Obnoxious Droppings

A Former Sgt in the US Marines, US Army and Australian Federal Police - With an Attitude Problem - Looking at the Shits & Giggles of life from a Quasi-Conservative Point of View * * * WARNING! STRONG LANGUAGE FOLLOWS! * * *

20 October, 2005

A Blanket Shield Law?

So Judith Miller claims that, without having such a law and being forced to divulge her sources, she'd be out of a job. That right there is the best reason I can think of for not having such a law.

As the FBI stated, since 1991 only 12 of 243 subpoenas called for confidential sources. Of those 12, I can't think of anyone other than Miller who has gone to jail over it - and she went knowing full well that she had been released from any confidentiality. She went as a martyr to the cause.

Giving a blanket shield to a journalist is like giving car keys and a keg to a 16 year old. Not a very smart move, especially when you consider the track record of many journalists. Should Jayson Blair have been given a blanket to hide under, his creative writing may well never have been found out. Indeed, it would allow journalists to fabricate any story about any subject with impunity. And don't think some would do it!

As far as that goes, what is the definition of a "journalist"? Is Glenn Reynolds one? How about Emperor Misha? Me? Who determines this and on what basis?

If not having a blanket shield will make sources dry up, maybe that means that the reporters will have to work a little harder, dig a little deeper to get their stories. And maybe it would put the lazy ones like Judith Miller out of a job.

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