The fox wants to guard the henhouse...

... or at least that's what comes to mind when Eric Holder, famous lately for personally signing the authorization to wiretap at least three reporters and overseeing the wiretapping of hundreds more at the Associated Press, says we should pass a media shield law.  He says a law like that would protect reporters from people like him who will abuse the law.  And he's right: such a law might well protect journalists from DoJ abuse.  It might be simpler for Holder to simply refuse to approve abusive warrant requests from his subordinates, but that horse has fled the barn.

But that raises an important question from Senator and Dick Durbin: Who is a journalist, and why should they deserve special protection?
"But here is the bottom line -- the media shield law, which I am prepared to support, and I know Sen. Graham supports, still leaves an unanswered question, which I have raised many times: What is a journalist today in 2013? We know it's someone that works for Fox or AP, but does it include a blogger? Does it include someone who is tweeting? Are these people journalists and entitled to constitutional protection? We need to ask 21st century questions about a provision that was written over 200 years ago."
The First Amendment was clearly written to protect everyone, not just a special group of people.  Media shield laws give special protection to government approved speech.  That means the government can take away that protection for speakers it doesn't approve it, which tends to shut them up, or deny it altogether for those who it suspects would say things it doesn't like.

Government should not be in the business of approving journalists.  Free speech is free speech.  Every one of us should be protected from government agents listening to our phone conversations without a warrant.

This entry was published Wed May 29 03:29:54 CDT 2013 by TriggerFinger and last updated 2013-05-29 03:29:54.0. [Tweet]

comments powered by Disqus

Subscribe to Atom Feed

I am not a lawyer, and nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice.

This site is run on custom blog software and is being actively developed. Please be forgiving of errors.

This website is an Amazon affiliate and will receive financial compensation for products purchased from Amazon through links on this site.