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“Open & Shut”

AP Photo by J. Scott Applewhite “The fundamental issue behind this amendment, behind the two different definitions, is this: Should…

AP Photo by J. Scott Applewhite

“The fundamental issue behind this amendment, behind the two different definitions, is this: Should this privilege apply to anyone? To a 17-year-old who drops out of high school, buys a website for $5 and starts a blog? Or should it apply to journalists, to reporters who have bona fide credentials?”

-Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) arguing at a Senate Judiciary Committee meeting that the proposed federal shield law should cover a limited category of journalists.

“I wouldn’t trust Durbin (or most of his Senate colleagues) to baby-sit my kid. I certainly don’t trust them to decide who counts as a ‘real’ journalist — and, more importantly, who doesn’t.”

-University of Tennessee law professor Glenn Harlan Reynolds, responding in a July 7 blog post in the New York Post to comments made by Sen. Dick Durbin that journalists should be better defined when enacting shield law legislation.

“I want to find the Press Herald building and blow it up.”

-Maine Gov. Paul LePage when asked by a fighter jet simulator computer if he wanted to “blow up anything?” LePage’s spokesperson later said that the governor was joking.

AP Photo by Seth Perlman

“The media informs the public and holds government accountable. Journalists should have reasonable legal protections to do their important work. But not every blogger, tweeter or Facebook user is a “journalist.” While social media allows tens of millions of people to share information publicly, it does not entitle them to special legal protections to ignore requests for documents or information from grand juries, judges or other law enforcement personnel.”

-Sen. Dick Durbin, (D-Ill.), arguing in a piece written in the Chicago Sun-Times on June 26 that journalists should be better-defined when it comes to providing shield law protections.