Help! Help! We’re being repressed! (seriously) w/important update

( – promoted by buhdydharma )

Cross-posted at dkos…

Update:  Please see my update in comment #6 below.  This thing looks as if it is much less a concern for the ordinary essayist/diarist than I thought!




Thanks to kos himself, and to kossack WilliamKWolfrom, and AMERICAblogger John Aravosis, I am now aware of Senators Durbin and Feinstein’s efforts to deny citizens who do citizen journalism the benefits of the same shield law which protects professional journalists.

This is certainly interesting news.

Click the above links for the particulars.


Senators Durbin and Feinstein are going out of their way to tack on an amendment which cuts you, the blogger, out of the shield law.


Now, I don’t know much about DiFi.  I don’t pay to much attention to her, so she’s not often on my radar screen.

But Dick Durbin is another matter.

I live in Illinois.

Dick Durbin seems to be thought of as a liberal-progressive kind of guy.

So why in hell would he want to strike out citizen journalism from the same shield protections that professional journalists receive?

Anyone have any clues?

This is definitely on my radar screen.

I don’t mind blogging about Dick Durbin a bit.  In fact, I’ve pushed back as hard as I can on him against these foreign deployments which are killing our troops and making defense contractors as happy as pigs in slop. I’ve exchanged alot of mail with his Policy Director, Tom Faletti (202 224-2152), and talked with him in person in the Hart Senate Office Building and on the phone.  And, I’ve blogged five or six times, live from the front porch of Durbin’s office in Springfield, Illinois.  Here’s the most recent occasion.  Scroll down to the bottom of the diary for the particulars of the live blog location.

Is Senator Durbin scared of something?

I am not terrifically up to speed with shield law issues.  I’m sure there are others around here who are better versed on these things than am I.

Does anyone want to weigh in on this topic?

I’d be delighted to hear others’ take.

As far as I can tell, the only power I have with the government consists of my freedoms of speech, press and assembly.  Why would U.S. senators want to do anything other than promote the same?



Shut up, will you! Shut up!


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  1. ———–


    UPDATE:  Since posting this essay, I’ve emailed Sen Durbin’s Policy Director – Tom Faletti – asking him the following,

    Tom –

    Please explain to me what reasoning and wisdom are going into your desire to cut citizen journalists/bloggers out of the shield law?

    Please reply promptly.  I don’t need a monograph on the subject – just enough sentences to fully explain the rationale.


    And, I did receive a very prompt response, which says, in its entirety,

    you can send an email to Senator Durbin through the contact form on our website,, and you will receive a response.

    Well, if he could send me a lightning fast reply, which tells me to go through the senate website (which takes forever), you’d think he could’ve easily given me a few words to answer my questions.


  2. ‘Nuff said on that one.

    • Joy B. on December 4, 2009 at 04:21

    is that some basement blogger will make stuff up and attribute to “unnamed sources” that could be the kid next door or his dog for all we know. Of course, the very same thing is true of the mainstream media (and Fox, which makes stuff up and even won a lawsuit to enshrine their ‘right’ to not report real news). It’s just that MSM reporters aren’t supposed to go to jail for protecting sources.

    But during the Bushie reign quite a few reporters went to jail protecting sources, so the shield law obviously isn’t worth much to anybody these days. If it doesn’t protect Judith Miller, it doesn’t protect you. Just more wasted ink in D.C.

  3. Diane Feinstein is Joe Lieberman in a skirt.

  4. Right.  That is what is highlighted.

  5. for the typical essayist/diarist than I thought.

    Adam B has posted today at Dkos…  saying,

    Thursday morning, the Senate Judiciary Committee adopted language proposed by Senators Specter, Schumer and Graham which will treat blogger-journalists as equals when it comes to the protections of a federal press shield, the evidentiary privilege which allows journalists in most states to protect the confidential sources when the prosecutors come asking.

    I asked Adam in a comment if this means the ordinary diarist/essayist has the benefit of the shield or not, and he replied,

    Probably not. But nor would the ordinary Kossack need it.  It starts with the question of “are you working with confidential sources in doing your reporting, and might prosecutors some day want to know what those sources are?”.

    See Adam B’s post to learn more.

    I don’t work with confidential sources which might someday want to be known by prosecutors, so maybe this whole thing is a fish fart in the middle of the Pacific.

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