Charlie Kratovil is the editor of New Brunswick Today who says he was thrown out of an April Ryan speech by the CNN analyst’s bodyguard, Joel Morris.
The event was the 4th annual New Jersey Parent Summit which was held on August 3 at The Heldrich Hotel in New Brunswick, New Jersey. The Parent Summit is described as “a platform to activate, educate, and engage over 1,000 parents, guardians, and community members across the state of New Jersey.”
Kratovil wrote on Twitter on August 5 that he had been cleared to cover Ryan’s speech on April 3. Prior to Ryan taking the stage, Kratovil tweeted that a man approached him and asked about credentials. The man left, then returned, and attempted to take Kratovil’s camera. Kratovil tweeted that other people began to ask him to stop recording. Kratovil identified the man who accosted him as Ryan’s security guard, Joel Morris.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Surveillance Video From the Scene Shows Kratovil Being Dragged Away
Kratovil said that when Ryan took the stage, Morris joined her and whispered something in her ear. Kratovil tweeted, “[Ryan] nodded and went silent for the next 27 seconds.” Then, Kratovil said, Morris unplugged the camera and began “to steal” Kratovil’s equipment. Kratovil tweeted, “As soon as Mr. Morris touched our camera, I spoke up, saying: ‘Don’t touch my camera, please. Put that down. Don’t you dare. Put that down, sir.'”
Kratovil apparently said that she did not want the news coverage to cover her speech so that she could engage in an “unfettered” discussion. Ryan said, “When I speak, I don’t have news covering my speech.” Kratovil said that he was later able to get his stuff back from Morris in the hotel lobby. A surveillance video posted by Getty Images’ Marcus J. DiPaola appears to show Kratovil being dragged out of the event:
2. Kratovil Says He Plans to Press Charges
Kratovil tweeted about being physically removed from the event, “I screamed and used some profane language towards Mr. Morris as he grabbed my left arm and twisted it behind my back, injuring my forearm and shoulder. I later gave a statement to NBPD’s Ryan Daughton & he told me that he’d prepare a police report. I intend to press charges.”
In an appearance on “The Ingraham Angle” on Fox News on August 14, Kratovil told guest host Jesse Watters, “I don’t know what what the misunderstanding was but I was definitely, you know, felt violated.” Kratovil told Watters that he had been covering the Parent Summit for around three hours without any problems.
Fox News reports that video also shows Project Ready executive director Shennell McCloud “berating Kratovil and demanding he leave the hotel.” Kratovil told Watters that he had been a fan of Ryan’s prior to the incident and said that her behavior toward him was “supremely ironic” as Ryan has previously criticized Donald Trump’s treatment of the media.
3. Kratovil Said He Had to Seek Medical Help After the Incident
Kratovil discussed his injuries with Jesse Watters saying, “I kind of snuck away to get some space from him and he chased me down grabbed my arm twisted my arm behind my back and hurt my shoulder and forearm.” In a separate interview, Kratovil told Press Freedom Tracker that his shoulder injury was diagnosed as a sprain.
Kratovil told Fox News, “I think that the President deserves much criticism for his administration’s lack of transparency, his own irresponsible rhetoric towards the media, and his childish attacks on individual reporters like Ms. Ryan. Her reputation now depends on finally addressing this situation head-on and proclaiming that what happened that night in New Brunswick cannot be tolerated.”
4. Kratovil Says He Works ‘Hard Every Day to Make New Brunswick a Better Place to Live’
On his Twitter bio, Kratovil said that he works “hard every day to make New Brunswick a better place to live. I’m a community organizer, and the founder and editor of the local news outlet
@NB_Today.” Kratovil’s handle on Twitter is “Charlie4Change.”
In June 2018, Kratovil announced his candidacy to become the mayor of New Brunswick.
Kratovil lost the election by more than 3,000 votes to incumbent James Cahill, who has held the role since 1991. Kratovil said of his loss, “We have built a movement necessary to oppose the machine. We scored some victories, unfortunately not the one we were hoping for.”
On his official campaign website, Kratovil says that he has lived in New Brunswick since 2004 having graduated from Rutgers University with a degree in journalism and media studies in 2009. Kratovil says in the profile that he has worked for charitable organizations such as Food & Water Watch and The Citizens Campaign.
Since 2011, Kratovil has been the editor of New Brunswick Today and Paterson Press. New Brunswick Todays it is a bilingual news outlet. Kratovil writes that his stories has “Published stories that were picked up by the New York Times, TV and radio stations” while also being featured on an episode of “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee.”
5. Kratovil Was the Organizer of the First Impeach Donald Trump Rally in New Brunswick
Kratovil has been hugely critical of President Donald Trump on his Twitter page. In October 2017, Kratovil called the president “super pathological.” While in July 2017, Kratovil referred to the president as “Treasonous Trump” and “Dirtbag Donald.” In that same tweet, Kratovil called former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie a “criminal.”
While on multiple occasions, Kratovil has called for President Donald Trump to be impeached. Kratovil said that in September 2017, he organized New Brunswick’s first rally calling for Trump to be impeached.