Pruning The Fourth Estate: Feinstein Seeks To Limit Who Can Claim To Be A Journalist

225px-dianne_feinstein_official_senate_photoI have previously discussed the curiosity of California’s Democratic leaders in Congress leading the fight for massive warrantless surveillance and attacks on privacy. California Senator Dianne Feinstein has long been viewed as hazard to civil liberties from her knowledge of the torture program to consistent support for the expansion of a security state system. Feinstein is now back in that ignoble role this week, fighting to limit the meaning of journalist to prevent bloggers and others from being able to claim protections from surveillance or compelled testimony. Illinois Senator Dick Durbin has joined Feinstein in seeking to define most people out of protections for media.

The irony is the Feinstein wants to add the limiting language to a Media Shield Law that has already been riddled with exceptions and holes by the Obama Administration. Feinstein is again serving as the agent for those who want to expand government powers — in this case under the guise of a bill purportedly limiting such powers.

Feinstein came out last week by insisting that bloggers and Internet writers are not “real reporters” despite the fact that most Americans now get their news from such sites. She wants to limit the term to people who are “a salaried agent” of a media company like the New York Times or ABC News. Thus, students in media graduate programs and bloggers would not qualify. She is concerned that the law could be used by whistleblowers and others to expose unlawful conduct and then claim protections from government investigations or attacks.

She does not of course define what constitutes a salary. Would this include freelancers? I am paid by USA Today per column. Is that a salary? Is a media professor salaried as a journalist when he is paid by his school but writes in a university publication?

This blog is ranked as one of the top most visited legal blogs in the world. We have a larger audience than columns associated with various newspapers, including the Legal Times. We produce five to seven new stores each weekday. We run new stories over the weekend. We reach millions of readers each year. Most local newspapers have circulations of less than 15,000. Does it not matter how large your readership is but rather whether you receive money for the work? If so, we would have to add advertising to generate revenue to qualify while a small town newspaper with a fraction of our readership would automatically qualify. There are legitimate questions about what constitutes a journalist for constitutional or statutory protections, but Feinstein is adopting a criteria clearly designed to exclude most writers today on politics and government.

As we have discussed, this effort is part of an overall effort to strip whistleblowers and journalists of status as the Administration seeks to prosecute them. Assange is the best example. He is not a journalist but rather just an Assange.

Feinstein’s limit would be added to litany of exceptions and holes in the bill. For example, the law would allow Justice Department officials to delay notice for a period of 45 days and then ask for an extension of an additional 45 days. That would mean almost 100 days of surveillance of reporters like the controversial cases of the Obama Administration.

Feinstein would add to these limits by excluding writers for outfits like Wikileaks or even recognized reporters who are writing for blogs without direct compensation. It is part of the continued effort to distract the public with measures meant to look like reforms but actually reaffirm the power of the government like President Obama’s highly criticized “reforms” announced last Friday. Rather than limit the government, it would now become a formal exclusion of the vast majority of people covering the government from protections. This is particularly a concern with the rising criticism of mainstream media in yielding to demands of the White House in covering stories like the Snowden affair or actively mocking critics of the government. We are often informed of these programs or developments by the foreign media or the bloggers that Feinstein wants to strip of protections. It is particularly ironic coming from the Senator representing the state with the largest number of bloggers in the country. Instead of their interests, Feinstein is representing the interests of the ever-expanding system of security state offices and officials.

The government is most concerned not with traditional media, but the power of sites like Wikileaks or bloggers cover every aspect of their work. This is one reason why mainstream media is losing market share to the blogs. Readers are increasingly seeking alternatives to the source of their information. That certainly comes with a risk. There are many unreliable Internet sites and there is a great deal of bias on such sites. However, if one is to define a journalist, it would seem obvious that you would base the define on what they are actually doing as opposed to the arbitrary criteria of whether anyone is paying them directly for the work.

The problem is that the mainstream media views this emerging new media as a threat and many may privately welcome the exclusion of the competition. That would leave no one to advocate for bloggers on the Hill or in the main press. For that you would have to go to Internet and the very blogs that Feinstein is targeting in this legislation.

The most effective shield under this law will be for the government in stripping claims of protection and allowing long periods of surveillance of reporters. These exceptions and Feinstein’s effort (with Durbin) make the shield law a Trojan horse bill. To paraphrase an ancient adage for civil libertarians today, beware of Democratic leaders bearing gifts.

143 thoughts on “Pruning The Fourth Estate: Feinstein Seeks To Limit Who Can Claim To Be A Journalist

  1. “The problem is that the mainstream media views this emerging new media as a threat and many may privately welcome the exclusion of the competition.” (JT)

    And there you have it!

  2. “Well everyone knows you can’t tell the truth without being on some corporate payroll . . . or taking their campaign contributions. Money is the ultimated arbiter of truth. We can’t have citizens reporting on governmental and corporate malfeasance and crimes! Why that might make people in Washington have to be accountable and end up with our corporate overlords in prison right next to us!

    We’ll have none of that.” – Sen. Diane “Super Shill” Feinstein (F – CA)

  3. JT and GB’s,

    If an invitation to the White House Correspondents Dinner arrives, run like he!! and don’t look back.

    (I’m not kidding)

  4. Gene,

    The real fear is in the board rooms across America. Back in the mid 90’s when the old hacks refused to take the emerging power of the internet seriously and employ some innovative thinking to develop new business plans, they reminded me of a bunch of blacksmiths who refused to believe that the horseless-carriage was going to catch on.

  5. What is interesting to me is that blogging and alternative media has brought forth left, right, libertarian, etc. reporting and commentary. Not just the pablum of MSM. Maybe this is just a negotiating ploy. I could see this stooge of a Senator saying, “Well, we’ll settle for now on Greenwald and Assange being non journalists. Do we have a deal?”

