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Friday, May 19, 2006, 10:08 pm

Federal Judy Miller/Liar Libby Protection Law Criminalizes Leaks To Bloggers

By Brian Zick
And Chuck Schumer supports the Stifle Fitz/Anti-blogger legislation.

AP reports that "Senators began a new effort to pass a media shield law Thursday, reintroducing legislation they said would protect journalists from being sent to jail for refusing to reveal their sources in most cases."
...
Aware that the previous version had little hope of becoming law, Senate authors Richard G. Lugar (R-Ind.), and Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), added exceptions they said were modeled on Justice Department guidelines.

One would require reporters who are eyewitnesses to crimes to disclose the information. Others would remove the shield if disclosure is critical to preventing death or bodily harm.

Journalists or their employers also would be required to disclose information needed to prevent an act of terrorism or harm to national security.

The exception for national security requires a court to apply a balancing test in which "the value of the information that would be disclosed clearly outweighs the harm to the public interest and the free flow of information that would be caused by compelling the disclosure."

The legislation more tightly defines "journalist" by excluding writers who do not provide regular news coverage, such as occasional Internet bloggers.
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No mention of any shield exception that would oblige reporters to reveal administration liars who scaremonger using bogus reasons for war, and who cavalierly sacrifice thousands of young American lives on the alter of their ideological vanity (while conveniently generating monumental financial windfalls for their war profiteering corporate friends.)

But those irritating reprobate bloggers are subject to criminal punishment for revealing administration liars who scaremonger using bogus reasons for war, and who cavalierly sacrifice thousands of young American lives on the alter of their ideological vanity (while conveniently generating monumental financial windfalls for their war profiteering corporate friends.)

And that part about bloggers being excluded couldn't possibly be related to the fact that the bill was "rewritten with guidance from more than 30 news organizations..," I'm sure. Because, as everyone well knows, the establishment press just loves the blogs. And they all applauded Stephen Colbert.

So Kevin Drum must be very pleased. I'm sure there will be no problem whatsoever differentiating a blown whistle from exposure of necessary government secrets like "black site" prisons or warrantless monitoring of phone calls, because obviously everybody agrees completely on those differences now, as the article plainly shows:

"Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), said he was chilled by the journalism awards this year for reporters who revealed the CIA's use of secret prisons overseas and the National Security Agency's warrantless monitoring of phone calls and e-mails into and out of the U.S."

And there's that nifty bonus of criminalizing diarists at dailykos or commenters at MyDD or "part timer" bloggers like Arianna Huffington or Christy at firedoglake, who have day jobs and small children to mother, if they happen to score a whistleblower/national security secret scoop and refuse to reveal their sources. (I'm confident Kevin can easily explain - and cheerfully endorse - the wholly unbiased and non-self-serving definition of "occasional Internet blogger" which will be used by the Bush administration in the cases that might arise.)
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