Monday, October 10

Journalists Are Protected Accessories, Bloggers Aren't

Shield Law Sponsor Lugar: Bloggers 'Probably Not' Considered Journos

By Mark Fitzgerald

Published: October 10, 2005 4:17 PM ET

INDIANAPOLIS Bloggers would "probably not" be considered journalists under the proposed federal shield law, the bill's co-sponsor, U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar (R.-Ind.), told the Inter American Press Association (IAPA) Monday afternoon.

Lugar emphasized, however, that debate is not yet closed on how to define a journalist under the proposed law.

"As to who is a reporter, this will be a subject of debate as this bill goes farther along," he said in response to a question from Washington Post Deputy Managing Editor Milton Coleman. "Are bloggers journalists or some of the commercial businesses that you here would probably not consider real journalists? Probably not, but how do you determine who will be included in this bill?"

Personally, I'm opposed to the shield law for journalists. If the journalist receives classified information and publishes it, then not only did the person who passed the information commit a serious crime, but so did the reporter who brought it to the public.

I would argue that the Journalist committed the greater crime, honestly.

But if you are going to have a shield law, it should apply to everyone. And I do mean everyone. If a New York Times reporter has a right to shield a confidential source, then I don't see how you compel an Outlaw to rat out a brother Outlaw when he has knowledge as to who committed a crime. If the First Amendment protects a reporter's right to not divulge information to police in a criminal investigation, then it protects everyone's. I don't require seeing the Only Applies To Journalism School Graduates clause in the First Amendment.

Lugar needs to have this attempt to toady to the MSM shoved down his throat sideways.

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