Monday, August 05, 2013

The attack on the Constitution culminates in the loss of 1st amendment rights

“This bill is described as a reporter shield law — I believe it should be applied to real reporters,” Feinstein said last week. “The current version of the bill would grant a special privilege to people who aren’t really reporters at all, who have no professional qualifications.” 
The Feinstein-Durbin proposed amendment would narrowly define journalists as “a salaried agent” of a media company. 
Feinstein also reportedly said that the bill shouldn’t apply to WikiLeaks or “a 17-year-old who drops out of high school, buys a website for $5 and starts a blog.
Two things here:

1.  The first amendment applies to everyone, not just journalists.  This law would be unconstitutional on face value.

2.  There are no "professional qualifications" to become a journalist.  There is no Ministry of Propaganda that bestows a certificate of journalism to individuals it deems "qualified".  Benjamin Franklin was writing a gossip column at sixteen...this country is built on the ability for anyone to exercise the 1st amendment and make a difference.  To propose that a journalist must be a "salaried agent" is ludicrous.  Must a preacher be a "salaried agent" to exercise his 1st amendment rights?

Apparently a 17-year-old kid with $5 doesn't have the ability to write stories which may expose truth.  Sen. Feinstein must think "real journalists" must maintain a certain degree of wealth and privilege in this country.  They must work under the watchful eye of a corporate media entity to be "legitimate".

Feinstein's proposal is not only misguided, it's offensive.  If she doesn't understand the nature of the 1st amendment, the most important aspect of this democracy, she has no business creating laws.

This is an attack on whistleblowers and independent journalists....pure and simple.

If you're so inclined, let Sen. Feinstein know how you feel about it here.


Here's a link Jeffrey shared:

"Precisely the reason the first amendment was invented" - digby

Jeffrey has foreseen this and has been writing about it for years.  I never dreamed it would come to this but that just proves my naivety once again.

Also, I didn't realize who Feinstein's husband is....makes a lot more sense now.


jeffrey said...

This had me searching back through the many links I've collected on this subject over the years. Here's a Digby post that jumped out at me on review.

Jason Brad Berry said...

As I said on've been ringing this bell for a very long time. I just never believed it would come to this.

Man was I fucking wrong.

Anonymous said...

Pardon me while I search for my passport so I can cross the border into Canada or fly to India to live. If I was a pimpled face 18 year old high school drop out per Feinstein I would move to Canada where there aren't restrictions on websites and/or journalist designations.

At first I thought the blog post was hoax but not I sadly realize this corrupt Senator is serious in her intentions.

TimGNO said...

Please, could Dianne Feinstein please tell us what Senate 101 course she took in order to qualify as a Senator? What, none?? You tell us the people who voted for you simply trusted in your abilities as a thinking person? Pshaw!

Kevin said...

Anonymous at 8:45:

If you think Canada is any better, you might want to visit and check out all the "free speech" horror stories there.

Jason Brad Berry said...

That's funny, Kevin, I was thinking the same thing. I don't think Doug would advise moving to Canada.

mominem said...

IF everybody doesn't have the same free speech rights nobody has them. I've been arguing this in various forms for years and some of my "progressive" friends don't see it.

I rather have the NYT or Bezos represent free speech in court instead of a narrow corporate interest.

lil'oya said...

This is a case for Jello Biafra!