web counter Media Lies: Like a modern day Diogenes....

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

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Like a modern day Diogenes....

....I'm searching for one honest reporter. Didn't find one here either.
The unanimous vote last week by three federal appeals court judges - that two news reporters should be jailed for refusing to give their sources to a grand jury - stands as an unfortunate reminder that those who value the First Amendment's protection of the press must remain vigilant.

Why? Because if a reporter can't protect a source so that information can freely flow to the public, then one of democracy's underpinnings - the public's right to know - will erode.
Let me see....I'm sure I've got a copy of the First Amendment around here somewhere.
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.
How you get from the phrase "Congress shall make no law....abridging the freedom....of the press" to "reporters should never have to testify in a court of law to what they know, even if they have witnessed a crime" is an exercise in mental gymnastics I'm not capable of performing. Are you?

I've written about this before. So long as reporters can keep their sources confidential with impunity, the "news" they write cannot be trusted. If there were no confidentiality of sources, there would be a lot less gossiping going on in the "news" that Washington "reporters" write. And the public would know who said what about whom, freeing them to make their own judgments about the veracity of the information.

But then the reporters wouldn't have nearly as much "juicy" "news" to "report", would they?