Dianne Feinstein wants to regulate who can and cannot be a reporter. The Internet’s largest disseminator of news, Matt Drudge, called her a “Fascist”.
Yesterday, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted for a “Reporter Shield Bill” which would determine who is and who isn’t a journalist.
Here’s Senator Feinstein at the hearing:
Senator Feinstein proposed language that she said,”effectively sets up a test for establishing bona fide credentials that make one a legitimate journalist.” Legitimate journalists will be protected. Non-legitimate journalists, like blogs, will not.
When the First Amendment was written, there were no credentials for journalists, no journalism schools, no “professional” journalists. The press was a bunch of guys with printing presses. Benjamin Franklin was one, and he used his to great effect in the cause of freedom. Was he a “legitimate journalist”? Not by Senator Feinstein’s definition. If anything, Benjamin Franklin was more like a blogger than like Feinstein’s “legitimate journalist.”
Why does Sen. Feinstein want to regulate blogs and journalism? Because blogs today are dangerous to people like Sen. Feinstein. Just like printing presses were dangerous to tyrants in the 18th century.
As Samuel Adams said in 1768, “There is nothing so fretting and vexatious, nothing so justly terrible to tyrants, and their tools and abettors, as a free press.”