But two months later and about 40 interview requests later, Reschenthaler hasn’t granted WTAE an interview. According to a tweet from WTAE reporter David Kaplan, the station asked again last week and were rejected, and Kaplan wrote that “some of Reschenthaler’s constituents feel he’s hiding from our cameras and their questions.”
Both Kaplan and longtime WTAE political reporter Bob Mayo have reached out to Reschenthaler over the last couple months for dozens of interview requests, to no avail. Other local Republicans that have objected to the Pennsylvania election results have spoken to WTAE, like U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Butler).
I’d guess Pittsburgh’s Action News 4 has requested an interview with Congressman Reschenthaler 40ish times since Jan. 6 and he still hasn’t granted us one. We asked today and were told no. Some of Reschenthaler’s constituents feel he’s hiding from our cameras and their questions. https://t.co/EjUIJLr2Tb— David Kaplan (@DKaplanWTAE) March 5, 2021
The optics of the situation looked particularly bad on Feb. 23 when Reschenthaler tweeted about a Politco story that detailed some Democrats' opposition to television providers and streaming companies carrying Fox News, Newsmax, and OAN, citing the networks spreading disproven theories about election fraud.
Reschenthaler tweeted “Democrats are trying to abolish the free press,” while the representative had refused dozens of interview requests with a local TV station.
Of course, Reschenthaler hasn’t dodged every member of the local press. Since Jan. 6, he has conducted interviews with KDKA-TV and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, but those stories didn’t indicate that Reschenthaler was pressed about his participation in efforts to undermine the 2020 presidential election. And he is a frequent guest on right-wing media, Newsmax, Fox News, and OAN, which were all mentioned in the Politico article.
Reschenthaler was one of many Republican lawmakers who opposed the certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory, even though virtually every court challenge against the election has been rejected. He even rejected Pennsylvania’s electoral college certification, which included ballots that gave him a re-election victory. Reschenthaler also joined a lawsuit out of Texas to invalidate the results in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan, and Wisconsin, but that effort was swiftly rejected by the U.S. Supreme Court in December 2020.
Many observers have noted the ties between attempts by Republicans, including Reschenthaler, to invalidate the 2020 election with the Jan. 6 insurrection on the Capitol.
Reschenthaler’s office did not return a request for comment for this story.