LISTEN: Audio of Hampshire College president’s 911 call following Fox News interview attempt
By Evan Lips | December 12, 2016, 15:54 EDT
AMHERST — Police have released audio of the 911 call Hampshire College President Jonathan Lash made following an incident late last month in which he claimed a Fox News reporter attempted to illegally enter his home.
Lash had made national headlines during the weeks that followed Republican Donald Trump’s win in the presidential election when he announced that the private liberal arts school would not be flying the American flag on campus. The decision prompted veterans groups to wage a peaceful demonstration at the college, chanting “USA! USA!” and hoisting their own American flags.
Media attention subsequently grew more intense, leading Lash to direct students to refrain from talking to reporters.
One hard-charging reporter, Jesse Watters of Fox News, later attempted to interview Lash by visiting his Middle Street home. Lash claims Watters entered his home without permission.
Audio of Lash’s call to police, obtained via a Freedom of Information Act request, alleges that the Fox News television crew followed Lash to his house.
“I was just followed home by a Fox News crew who entered my home without my permission and refused to leave,” Lash can be heard telling an Amherst Police dispatcher. “They came into the garage, I asked them to leave, I turned away from them, went into the side of the house, tried to close the door — and a reporter shoved his foot in the door.
“They said they were a Fox News crew from the O’Reilly Factor.”
Watters, who produces segments for the popular show, can be seen in the episode standing inside Lash’s garage, waiting for the college president to exit his SUV.
“Hey President Lash, how are you?” Watters can he heard saying.
Lash ignored Watters’s questions regarding the flag and can be seen side-stepping the reporter and entering his house. Watters, however, followed Lash.
“Come on, get your foot out of my door,” Lash can be heard telling Watters. “I don’t want to talk to you about it. Would you please remove your foot from my door?”
According to a copy of the police report, Lash “resolved the matter with the reporter.”
“(Lash) was advised to contact the television company about the incident,” the report notes.
Hampshire College returned the American Flag to campus on Dec. 2.