Democrats: Criminalizing Dissent

Democrats Diane Feinstein and Dick “Turban” Durbin – who have long been the Dems’ official trial-balloon-floaters for assaults on free speech like the “Fairness Doctrine” – are proposing an amendment to a Senate bill (S.448) clarifying the press shield law.

And it’s aimed squarely at citizen journalists like you and I.  Via RWN, here’s the amendment text, with some emphases added:

AMENDMENTS intended to be proposed by Mrs. FEINSTEIN (for herself and Mr. DURBIN )


In section 10(2)(A), strike clause (iii) and insert the following:

[a “journalist” is shielded if he/she] (iii) obtains the information sought while working as a salaried employee of, or independent contractor for, an entity

(I) that disseminates information by print, broadcast, cable, satellite, mechanical, photographic, electronic, 1or other means; and

(II) that—

(aa) publishes a newspaper, book, magazine, or other periodical;

(bb) operates a radio or television broadcast station, network, cable system, or satellite carrier, or a channel or programming service for any such station, network, system, or carrier;

(cc) operates a programming service; or

(dd) operates a news agency or wire service;

In other words, you need to be an employee of a news business.  All of us hobby hacks in our pajamas in our basements are out in the cold.

In section 10(2)(B), strike ‘‘and’’ at the end.

In section 10(2)(C), strike the period at the end and insert ‘‘; and’’.

In section 10(2), add at the end the following:

(D) does not include an individual who gathers or disseminates the protected information sought to be compelled anonymously or under a pseudonym.

This would seem to be aimed at the likes of James O’Keefe and Hannah Giles – provided they’re not employed by a Major News Outlet, of course.

Leaving aside the obvious indication that this is the Democrats’ way of circling their wagons around ACORN – this is a fascinating look into the authoritarianism of the Democrat party at work.

The conservative blogosphere is dominated by independents who cover their fields of expertise, whatever they are (this blog: music, financial planning, wine, tomatos and Minnesota politics) for the pure, unadulterated love of the game.  From Power Line (which covers all they survey) to Speed Gibson (who patrols the ramparts of northwest-suburban education), we mostly do it because we want to, money be damned. 

The left, on the other hand, has built up a network of “business” entities and non-profits, from the pseudo-newspaper-y “MNPost” to the not-very-covert propagandists at the “Center for Independent Media” (parent of the Minnesoros “Indepdendent”), at exquisite cost; one might now presume that this money was spent to get ahead of the legislative curve that the Feinstein/Durbin proposal represents, as a further attempt to shut down independent, non-government-vetted thought in this country.

This is Obama’s America.

10 thoughts on “Democrats: Criminalizing Dissent

  1. Pingback: The Greenroom » Forum Archive » Democrats: Criminalizing Dissent

  2. What does the journalism shield law do, exactly? If we have a 1st Amendment, we can’t be prosecuted for anything truthful we write, at least as long as it’s not classified, right? I would assume, then, that the shield law simply allows journalists to refuse to name their sources when called before a court of law.

    Is that correct?

  3. No problem, Mitch. You, along with everyone else blogging on the right, are on the payroll of Scaifenet & the VRWC. Just ask Flash!

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  5. Mitch, thanks. In other words, if perchance I should have a source I need to protect, no luck if I’m not getting paid.

    As much as I don’t like anonymous sources in journalism–they’re horribly overused and for all the wrong reasons–I get it now. The Communists (I mean Democrats) in Congress want to shut down the means by which the “blogosphere” is exposing their malfeasance.

    And kudos to Kos for noting that they aren’t really keen on the law being in the hands of their political opponents, either, even if it helps President Blagojevich.

  6. Hi All

    I looked at the whole text of the bill as posted at

    There are only 8 sections, and no reference to a section 10. Where is section 10 and the proposed amendments to it? Where did RWN obtain HIS text, since I cant find it elsewhere? As much as I would love to think the worst of Durbin and Feinstein, I also want to be able to verify so as to be able to defend the position that these Democrats are despicable in even entertaining this kind of legislation.



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