Capitol Police Crackdown on 24/7 Texting?

We suspect most people are treading extra carefully now that D.C. streets and sidewalks are slowly but surely disappearing beneath a blanket of steadily falling snow.

A Capitol Police Crackdown on 24/7 Texting?

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, distracted walker? (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

But Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Terrance Gainer wishes everyone — particularly social-media-obsessed reporters — would be just as mindful about digital distractions.

A colleague told HOH that a Capitol Police officer recently chided her for texting while on the move, a practice pretty much mandated by the confluence of rolling deadlines and a desire to be first among fleet-fingered fellow tweeters. Other reporters have, apparently, also been warned about racing around with their faces glued to lightly glowing screens.

Per Gainer, the situation has not yet reached actionable status. But he certainly sounds disappointed by the state of media affairs.

“In general there is no policy against distracted walking but one misses so many opportunities to meet and talk with others, explore the beauty of the Capitol corridors or report suspicious activity to say nothing of the increased likelihood of colliding with another distracted walker,” Gainer warned in an email.

He went on to wax philosophic about the profession as a whole, arguing, “Isn’t there a basic journalistic ethos demanding eagle-eye vigilance while out and about, walking the beat therefore requiring no rule but only self actualization?”

(Um, yeah. What he said.)

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