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Houston Chronicle: We Need a Federal Shield Law

Strangling Deep Throat: Requiring reporters to divulge confidential sources stifles investigative journalism and discourages public-spirited informants
(Chronicle login: semods4@yahoo.com; pw = speakeasy)

>> The obvious solution is a federal shield law guaranteeing the confidentiality of journalists' communications with sources. The natural propensity of news reporters to print what they know will prevent abuse of the privilege.

For now, reporters such as Miller and Cooper who refuse to testify and face imprisonment are the front line in the struggle to maintain a free and independent press. <<

-- Dave K, Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

The opinions expressed above are my own,
and do not necessarily reflect those of CNET!
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Federal Shield Law no way

In reply to: Houston Chronicle: We Need a Federal Shield Law

who will be the media's watchdog?
the media has shown over and over on how much bs they can report.
the media has put this upon themselves
''courts to be more skeptical of the press'' and so are the People skeptical of the press...

we already have the whistleblower.pdf protection

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Mr Lee is entitled ..............

In reply to: Houston Chronicle: We Need a Federal Shield Law

......to face his accusers also. IMO, his right far
exceeds to 'rights' of journalists, who too often make
news rather than report it.

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PS......

In reply to: Mr Lee is entitled ..............

I apologize...didn't mean to detract from the case
discussed in the linked article. I was referring to the
other recent situation involving journalists refusing to
identify sources who accused Wen Ho Lee (previously of
the Los Alamos National Lab) of spying for China.

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Where EXACTLY do you and other advocates...

In reply to: Houston Chronicle: We Need a Federal Shield Law

see ANY indication that the press is to be allowed greater leeway and less stringent application of criminal and civil laws than any non-journalist provided the same information in the following passage?

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

There is NOWHERE within the documentation of this country where the government or anyone else was in any way obligated to provide information to the press nor to provide the press with any special treatment that the common citizen was not entitled to.

If you think otherwise please provide the citation.

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All I see in this situation is that 2 journalists who didn't

In reply to: Where EXACTLY do you and other advocates...

publish are under investigation and threat of jail, and that Novak, who did publish is sitting umtouched like the fat poisonous toad he is. Of course, he's this Administration's toad which may account for his immunity.

I still don't understand why he's not the focus of this action and not the others.

Rob

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So, you are against a shield law. You want Novak prosecuted.

In reply to: All I see in this situation is that 2 journalists who didn't

Strange that liberal reporters are defended, but conservative ones are attacked. That's a double standard, and seems to meet the threshold for hypocracy.

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While uneasy about shield laws

In reply to: So, you are against a shield law. You want Novak prosecuted.

I have to admit, it seems odd that while someone is investigated and/or charged with crimes regarding a story another that told the same story (even first) isn't.

It does smack of hypocrisy, no matter which side does it.

JMO

Roger

click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

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We don't know that Novak is not being investigated. The

In reply to: While uneasy about shield laws

US Attorney on the case has a Democrat background, and is highly respected in Illinois for tenaciously pursuing the case against Republican, then governor, George Ryan in the Licenses for Bribes scandal. The convictions and findings coming out of that investigation have decimated the Republican Party in Illinois. It's a credit to Fitzgerald and President Bush who allowed the investigation to proceed.

In spite of that track record, and knowing nothing about the investigation, some folks do not hesitate to pronounce judgements of favoratism, bias, partisan prosecution, etc. I find that to be totally reprehensible. Do we really expect the Justice Department to hold press conferences to discuss the status, findings, etc. of an investigation? Do we expect progress reports of when, if, and why someone will or will not be prosecuted?

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You mean the press shouldn't have

In reply to: We don't know that Novak is not being investigated. The

unfettered access to EVERYTHING our government does?! Gasp, that's a violation of their FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHTS! FREEDOM OF THE PRESS!
(sarcasm)

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(NT) (NT) Fat poisonous toad ... Nice! :-(

In reply to: All I see in this situation is that 2 journalists who didn't

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(NT) (NT) Par for the course,

In reply to: (NT) Fat poisonous toad ... Nice! :-(

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(NT) (NT) My guess is that THEY were HIS source.

In reply to: All I see in this situation is that 2 journalists who didn't

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The idea of a Federal Shield law is absurd

In reply to: Houston Chronicle: We Need a Federal Shield Law

One, there is no basis for it in the Constitution. Two, it would merely serve to encourage certain journalists to commit libel and/or slander. Three, creating a definition of "journalist" would be troublesome, especially concerning bloggers and those who provide news and commentary over the net.
Our press was initially comprised of citizens who printed up newspaper in their own homes. Now, our press has become a priveleged class, who sees their duty as being the 4th branch of government.
Recently, I was involved in a team building exercise for a graduate program I'm in. The educators had us in a large room, and based upon their statement, had to move to one wall for "strongly agree" or the other for "strongly disagree" or somewhere in the middle of the two. When they said "I trust journalists to provide 'fair and balanced' news," no matter the political philosophies of everyone, we all crowded against the "strongly disagree" wall.

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Re journalists and bloggers

In reply to: The idea of a Federal Shield law is absurd

With an official credential hanging from his neck, a young man stepped into the White House briefing room Monday as perhaps the first blogger to (search) cover the daily press briefings. He found the surroundings to be dilapidated and cramped and concluded that his morning at the White House (search) was "remarkably uneventful."


It?s time now to push for a White House press pass for a blogger or two each day, as a means of continuing the realignment of media sources and the dismantling of the MSM monopoly.


Yeap, deciding who is a legimate "newsman blogger" vs someone just idly posting is going to be really difficult. I remember finding extensive blogs by those hiking the Appalachain Trail, regular and detailed. Does such a diligence to recording qualify one to be a recognized national news correspondant?

Going to be a mess eventually I predict.

JMO

Roger

click here to email semods4@yahoo.com
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Not to mention

In reply to: Re journalists and bloggers

many of the so-called "journalists" are less principled than their blogging counterparts. Journalism in itself is a trade open automatically to any US citizen... defining who is a "journalist" WOULD violate citizens' right to free speech.

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Interesting thing, Roger...

In reply to: Re journalists and bloggers

Roger, one of the interesting things is that to get such credentials, you have to go thru a clearance investigation. They don't deal in user names like on forums. A party who might say no end of things on a blog under a pen name might tend to publish differently when the article can be linked to his actual identity.

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Define journalist

In reply to: Houston Chronicle: We Need a Federal Shield Law

Then explain why they should have more rights than the rest of us. This is a bad idea.

Evie Happy

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