A Senate panel on Thursday approved a measure defining a journalist, which had been an obstacle to broader media shield legislation designed to protect reporters and the news media from having to reveal their sources.
The Judiciary Committee’s action cleared the way for approval of legislation prompted by the disclosure earlier this year that the Justice Department had secretly subpoenaed almost two months of telephone records for 21 phone lines used by reporters and editors for The Associated Press and secretly used a warrant to obtain some emails of a Fox News journalist. The subpoenas grew out of investigations into leaks of classified information to the news organizations.
The AP received no advance warning of the subpoena.
The vote was 13-5 for a compromise defining a “covered journalist” as an employee, independent contractor or agent of an entity that disseminates news or information. The individual would have been employed for one year within the last 20 or three months within the last five years.
It would apply to student journalists or someone with a considerable amount of freelance work in the last five years. A federal judge also would have the discretion to declare an individual a “covered journalist,” who would be granted the privileges of the law.
It’s not a question of “journalist” per se, it’s more a question of bias. If you’re going to be slanted, as many media are, at least be honest about it. Since the Vietnam War, the American public has been inundated with the left wing perspective on domestic and foreign policy. No where has that been more evident than during the Obama regime. As a matter of fact, between 15 and 19 “journalists” from CBS, ABC, CNN, the WaPo, Boston Globe and the LA Times are now paid lackeys of the Obama State; the same regime they refuse to hold accountable. Time Magazine “journalist” and Obama boot-licker, Richard Stengel, will be functioning as a propagandist in the State Department.
Same crap, different job.
The Senate is deciding who qualifies for freedom of press. The fact that the government is making decisions over what constitutes ‘journalist’ has some serious connotations. The First Amendment guarantees freedom of the press and does not have any reference to the government other than forbidding it to ‘prohibit the free exercise thereof’; or abridging that freedom. Under the guise of who and who is not privileged under the proposed “media shield law”, the government could persecute those deemed exempt.
The leftist cabal in the media and Congress want to assign “real reporter” status based on their own political criteria. Diane Feinstein complains that only someone who gathers and reports news for “an entity or service that disseminates news and information” should be protected under the law. In that case, the average staff writer for a college student newspaper also qualifies. She interprets the 1st Amendment as a “privilege”, not a right. She needs to have the Bill of Rights stapled to her fucking forehead so that every time she looks in the mirror, it will serve as a reminder.
The late (thank gawd) moonbat Helen Thomas railed against political bloggers, insisting that they don’t share the “same ethics and standards as real journalists.”
Former White House Communications Director and Mao Tse-Tung fan Anita Dunn, gave lectures on managing the media and controlling the message.
National Public Radio CEO Vivian Schiller wants to “reinvent” journalism by oppressing news outlets that won’t goosestep to a left wing narrative.
The majority of MSM are leftwing political operatives with “reporter” as an alias.
Most people can figure out the definition of journalist without government clarification. Having said that, the business of reporting and analyzing the news has expanded into the internet. The advent of internet blogging (along with the Fox News broadcast network) has given an alternative to the ultra liberal spiel, and provides a platform for direct confrontation with the MSM tactic of molding opinion to suit their agenda.
Then there’s the problem of ‘protected sources’ versus rights of defendants. When does the 1st Amendment right to exercise freedom of press trump the Sixth Amendment right to face ones accusers in a court of law?
The government should not tamper with those issues. The Supreme Court is the ultimate judge, but even the justices are divided.
The whole thing is a judicial landmine.