    This Senator climbed over the dead body of Mayor Moscone onto the national scene. That was, and is, her credentials for being a legislator on the national stage. This is just one of many stupid and dangerous proposals coming from “The most esteemed gentlewoman and senior Senator from the great state of California.”

  6. Not unexpected from our Dear Leaders.

    JT hit the nail on the head with this one on all fronts. The compensation level is just an excuse to attack as many of those who exercise their free speech rights as possible.

    One does not have to earn a salary to receive the right to express their first amendment rights. What’s next a minimum wage level? W-2 employee status? Minimum revenue source of the employer (such as 50 million in revenues).

    Soon you might see if this disgrace was implemented a cat and mouse game between bloggers or volunteer journalists trying to stay one step ahead of the game by accepting $1 salaries per year to become salaried employees then the gov’t will force another level and the bloggers will try to make another work-arouned and on and on.

    I read wikinews will issue press passes to those contributors who have demonstrated a certain level of contribution to its content.

    How is this any more or less legitimate than any other news agency?

  7. So according to the Senator F, only persons who receive salaries are to be afforded rights, responsibilities and powers. So are we going to just go and strip away those duties of reserve police officers, volunteer firefighters, volunteer rescue members, and sheriffs’ posse?

    Attacking volunteers in general would have a great and bad effect in this country. I can’t imagine a world, especially in rural areas, where there are no volunteer firefighters. There would be almost no fire protection if they were eliminated. Volunteer journalists have similar benefit for journalism.

  8. nick spinelli 1, August 13, 2013 at 11:56 am

    What is interesting to me is that blogging and alternative media has brought forth left, right, libertarian, etc. reporting and commentary. Not just the pablum of MSM. Maybe this is just a negotiating ploy. I could see this stooge of a Senator saying, “Well, we’ll settle for now on Greenwald and Assange being non journalists. Do we have a deal?”


    I don’t think so. Feinstein–and the others who support this effort–have to know there’s more than Greenwald and Assange who could uncover things the powers that be don’t want “the people” to know. There are tons of news/opinion blogs.

    Unfortunately, one “real” journalist (Michael Hastings) was recently killed in a fiery car crash.

  9. Linda Thomas..Go to the top right of the blog page where it says “you are subscribed to …” Click on “manage.” That will take you to the WP subscribe page where you can remove this blog from your list. If you do that you will never receive another well written, well researched post from Mr. Turley again.

  10. Seven corporations–all of them right wing by definition–own every one of the (even remotely) mainstream media outlets in the U.S. These corporations own Congress, and Feinstein is one of their most loyal lapdogs (though certainly not the most cuddly.) Of course she (and her friend Obama) want to limit the freedom of the alternative press. They are the only people telling the truth.

  11. I want some f the shrooms that they are eating…. They must be wonderful…. We all ride on a yellow submarine….. Magic carpet ride…. Rabbit…. Alice …..

    So we limit these folks…. The journalist… By the urinolist…… I wonder what the administration has on these two folks….

  12. My first reaction was it is MSM that is controlling this. Lobbyists and $$$. Seems most laws and attempted laws have this behind them (at least anymore)
    It reminds also of a conversation I had with a friend.
    I did local non union dinner theater, long long ago. I got paid 20$ a weekend for 3 shows and never for rehearsals. My friend said well if you are not on Broadway you are not really a professional.
    Her daughter is a odel with one of the major modeling agencies but she started in Allentown Pa doing shows for a department store. :So, then your daughter wasn;t a professional model in Allentown even though she was being paid only a little.” Oh, well, my friend said, I guess as long as you get paid you can say you are professional.”
    Maybe the 1$ idea is a good one but do you have to pay yourself if it is your own blog? Ridiculousness this being the criteria.

  13. Currently voting in CA, I consistently look for primary options other than Feinstein when the opportunity arises.

  14. I am not surprised at Feinstein’s reaction, but I am disturbed by Durbin joining in. Time to get on his case. The way I look at it, you either have full free speech rights or you don’t. The idea that someone who gets paid by a corporation gets more rights that me is absurd and smacks of a Citizens United mentality.

  15. Members of congress and the administration fear blogs and bloggers. The whole driving force behind this effort is fear. Same is true of governments all over the world.

    I let my subscription to both our local area newspapers expire, and do not get dead tree news any more. I also cancelled my cable service, except for the Internet. We can get movies with Netflix or rentals a whole lot cheaper, and there is literally nothing worth watching on the “news” channels any more. There is more news available on blogs, and a lot faster, than the MSM is willing to provide. Many news events are liveblogged from cell phones.

    Back in the day, I suppose those pamphleteers like Thomas Paine wouldn’t be journalists either, because they weren’t paid and did not have subscribers.

    I foresee an increase in the number and sophistication of free open source encryption programs. Not store-bought encryption that may or may not have a secret access wormhole for the NSA and its ilk, but open source codes that can be customized.

  16. Well, perhaps my fundamentalist friends are right about aspects of Creationism because here we have a case of a dinosaur walking among humans. The sun set long ago on “Senator” Diane Feinstein.

  17. Blouise,

    I don’t think it’s too hard to see the man behind the curtain here, but it’s hard to blame only the puppeteer when the puppet is willing going along with having his or her strings pulled and shares in the profits (so to speak). As you say, torch time is rapidly approaching if not here already between crap like this, the domestic spying and the bullshit response to domestic spying. Putting Clapper in charge of the investigation into NSA abuses? Really? That’s insulting our intelligence at a whole new level of arrogance from the Obama Administration. “I put the fox in charge of investigating these chicken killings,” said Farmer Obama. Either he’s the dumbest man alive or the most arrogant co-conspirator imaginable.

    I don’t think he’s dumb.

  18. P Smith,

    Godwin only applies when the analogy is false. Comparison to the fascist police state under the Nazi regime is becoming increasingly appropriate to American politics.

  19. The bigger issue is Campaign Finance Reform so members of Congress put their constituents issues above their campaign contributors’ issues.

