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Senate Committee’s “Shield Law” for Old Media is a misguided and dangerous idea that endangers the future of news 10/9/07

Posted by Steve Boriss in ShieldLaws.

The U.S. Senate has tampered so much with the First Amendment that they have turned into pigs — similar to those in George Orwell’s Animal Farm who said “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” When written by our Founding Fathers, the words “freedom of the press” granted all Americans the free use of the printing press to publish their views, not special rights to a then-non-existent “press” that would not hire its first full-time reporter for another 30 years. And yet, our Senate passed the hideous McCain-Feingold Act that granted Old Media more rights to free speech prior to an election than the rest of us. And now a Senate committee has passed a “Shield Law” that grants Old Media the right not to cooperate with law enforcement.

If the Orwellian pigs who run our country were serious about respecting the freedoms of journalists who have done nothing wrong, like the NY Times’ Judith Miller, and not just “suckling-up” to Old Media journalists by giving them more rights than bloggers and others, they would pass a “Defense Against Rogue Political Operators” bill. Consistent with the real spirit of the Bill of Rights, it would keep journalists, bloggers, and everyone else safe from the cloven hoofs of politicians like themselves and even more piggish thugs…like prosecutor/persecutors Mike Nifong and Patrick Fitzgerald, who by no coincidence is one of the bill’s fiercest opponents. These are the people whose laws, regulations, and legal actions are the greatest threat to our First Amendment rights, and who remain the greatest obstacle to the Internet fulfilling its promise for historically unprecedented freedom of expression.


1. Bob Jones - 10/10/07

For once I totally agree, I hate the distinction that a journalist is more free than the rest of us …

Free speech is what ensures a free press, not some Journalist Protection Act.

2. Ydobon - 10/10/07

If there had been a Federal Shield law in 2004 Dan Rather could have ridden out Memogate, hiding behind his anonymous “unimpeachable source.”

As it was it took the White House express interest to break CBS’s stonewalling.

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