This is what Democrats, specifically Sen. Dick Durbin think the First Amendment means to “bloggers”. Hint: he doesn’t think it means anything.
In an appearance on Fox News Sunday, senior Illinois Senator, Democrat Dick Durbin, expressed doubt as to whether bloggers deserve constitutional protection for their work online.
On the May 26 broadcast of the Sunday show, Durbin told host Chris Wallace that he wasn’t sure if bloggers or “someone who is Tweeting” should be given protections under a media shield law.
Durbin noted that he was not prepared to ask for a special counsel to investigate Eric Holder and his snooping on the business and personal phone calls of nearly 100 reporters of the Associated Press, but he went further to question just whom a media shield law would cover.
But here is the bottom line–the media shield law, which I am prepared to support, and I know Sen. Graham supports, still leaves an unanswered question, which I have raised many times: What is a journalist today in 2013? We know it’s someone that works for Fox or AP, but does it include a blogger? Does it include someone who is tweeting? Are these people journalists and entitled to constitutional protection? We need to ask 21st century questions about a provision in our Constitution that was written over 200 years ago.
Durbin did not go on to attempt to clarify what those limits should be.
Senator Durbin’s comments point to a larger problem plaguing Congress right now: an innate desire to place limitations on protections enshrined in the Constitution.
The First Amendment provides for the exercise of a free press without defining who that press is. This omission keeps the Amendment current for today, as it precludes the need to license or otherwise intrude on the Fourth Estate with governmental requirements that would place barriers on who could investigate and uncover wrongdoing through the practice of journalism.
Standard’s should be enforced. But to behave as if a citizen blogger would somehow not be afforded protection under the Constitution, or a “Media Shield Law” (which wouldn’t be needed if those that violate the 1st Amendment were properly prosecuted) is yet another example of how little our elected officials understand the right to Free Speech and a Free Press.
Read more here at The Daily Caller.
- Dem Senator Durbin: Not Sure Bloggers Should Be Protected By First Amendment (ijreview.com)
- WHY A MEDIA “SHIELD LAW” IS A BAD IDEA: Durbin not sure if bloggers should be ‘entitled to consti… (pjmedia.com)
- Bloggers, Media Shield Laws, And The First Amendment (outsidethebeltway.com)
- Durbin not sure bloggers should be protected by “media shield law” (riehlworldview.com)