    Feinstein has done some great things, but on this issue she is not representing the citizens of California and has instead sided with the industry lobbyists.

  20. Ross,

    Campaign finance reform has been the single biggest issue related to corruption since Buckly v. Valeo and the dismantling of FECA limits. Since then, it has been the Business Plot of 1933 anew, unfolding like a slow motion fascist train wreck.

  21. Chuck’s comment mentioning Thomas Payne is exactly right.

    I might add the fear is certainly of the small press like Payne’s leading to the public ousting the current leadership. Any way to stop people like us from speaking out in a manner in which they can get away from it is going to be the present approach. It might not be a nazi Säuberung like approach but pressure and undue influence is something they are going to try and get away with.

  22. Even if Feinstein violates the U.S. Constitution on the “Freedom of the Press” clause of the First Amendment, what about Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Assembly/Association and the right to petition one’s government also part of the First Amendment?

    If the Bill of Rights are no longer valid for the First Amendment, then wouldn’t “Roe v. Wade” and women’s right also be in danger? Using this standard a future Congress could legislate away Supreme Court rulings if the U.S. Constitution is meaningless.

  23. The East German Stasi of the Cold War is probably a closer model than Nazi Germany. Many dispute this but seems very similar. Great movie “The Lives of Others” was a good portrait.

  24. So in other words, the only Freedoms DiFi respects and defends are:
    1) The freedom to financially afford your freedoms
    2) The freedom to lie under Oath to her face

  25. Edward Snowden To NY Times: Media ‘Abdicated’ Role Post-9/11
    The Huffington Post
    By Jack Mirkinson
    Posted: 08/13/2013

    The New York Times secured an interview with Edward Snowden for the first time since he outed himself as the leaker of NSA documents in June.

    The brief Q-and-A appeared Tuesday alongside a lengthy profile of Laura Poitras, the filmmaker who, along with Glenn Greenwald, has been the journalist most at the center of the Snowden saga. Both pieces were written by reporter Peter Maas.

    In one portion of the interview, Snowden talked about why he turned to Poitras and Greenwald, instead of the Times or the Washington Post:

    “After 9/11, many of the most important news outlets in America abdicated their role as a check to power — the journalistic responsibility to challenge the excesses of government — for fear of being seen as unpatriotic and punished in the market during a period of heightened nationalism. From a business perspective, this was the obvious strategy, but what benefited the institutions ended up costing the public dearly. The major outlets are still only beginning to recover from this cold period.”

  26. The consent of the governed…
    … Many in Despotic Central (D.C. to the lay folk) say, “Let them eat cake”.

  27. So if the Government has gagged you from discussing what potentially could be a systematic violation of our First and Fourth Amendments… wouldn’t that go straight to intent? The obsessive need to cover up a crime committed on a broad scale, done repeatedly over a course of time?

    I mean, isn’t the Government sounding like that man that kidnapped a few women for 10+ years, keep them chained up, had a child or two with them all the while insisting the women wanted it, liked it, in fact?

  28. I guess the shorter list for Senator Difi is:
    What freedoms do you support and defend as outlined by your Oath of Office?

    I bet she stumbles right out the gate…

  29. Ross,
    What laws are left?
    Well, be sure to know Senator Difi will vociferously defend the Right of Senators to not be arrested while in Office…

    In the first interview I posted from DN, what would you do if your client said to you, “I have this situation… er legal matter… that I must discuss but if I discuss this, even with you, I’ll be thrown in jail.” ?

  31. There is an interesting situation that happened in Virginia that civil libertarians may want to pay close attention to:

    Essentially most Americans don’t care because they can’t see “cause & effect – they don’t see how it harms them or their family or friends.

    Recently in Virginia most voters could care less about drones until government officials were found to be flying drones of hunt clubs. Almost immediately members of the Virginia General Assembly (including Republicans) were creating bills to protect civil liberties.

    If you want to fix this we need to show the average voter how it harms them or many simply won’t care.

  32. ** Hastings

    On this Tuesday, August 13 edition of the Alex Jones Show, Alex covers Michael Hastings and the story he was writing on CIA director John Brennan prior to the award-winning journalist’s death on June 18 of this year. Alex looks at the latest on Snowden and new revelations about the CIA’s arms shipment to al-Qaeda in Syria. On today’s show, Alex talks with Press for Truth filmmaker Dan Dicks and Joe Biggs, who will be in-studio. Sgt. Joe Biggs was a friend of the late Michael Hastings and was one of the last people to be in contact with him prior to this death. Alex also talks with Dr. Seth Farber, a writer, social critic, and dissident psychologist who will break down the DSM-5, the American Psychiatric Association’s manual on mental disorders and suicide.**

    Infowars show dovetails right into Feinstein’s treason against our nation as JT presents in part here.

    Joe Biggs piece just finished.

    It appears Hastings was trying to warn us citizens people like Feinstein/Graham/McCain/King/Obama are out to either kill or arrest anyone not going along with their mordern Fascist take over.

    Knowing the history of tyranical govts, inside or outside of govt, everyone sooner or later figures out they have no choice but to resist in whatever way one can.

  33. **Max-1 1, August 13, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    In the first interview I posted from DN, what would you do if your client said to you, “I have this situation… er legal matter… that I must discuss but if I discuss this, even with you, I’ll be thrown in jail.” ?

    Just post everything all over the Internet 1st for their personal safety & to make sure the info gets out.

    Better have a decent plan in advance.

  34. Max-1: Many of us aren’t surprised that the Executive Branch (which includes the Department of Justice) and Congress have little regard for following their oath of office to uphold the U.S. Constitution as the Supreme Law of the Land (Article VI of the U.S. Constitution).

    What is outrageous is that federal judges (Judicial Branch) and most (not all) major Press organizations aren’t providing adequate checks and balances on the Executive and Legislative branches of government. This is the top duty of any judge – to uphold the U.S. Constitution.

