“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.”
Michael Walsh writes in The National Review There Ought to Be No Law:
The Senate bill has nothing to do with protecting journalists, and everything to do with the Government Class protecting itself from those who would expose its activities. Having successfully co-opted what used to be the national media — so much so that there is now a veritable revolving door between Washington and old-media institutions — Congress now seeks to shut down via exclusion all those who do not toe the party line.
Feinstein introduced an amendment that defines a “covered journalist” as someone who gathers and reports news for “an entity or service that disseminates news and information.” The definition includes freelancers, part-timers and student journalists, and it permits a judge to go further and extend the protections to any “legitimate news-gathering activities.”
The weasel word is, of course, “legitimate,” so that would leave out Tom Paine and the other illegitimate rabble-rousers who fomented the American Revolution. But it doesn’t matter whether Feinstein wants to “go there” — the Framers have already been and gone; as the feminists like to say, “What part of ‘no’ don’t you understand?” A federal license, no matter what its guise, is simply a license to smooch, and any journalist who would trust Chuck Schumer’s good intentions shouldn’t be allowed to cover the local sewer board meeting.
From Glenn Harlan Reynolds in The USA Today, IS DOJ licensing or unleashing the press?:
But even if the guidelines extend to everyone who draws a paycheck as a reporter or pundit — hey, I guess that would include me — that’s still not enough. In this era of blogging, social media and independent journalism, there are an awful lot of people doing serious journalism who aren’t drawing a paycheck from a media organization. They deserve protection, too. Journalism is an activity, not a profession.
A government that has lied about Benghazi, lied about IRS political harassment, lied about harassing the press from the DOJ now wants to define who is allowed to tell the truth.
Feinstein should worry about how her worst nightmare in office would handle this power. I cannot imagine this passing the House or The Supreme Court.
A true liberal should be outraged.