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Radio News: No drones in Cleveland, Philadelphia, but plenty of radio waves

Jul 18, 2016 10:12 pm
The Republican National Convention began in Cleveland July 18, and the Democratic Convention begins in Philadelphia July 25, and both have radio stories. First, both cities won't allow radio-controlled drones during the conventions, with the Federal Aviation Administration blocking 30 nautical miles in radius around the Quicken Loans Arena from 6 p.m. July 17 through 3 a.m. July 22. Radio-controlled drones not only can't be flown within 30 miles of the RNC, they are among the 26 types of items not allowed in the zone around the arena. Mike Pence, the Republican nominee for vice-president, is familiar with the airwaves. After losing two Congressional campaigns, he started hosting "The Mike Pence Show," on WRCR in Rushville, Indiana in 1994, with Pence calling himself "Rush Limbaugh on decaf." The show was syndicated by Network Indiana on 19 stations there, including WIBC in Indianapolis. Slate reports that anyone protesting Pence, or any other issue during the convention, should note what local and federal police can do with the local airwaves. Cleveland has a flash mob law, for instance, that allows the police to arrest anyone arriving at an event organized over social media “to commit a crime,” and police will then confiscate your cell phone as evidence. Ohio police and the FBI also have face recognition technology they may use, and a $50 million grant from Congress to buy equipment such as cameras, surveillance trailers, and and sound cannons. Of course, protesters will also bypass the media by broadcasting from their phones, as we've seen recently in events as diverse as a failed coup in Turkey and a sit-down protest in the U.S. Congress.