    Alexander Hamilton had some wonderful and timeless wisdom on the role of judges in Federalist #78 that is very relevant today. Basically legal precedence only matters if it is “constitutional” legislation passed by Congress. If the legislation is blatantly unconstitutional, legal precedence is subordinate to constitutionality.

    If the U.S. Constitution (a wartime charter) is fundamentally flawed or needs updating – we amend the Constitution – we don’t violate it. In the “Articles” section of the Constitution there are clauses that deal with exigent circumstances and the suspension of habeas corpus. Most habeas corpus rights should have been restored by 2002 in my view, there wasn’t major chaos or anarchy in any American city in 2002 – not talking about legal precedence but constitutionality.

  35. The eighty year old multi millionaire Feinstein does not understand the First thing about the First Amendment. Any person can petition their government for redress of grievances. We can wear a button on the shirt, carry a sign on Petition Square out in front of the Capital Bldg in Sacramento or Washington DC or other ways. Other ways includes communicating on the internet with like minded souls who we wish to influence our Legislators. We can influence most legislators unless they are multi millionaires and 80 years old, senile and uneducated. The First Amendment does not define or mention a “journalist”. The free press is not limited in any constitutional text to something printed on an 18th century printing press set up by
    Ben Franklin. Feinstein went in dumb and come out dumb too. It figures. She hails from California.

  36. Feinstein was on television last night. She and her husband are trying to make deals on buying up closed Post Offices around the country. Boy did she look OLD.

  37. I’m one of millions of full time American citizen journalist the Demo/Repub party Nazis want to get rid of/stop.

    Some don’t like what I post & that’s fine. Often though some after a few years figure out what & why I was writing about certain subjects in the 1st place.

    I’ve got 4 decades involved in this subject matter below & never received a dime for dealing with it.

    But this is a subject those American Hatin Trash don’t want out to the gen pop, well to damn bad!

    **The Fukushima disaster is likely to get far worse, if you can believe that**

    **Remember: Governments can lie about the national debt, health care costs, inflation and unemployment, but they cannot lie about radiation for very long. Sooner or later the physics of it all simply cannot be denied.**

  38. Ask Dick Durbin if they license journalists in Illinois. No. There is no license or board to decide who is fit to be a journalist. Nor is there some agency which decides if the Chicago Tribune is fit to print all the news. Dumb schmucks.

  39. Feinstein does not like non traditional avenues of journalism. Wiki leaks might just reveal what they know about her and her boyfriend.

  40. As always, the question is WHY, but I’m sorry to have to say that most people here don’t really want to know the answer because they might
    then be forced to confront some very uncomfortable notions about
    what the PTB are really all about.

  41. does this mean that since fox news channel is not a licensed news organization its “reporters” will no longer be treated as such.

  42. In related news. Obama @ his presser last week said an independent panel would be established to review the NSA surveillance program. Well, it was just announced that JAMES CLAPPER will be selecting the committee!! This is like a bad ‘B’ movie political spoof.

  43. Note that almost none of the key players in DC/Wallst ever get Fired & arrested!!!!!!

    Last week even that Texas Trooper that raped those 2 women got her job back.

    Not so if your just a simple Rodeo Clown in an Obama mask calling out another polecat on their Bull Sheeet & making a huge crowd laugh at the same time.

    Those Polecats spends millions in PR telling us how great the Polecats are, but then someone with something as a simple mask exposes the Polecats lunacy to the public.

    Well, to the Polecats that’s a “National Security Issue”, that clown has to be Fired in a public way & Blackballed forever.

    To which I think is even funnier. :)

  44. As others here have pointed out this isn’t about reform, it’s about limiting competition and suppression of non-controlled news. This takes it up a notch, a big notch.

    Paywalls, copyright trolls, and incessant demands for the take-down of copyright material (even in the face of fair use standards) are already being used to negatively impact news aggregation sites and loggers. Defining who is a reporter no doubt impacts what is defined as a news organizations and who can be maximally protected against claims of libel also. There is already a war going on about what information can be put into the public square and how it’s done, this kind of law is like an arms shipment to anti-First Amendment faction in that war.

  45. Thanks Gene! That was odd, it didn’t just disappear, it seemed to post.

    You know, if you guest blawgers got paid by the piece for liberating postings snagged by the filter- even if it was a pittance- you could pick up some good change after a while. LoL, You folks need a union :-)

  46. The government appears to be trying to shut down media coverage of Barrett Brown. He was at one time, a sort of public face for Anonymous. Shades of the blackout on any coverage of Nelson Mandela by the South African government! Prosecutors are also foaming at the mouth to get him prosecuted and in prison. The government apparently has two terabytes of data, plus a couple of DVDs, but are opposing giving defense forensic experts time to sift thought the information stored. The prosecution arguments are specious at best. From the article:

    Barrett is set to appear in court next month, but his defense attorneys are asking for an extension to sort through the prosecutors’ evidence. The defense insists they’re in the midst of having a forensics expert process the data. The US government’s evidence is stored on a 2 Terabyte hard drive and two DVDs, and the prosecutors are essentially arguing that a.) All of that does not account for much information, despite the forensic processing that is still ongoing, and b.) the defense has had enough time to get their shit together. But, beyond that, they’re trying to silence the media coverage surrounding Barrett Brown’s case.

    Anyone here have any idea how much stuff is contained in two terabytes? That is the equivalent of 440 million pages of text, or 728,200 3.5″ floppy discs.

    Story here:

  47. Oky1,

    It would be journalism if you were posting that to your own blog or one where you were a contributor and/or editor. Here? It’s just commenting.

  48. Turley says:

    Feinstein came out last week by insisting that bloggers and Internet writers are not “real reporters” despite the fact that most Americans now get their news from such sites

    I can’t find the citation, but that statement is not true. Most Americans still get their news from teevee.

    I think Turley often/sometimes/ makes such mistakes. That’s one trouble with bloggers – no factcheckers.

