SENATE VOTES TO PROCEED IN KILLING FIRST AMENDMENT AND ESTABLISHING STATE RUN MEDIA

This week in Washington D.C. in the Senate, the Senate review committee came out of their Shield Law hearing with a vote of 13 to 5 to begin discussing the bill on the Senate floor. The law is intended to shield the journalist from having to reveal sources in light of the Snowden and Manning cases under duress by the Department of Justice. But hold the phone, the vote wasn’t even allowed to proceed until Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) got everyone one to agree what is a “real” reporter. Did we not already have freedom of the press under the First Amendment of the US Constitution? So, is this actually the Senate’s attempt at redefining the First Amendment or their way of providing the establishment of the United States first State Ran Media?

Perhaps you think we are taking this out of context. Perhaps, perhaps not. The Christian Science Monitor puts this in a way that involves the founding fathers, so let us look at two right quick. Benjamin Franklin was a writer, an inventor, and a scholar. Thomas Payne was a seamstress. Both owned a printing press. Benjamin Franklin’s “Poor Richards Almanac” is still quoted today. Thomas Payne edited a magazine and his pamphlets that were self published called “Common Sense” were some of the most provocative writings that stirred and built a nation. So would we say that this sounds shady enough that they would be saying Benjamin Franklin is protected by the government, but Thomas Payne wouldn’t be?

By today’s definition, you could also associate with his government connections, Benjamin Franklin with the established media sources and Thomas Payne with writing for online media. Without one of them history would never have been the same. Could you honestly say that both of these distinguished gentlemen were not deserving of the title of “Journalist”? But this is in fact what Dianne Feinstein has attempted to do.

The first version of a media shield law that handily made it through the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday defined for the first time what constitutes a “real reporter” deserving of extra protection versus what Sen Feinstein called a “17-year-old blogger” who she said doesn’t deserve a legal shield. One question that could be asked of that is that she covered a teen bullying case for the media, and knowing that the kid that was bullied would get beat up if she tells who it is, isn’t she deserving of the protection in order to keep that kid safe?
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