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Bill Michtom

Bill Michtom
Location
Portland, Oregon, USA
Birthday
January 29
Title
Your most imperial you-ness
Company
Patience of Job Computer Services
Bio
I was born at an early age and have continued to live until now. So far, so good.

MY RECENT POSTS

SEPTEMBER 30, 2009 3:00AM

Attention Saturn Smith

Rate: 4 Flag

While I've just read that Saturn is going on a "I've got a real job (two, actually) where I get actual money" sabbatical, this applies to her because of her previous reporting and any future reporting she, or any of us at OS, does.

Empty Wheel (Marcy Wheeler) reports on the screw job amendment that Chuck Schumer is offering to his S. 448 shield law for reporters. 

But I'll hit the basic point here: no connection to a publisher as an employee or a contractor, no shield. That is, you ain't working for the man, you ain't a reporter. Digby, Jane Hamsher, any of us, any  independent blogger: SOL.

According to the wording from the amendment, a journalist is one who:

 (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, or 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 . . . "

 

I encourage you all to write to Schumer and other members of the Judiciary Committe.

Here's what I wrote:

Senator Schumer:

I am deeply disappointed in the amendment you are offering to S448.

How I do I loathe it? Let me count the ways.

If this amendment were in effect during the 1950s, '60s and '70s, I.F. Stone would not have been protected.

If this were in effect during the years leading up to the Revolution, Tom Paine, among so many others, would not have been covered.

The premise that a journalist is only someone who:

 (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, or 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 ..."

is so grotesquely outside the history of a free press as to be an insult to those mentioned above and all who have worked as free lancers, pamphleteers, and underground journalists at severe risk to themselves in the service of a free democracy. These are people who include such as Seymour Hersh, who was not employed or on contract when he broke My Lai.

Do you really think this amendment will help a free press? It looks like it is specifically aimed to hurt the press—an entity written into our Constitution to protect our freedoms.

Please reconsider this deeply flawed amendment.

Thank you.

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Comments

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Thank you for this note - I wasn't aware of this legislation. I'll review further and look into writing in about this. (Rated.)
Thanks all.
Jane: I think Schumer is following orders from the financial sector that owns him. The ruling class (as we call it) knows they can't buy the intertubz, so they want to at least slow it down.

And don't worry. If they ask me about you, I'll tell them you're crazy and no one to worry about. ;-)
I missed this initially, I'm sorry to say. Thanks for the heads-up. I heard whispers about this but missed the whole discussion, so now I need to catch up!
I'm here for you, Saturn.
:-)
this is a problem for those who feel the only option is working within the established system.