  49. Ozzie,

    Alex Jones is journalism. Yellow, horrible, unreliable journalism that sometimes relies upon pure fabrication and lunatic conspiracy theory, but nominally journalism. I was actually being dismissive of Oky posting that here.

  50. LK,

    I’ve had that happen to me a couple of times as well. That spam filter is some kind of wonky lately and for all the joking about the NSA, I’m not so sure they’re jokes at this point.

  51. Perhaps I was being too subtle for you, Oky.

    If you want to post totally OT stuff that isn’t tangential to an ongoing conversation but instead more pimping for Alex Jones, maybe you should consider getting your own blog instead of polluting this one with your PrisonPlanet tripe.

    I hope that was clear enough for you to understand.

  52. Maybe you boyz can write an article from your research of dry cast for nuke waste storage & how it pertains to Fukushima & cost to utilities/govts., I’m tried, but my research is laying on my desk.

    Just another subject of hundreds I follow.

    Ya govt licenses for Journalism…. I need to see Obama, Bush’s, Clinton’s license to be Prez 1st.. not! :)

  53. GH,

    You would have to have watched to see the relevance to this thread, but then again, maybe you only see certain subjects in ways you’re biased to agree with? :)

  54. Here. Maybe this will sort things out a bit:

    Journaliam is the activity, or product, of journalists or others engaged in the preparation of written, visual, or audio material intended for dissemination through public media with reference to factual, ongoing events of public concern. It is intended to inform society about itself and to make events public that would otherwise remain private.”

    Yellow journalism, or the yellow press, is a type of journalism that presents little or no legitimate well-researched news and instead uses eye-catching headlines to sell more newspapers.Techniques may include exaggerations of news events, scandal-mongering, or sensationalism. By extension, the term yellow journalism is used today as a pejorative to decry any journalism that treats news in an unprofessional or unethical fashion.”

    Alex Jones is journalism. Just not of the good sort.

  55. Gene,

    Okay but who and what qualifies as journalist/journalism? If you are saying anyone – including the insane, the fool, and the liar perhaps you can see how that may lead some to question the special protections of journalist.

  56. Gene, I’ve seen some good stuff you’ve put out & I also see you like to argue, fine so do I when I have the energy, right now I’m running low again.

    I’m topped out on issues I’m concerned with, but I viewed this odd one below last night.

    I could just walk away from it yet I saved the link.

    I’m not sure what to think of it yet. It’s gross, it’s some freaky stuff & full of religion.

    It is an odd piece but the gal is American & some are preaching this stuff among us all.

    And I’m not saying I’ll have any further comments on this subject later.

  57. Gardaisil is an anti-cancer vaccine. About eight thousand women a year [who have not had the vaccine] die of uterine cancer.

    As of December 31, 2008, there were 32 U.S. reports of deaths among females who received the vaccine. There was no common pattern to the deaths that would suggest that they were caused by the vaccine.

  58. Ozzie,

    The proof is in the eating of the pudding.

    As for special protection of journalists? Let’s start by looking at what the 1st Amendment actually says in relevant part:

    “Congress shall make no law [. . .] abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press”.

    Yet there are exceptions to free speech long recognized in jurisprudence as both reasonable restraints and non-intrusive upon the inherent right such as defamation, threats, incitement, etc. But look at what the Constitution is specifically protecting aside from free speech: “the press” aka journalism as defined above. The Founders were protecting both free speech and the press as a public form of mass communication of information about events of public interest. I don’t begrudge Alex Jones the right to say what he says or use the medium. I begrudge that his standards and content are usually crap of the highest order. But the Internet and the Web are a great equalizer. They are both press and distributor that enable anyone with a connection to act as a journalist. Anyone can “spread the news” now. That makes knowing what makes good journalism and what makes yellow journalism so critical.

    It’s up to the reader to know how to differentiate between journalism and pablum.

  59. **Otteray Scribe 1, August 14, 2013 at 1:08 am

    Gardaisil is an anti-cancer vaccine**

    Well OS, we’ll just mark you down as one that trust those lying ahole vaccine makers & their bought/paid govt puppets that pimp for them & since you & all your grand babies are vaccinated you have nothing to fear from those of us that disagree.

    It’s an easy position to hold OS, if you let it be.

  60. **About eight thousand women a year [who have not had the vaccine] die of uterine cancer. **

    OS, instead of thinking vaccines as the answer maybe you should be asking yourself “What Caused the Cancers in the 1st place?”

  61. Risk factors? This:
    Cervical cancer is caused by the human papilloma virus, otherwise known as HPV. HPV is a sexually transmitted disease, although not all types of HPV will cause cervical cancer. Some types of HPV cause genital warts; other types of the virus are asymptomatic.

    The danger is in the fact that a woman can have HPV for years and never know it. The virus stays dormant in the body and can cause cervical cancer years later. This is why it is important for a woman to have a routine Pap smear to detect the early stages of cervical cancer and prevent the spread of the disease.

    Cervical Cancer Causes and Risk Factors
    In addition to the main cause of cervical cancer, an HPV infection, there are several other risk factors that contribute to the disease:

    Smoking: Women who are infected with HPV and smoke cigarettes have a higher risk of cervical cancer.
    Weakened Immune System: A person with a weakened immune system or an autoimmune disease has an increased risk of cervical cancer.
    Sexual Partners: Women who have had multiple sexual partners have a higher risk of cervical cancer.
    Birth Control Pills: Women who use birth control pills for five years or longer have a slightly higher risk of developing cervical cancer with an HPV infection. This risk will automatically decrease when a woman goes off of birth control pills.
    Having Several Children: A woman that has had five or more children has a slightly higher risk of cervical cancer if she has an HPV infection.
    DES: DES was a drug given to pregnant women between 1940 and 1971. It can increase the risk of cervical cancer in daughters whose mothers were exposed to the drug during pregnancy.

