A reporter in Michigan said he was punched in the face while covering an anti-mask rally Thursday. Brendan Quealy, a reporter with the Traverse City Record-Eagle, was covering an event protesting COVID-19 mask and vaccine mandates for schools when an organizer, Heather Cerone, called out the paper for recording audio. “There’s no reporting, Brendan,” Cerone said in the audio. “We don’t authorize that. So, you guys feel like standing in front of him? Because we’re on private property here because we have that rented. That would be great.” Quealy later told investigators he was approached by two men who pushed him away, with one punching him in the face with both hands.
The paper condemned the attack. “Our journalists have an important job rooted in public service,” executive editor Nathan Payne said. “They should be able to go to work without fear of being attacked for doing nothing more than asking questions, gathering facts, and telling truths.” The Grand Traverse Sheriff’s Office said it was investigating the incident.