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#tbt When Brian Ross Got Tossed

(Jason Dick/CQ Roll Call)
(Jason Dick/CQ Roll Call)

Some things never change, like how sensitive folks get about reporters and television cameras showing up at lobbyists’ swanky holiday parties.

But that’s what happened back in December 2007, when ABC News’ Brian Ross showed up at different shindigs around the Hill and got the cold shoulder — and even “the boot” from one festivity. Heard on the Hill’s Emily Heil and Anna Palmer had the story on Dec. 10, 2007.“Ross Tossed. ‘Tis the season for the more the merrier, right? Not if you’re ABC News investigative reporter Brian Ross. The veteran muckracker and his news crew were unwelcome guests at multiple Congressional holiday parties around Capitol Hill last week, getting booted from at least one party as he tried to catch lawmakers and lobbyists getting cozy.

“At the National Beer Wholesalers Association and Brewers Association’s ‘Taste of the Holidays’ party Wednesday night in the Rayburn cafeteria, Members of Congress, staffers and lobbyists noshed on House ethics committee-approved delicacies like Guinness draught mini meatballs and beer-glazed ribs and libations that included more than 20 brews.

“Ross entered the party with cameras rolling. His goal: to show perks lawmakers and staffers receive during the holidays as trade groups and lobby shops throw swanky parties on Capitol Hill. Unsurprisingly, the newsman was treated like an interloper by the party’s sponsors.

“Ross didn’t get much of a chance to shoot the Beer Wholesalers’ party — he was kicked out almost upon arrival, according to one witness to the mini-drama. Aside from not being invited to the soiree, Ross would have been in violation of House rules that don’t allow video cameras in the cafeterias without prior approval. But Ross was persistent in his pursuit of the story: After being asked to leave, he waited outside the doors trying to catch partygoers making their exit.

“‘Reporting on how big money is spent in the halls of government is a worthy and important undertaking,’ ABC spokeswoman Andrea Jones said of Ross’ segment that will air this evening on ‘World News Tonight.’ ‘Our award-winning series, Money Trail, has done that for years and will continue to do so.’

“But Beer Wholesalers spokeswoman Rebecca Spicer insists that the fuss is overblown since the party complied with all of the stepped-up ethics laws. ‘It’s a great event so we expected a large turnout, but who knew that people from New York would travel to D.C. just to try to crash the reception,’ Spicer joked. ‘Talk about a widely attended event.'”

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