    This is much better than getting a shot, right:

  62. **Weakened Immune System: A person with a weakened immune system or an autoimmune disease has an increased risk of cervical cancer. **

    OS, They can get the above from taking vaccines.

    It’s easy for me to make mistake in any writings, but the files I’ve gathered I do not believe are mistaken.

    It’s only reasonable to let peer reviewed science help us be objective on whatever the subject.

    Whether it’s global warming or vaccines let us 1st be honest about who are the bought & paid off scientist by billionaires & what was their agenda regarding their research.

    I hope you’ll agree we are in trouble in regards to research funding coming to scientist from billionaires/Corps/Foundations with preconceived agendas.

    We’ll have to go back & 1st find out what info we can once again trust.

  63. **Otteray Scribe 1, August 14, 2013 at 1:44 am

    Risk factors? This: **


    We know as fact in the 50′, 60’s & *80’s the CDC , Red Cross, Reagan, etc.,

    where putting Cancer viruses/AIDS into the vaccines/blood products.

    Was HPV one of those viruses?

    Regardless, there is no long any trust fact with many of us.

  64. Yellow Journalism:

    “You supply the pictures, and I’ll supply the war.” — William Randolph Hearst to one of his reporters in Havana Cuba shortly before the U.S.S. Maine went down.

    From Crucible of Empire:

    The Spanish-American War is often referred to as the first “media war.” During the 1890s, journalism that sensationalized—and sometimes even manufactured—dramatic events was a powerful force that helped propel the United States into war with Spain. Led by newspaper owners William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer, journalism of the 1890s used melodrama, romance, and hyperbole to sell millions of newspapers–a style that became known as yellow journalism.

    The term yellow journalism came from a popular New York World comic called “Hogan’s Alley,” which featured a yellow-dressed character named the “the yellow kid.” Determined to compete with Pulitzer’s World in every way, rival New York Journal owner William Randolph Hearst copied Pulitzer’s sensationalist style and even hired “Hogan’s Alley” artist R.F. Outcault away from the World. In response, Pulitzer commissioned another cartoonist to create a second yellow kid. Soon, the sensationalist press of the 1890s became a competition between the “yellow kids,” and the journalistic style was coined “yellow journalism.”

    Yellow journals like the New York Journal and the New York World relied on sensationalist headlines to sell newspapers. William Randolph Hearst understood that a war with Cuba would not only sell his papers, but also move him into a position of national prominence. From Cuba, Hearst’s star reporters wrote stories designed to tug at the heartstrings of Americans. Horrific tales described the situation in Cuba–female prisoners, executions, valiant rebels fighting, and starving women and children figured in many of the stories that filled the newspapers. But it was the sinking of the battleship Maine in Havana Harbor that gave Hearst his big story–war. After the sinking of the Maine, the Hearst newspapers, with no evidence, unequivocally blamed the Spanish, and soon U.S. public opinion demanded intervention.

    Today, historians point to the Spanish-American War as the first press-driven war. Although it may be an exaggeration to claim that Hearst and the other yellow journalists started the war, it is fair to say that the press fueled the public’s passion for war. Without sensational headlines and stories about Cuban affairs, the mood for Cuban intervention may have been very different. At the dawn of the twentieth century, the United States emerged as a world power, and the U.S. press proved its influence.

    Given the mainstream corporate media feeding frenzy stoking Deputy Dubya Bush’s dual debacles in Iraq and Afghanistan, I’d say that yellow journalism pretty much sets the limbo standard (“How Low Can You Go”) for the sort of journalism Senator Feinstein thoroughly approves.

  65. Ross,
    Totally agree. I will also add that violations should be meet with equal punishments. Promotions to cabinet positions is NOT about any form of reprimand/punishment meted out. IMO. It only seems fair and equal… I mean, if I were to con someone into spying on them, what would be my punishment?

  66. Haves VS Have nots
    Diane sets the stage

    A Two Tiered system

    There are two sets of laws applied in this Nation:
    One set is reserved to reward the political Elite…
    … The other set is used by the political Elite against Just-us!

    You CAN be a Pentagon Elite and lie under Oath and that’s O.K. with Diane.

  67. p.s.
    While Diane is busying herself with defining “journalist” and “press” for “free speech” purposes…
    … She might want to also define “lying under Oath”.

  68. Corporations are people, people are barnyard animals.

    Old MIC Donald had a farm E I E I O
    He hired Media Congress & Corps
    To totally run the show.

    On this farm he had DiFi

  69. In Russia the government determines who a journalist is. Hitler did so too. Cuba. North Korea. California is next. Then the U.S. of Aholes.
    Can this blog run the Feinstein stories without the photo? It tears up the censor/ugly device on the Dogalogue Machine. She is an ugly old goat. Too old to be giving advise or consent from the Senate. 80 is old.

    When she and Durbin without the turbin talk about licensed journalists it is similar to the walk they make around the metadata. They speak in terms of telephone calls and avoid the fact that the metadata system reads every email that you all write. The right of a person to reveal and tell the rest of the world about our government spying in our private lives should not be vested in some journalist. They can control journalists. Look at that schmuck on CNN who calls Snowden a Clown and a Traitor. His name is Jeffrey Toobin, not to be confused with turbin, and he says he is a lawyer. So where is his journalism degree or license? Who is he to defame Snowden? How can anyone get a fair trial with all the so called journalists calling him a traitor? We need to put qualifications on Congressmen and Senators. Like not too old. Not too rich. Not tied to the Koch Brothers.

  70. BarkinDog is traveling to Den Haag as guide dog his half blind guy. He emailed from Koln, Germany to say that the Germans are riled up at America and Obama over the spying. He said that they are mad at CNN and other American television channels for playing down the spying and calling Snowden a traitor. The Europeans think that we need qualified journalists over here too. But not the Jeffrey Toobins owned by the Koch Brothers. BarkinDog is going to Firenze, Italy and then north to Amsterdam for a conference near the Red Light District. He will report in when he comes home to the dogpac.

  71. The first poster is right. Lady Difi is an evil old multimillionaire who wants to be even richer and more powerful. The only good thing she can do is go away.

  72. I have no answer for what or who should qualify as a journalist. But when Alex Jones passes as one, we’ve got a problem. It gives us millions(?) of thinkers like Oky, school boards like those found in Texas, state governments like SC, and about 50% of the House of Representatives. That’s what scares me about “leaving it up to the readers”.

  73. Ozzie,

    The USA, our country, currently has 101 million Americans on direct/indirect food aid welfare.

    Rumors I’m hearing is that number is going to around 140 million by the end of 2013.

    Further most every other person, farmer & corporation is receiving direct/indirect govt. welfare/subsidies.

    Just at what point will you finally admit this country is currently in full meltdown collapse & that what the old dying media/govt agencies told you in the past was lies?

    The old “Gate Keepers” of info & their lies have been over run!

  74. When you post your comment on this blog you are entitled to protection under the First Amendment for exercising your Right to Free Speech and Expression; for exercising your Right to Petition Your Government for Redress of Grievances; your right To Assemble with others here on the blog to do the above. The journalist label is without importance. There is no license for journalist. The reason for that is no one knows what the qualifications should be. Read, write, listen, record, repeat, repeat after me. Write an Editorial. Write an obit. Write an obit on the First Amendment if schmucks like Feinstein keep getting elected to the Senate. She is worse than the McCarthy guy in the 50’s.. Shame on California. Old biddy needs to go home and count her money.

  75. ** It gives us millions(?) of thinkers like Oky, school boards like those found in Texas, state governments like SC, and about 50% of the House of Representatives. That’s what scares me about “leaving it up to the readers”. **


    Freedom & Liberty make some uncomfortable & they prefer a father figure authoritarian dictatorship instead.

    If an authoritarian dictatorship is what you are seeking I’d suggest you & others move to North Korea, England, Mexico, Saudi Arabia.

    When it comes to “Individual Rights of Americans”, which was the sole reason/purpose for this nation’s founding, if the State/Fed govt’s are not expanding those freedoms I demand they keep their damn hands off our Rights!

  76. This Journalist with a capital J on the front is a puzzle. All people have free expression and the rights delineated in the First Amendment. Here is what the First Amendment says:
    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.

    “or of the press” is not an after thought, but it is not the end all of a speaker’s rights. We can all speak without the tag of Journalist. We can all assemble, like we do on this blog. We can all freely speak and write. We can all petition our government for redress of grievances. Snowden did not claim to be a journalist and no person or organization has to obtain some license from some schmuck state like California to exercise First Amendment rights.

    Bloggers. Start getting past the free press apCray and focus on all the protections of the First Amendment.

  77. basically, the idea of omitting nonsalaried press including nearly all bloggers from protection is because they are less “accountable” to the agenda of “justifying the lying” for the press. These “unruly” press are more likely to exercise freedom of speech, something the government seeks the mere APPEARANCE of protecting while doing everything to suppress

  78. I tried to post a comment and it went into wordpress. This Media Shield Law is a mistake. It diminishes the protections afforded by the First Amendment. Now the likes of Feinstein are narrowing the scope of protection. Litigants should ignore it and ground their lawsuits on the First and Fourteenth Amendments.

    We are in a media of sorts right here on this blog. If they mess with me, I am filing suit under the First Amendment.

  79. “We are in a media of sorts right here on this blog.”

    media /ˈmēdēə/


    2; (usually the media) [treated as singular or plural] the main means of mass communication (especially television, radio, newspapers, and the Internet) regarded collectively:

    I think therein lies your answer, Ozzie. The Internet has given everyone a mass communications voice. And that is what the Founders were protecting when they specifically protected the press: mass communication concerning events of public interest. One no longer need be an employee of a magazine, newspaper, radio or television to mass communicate. Just as the Internet has changed forever the music publication industry and is changing other fields as we speak, it has opened the once exclusive club of journalism. Who decides who is and isn’t a serious reliable journalist? Who decides who is a hack? Their degree? Their employer? No. It’s the quality of the information they convey. The veracity of their what, where, when, who and (sometimes) how. Those are the objective standards. The subjective standard? Is the audience. Just as it always has been.

    That once exclusive club has been changed forever by technology. Just as newspapers are dying, what defines good journalism isn’t changing but how it is delivered is changing. Feinstein is seeking to narrowly define what is and isn’t a journalist based on monied interests and that isn’t what the Founders were protecting: media company profits or exclusivity. They were protecting public discourse and the flow of information that keeps it alive. Being a member of the press no longer needs you have to own huge printing presses or a radio or television broadcast facility to get your message out. Does that mean we are subject to more fools like Jones than reliable journalists like Greenwald? Sure. But even when we had Murrows and Lippmans we had clowns getting it wrong and/or wasting their (and their audience’s) time talking about which celebrity is banging which celebrity or that the Reptilian Overlords of Planet Smersh were taking over the country by corrupting our precious bodily fluids with fluoride in the water.

    An audience is a strange beast. Some are sharp as razors, some are dull as stones. Ours at RIL is particularly of above average intelligence due in no small part to our host’s own clear and intelligent voice in the media beyond this space. Like attracts like. The same as it ever was.

    But I think you’re looking at this sideways. We aren’t in the process of making journalism as a profession less special somehow. We are democratizing it through technology. The true arbiter of what constitutes a serious reliable journalist? Is now skill. Not their degree. Not who employs them. But rather the quality and the content of their work and how well it is received by the audience as being serious and reliable information.

  80. The word “media” is similar in its overbroad useage to the word “data”. Both words are used with contempt and by contempt I mean for the word itself. With the word “data” it was formerly pronounced with a ATA like ate a dog biscuit sound Now they say data like DA Tuh. Folks drop the word “information” or “the facts”. Now its: the data suggests. Then lately we have “metadata” or Metadata. This suggests a conglomeration of data that is not threatening. Yet in fact it is more threatening.
    So when the sainted, licensed Media tell us that Snowden is a Traitor and the Metadata which he released was classified, secret, and of high intelligence then we must follow the lead of the sainted Media. So we are supposed to listen to the likes of Jeffrey Toobin on CNN when he calls Snowden a Clown and a Traitor. But, if Snowden just released a bunch of Metadata then it must be innocuous. The government has a Complaint against Snowden on file in the Federal Court in Virginia but the facts are clumped into a Sealed Affidavit. Kind of like Navy Seal. We are not told who the enemy or enema is or what secrets he gave the enemy. It was not the Atomic Bomb secrets, we know that two immigrants with last name Rosenberg did that seventy years ago. No Snowden told them what they had told each other. So enemy number one tells enemy number two that Obama has a fat arse then that is what we derived from the Metadata. Then Snowden tells one or more of those enemas what they told each other. Ya get the picture.

  81. So bottom line, we don’t need a statute enacted by Congress to protect those who posit free speech or assemble or attempt to petition our government for redress of grievances. We have the First Amendment and federal laws in place to sue the igPays who violate our rights. The media statute now lets Congress decide the parameters of our rights when the Framers of the Constitution set them forth real straight in the First Amendment. We don’t need no 80 year old lady redefining our rights in some statute. She and Durbin can go share a turbin.

  82. **Ozzie 1, August 14, 2013 at 3:06 pm


    You are a bloody fool.

    Ozzie , “bloody fool”, I have to assume you’re not even an American, but that you’re a British Red Coat.

    Though I’m not a lawyer many here on this one of America’s leading legal blogs,, are USA Lawyers & as such are officers of the courts.

    As such they are bound by duties, I believe.

    When you or I attempt to direct their attention to what we laymen perceive as maybe a crime in our opinion I would think they would/should pass the info along to the appropriate authorities to who’s jurisdiction it falls to.

    A fool, maybe, but at least I attempt to put forward a positive effort to correct injustices I believe I see here in the states.

  83. **

    Does that mean we are subject to more fools like Jones than reliable journalists like Greenwald? Sure. …………….. or that the Reptilian Overlords of Planet Smersh were taking over the country by corrupting our precious bodily fluids with fluoride in the water.

    Here you go Gene H:

    Israel Court Rules to Stop Water Fluoridation in 2014 Due to Health Concerns

    Mike Barrett
    Prison Planet
    August 15, 2013

    Citing health concerns, the Supreme Court of Israel has ruled that the nation will stop fluoridating its water supplies in 2014. It’s ironic that as one of the most developed nations in the world, the United States is slow to follow suit of other nations that recognize the dangers of feeding the population various foods and substances – like genetically modified foods and fluoride.

    Since 1974, fluoridated water supplies was mandatory in Israel. It seems the nation, like the U.S., thought (or pretended to think) that fluoride offered enough benefit to risk the populations health. Hoowever, Izun Hozer Association for Dissemination of Health Education and Yaacov Gurman petitioned Israel’s highest court on November 12, 2012, demanding that water fluoridation come to a halt due to not only potential health concerns, but also because fluoride provides virtually no benefit. In April 2013, the Minister of Health, Yael German, created a new regulation removing mandatory water fluoridation.

    Interestingly, ruling not only puts an end to not just mandatory fluoridation in Israe, but all fluoridation — mandatory or voluntary. Here’s a translation of the court ruling.

    Paul Connett, PhD, FAN Executive Director, says:

    “Zealous fluoridation promoters try to convince the American public that ‘everyone drinks fluoridated water.’ But the opposite is true. An overwhelming number of countries do not fluoridate, including 97% of the European population. In fact, over half the people in the world drinking fluoridated water live in the US. We are the odd ones out. Fluoridation is an outdated, unscientific, failed public health blunder. What I find remarkable here is that Health Minister German has been able to escape the unscientific belief system on fluoridation that traps so many public health bureaucracies in fluoridated countries.”

    A controversial substance not utilized by many developed nations, including Japan and 97% of western Europe, fluoride is without question destroying people’s health, all under the guise of protecting the teeth.

    In 1977, it was shown that fluoridation caused about 10,000 cancer deaths in epidemiological studies by Dr. Dean Burk, former head of the Cytochemistry Section at the National Cancer Institute and Yiamouyiannis. The findings weren’t released until 1989.

    Other research highlights the fact that mass fluoride exposure may be to blame for the cardiovascular disease epidemic that takes more lives each year than cancer. In 2008, cardiovascular disease killed 17 million people.

    Perhaps most notably, fluoride has been shown to reduce people’s IQ. In a telling review of a variety of studies that have demonstrated just how significantly fluoride can lower IQ and damage the brain, Harvard University scientists stated ”our results support the possibility of adverse effects of fluoride exposures on children’s

    While people in the U.S. may not realize it, many nations are opposed to water fluoridation for the health-concerning reasons above and more. It’s extremely important to practice fluoride treatment protocols, detoxing the substance from your body. Here is a simple fluoride detox to get the poison out of your body.

    Additional Sources:


    This post originally appeared at Natural Society

    Related posts:

    Fluoridation Contributes To $2 Billion Annual Health Cost
    Water Fluoridation Persists Despite Being Unhealthy for Infants
    Eight reasons why water fluoridation has failed modern civilization
    Albuquerque, New Mexico Halts Water Fluoridation
    Health freedom victory! Fairbanks, AK, city council votes to end water fluoridation

    This article was posted: Thursday, August 15, 2013 at 4:53 am

  84. “The people shall not be deprived or abridged of their right to speak, or to publish their sentiments; and the freedom of the press, as one of the great bulwarks of liberty, shall be inviolable.”- James Madison

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