Friday links and other silliness

Posted Friday, August 10, 2007, at 9:39 AM
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  • In reference to the "Congress Grants Bloggers Journalistic Rights", ARE THEY SERIOUS? That's one of the craziest things I've heard in a while. First of all, the "freedom of the press" is only a right for the press to print whatever they want (as long as it's reasonably believed to be true) without fear of governmental censorship or interference. I've not read ANYWHERE in the Constitution where it says that a reporter doesn't have to reveal their sources. Granted, if it's regarding something that's not a crime, then who cares? If it DOES involve a crime, then the reporter should be considered to be just as much an accomplice as I would, had I knowledge of a crime after the fact and not informed the authorities of this knowledge. Now, I'm not saying that you real reporter types are doing anything wrong, but if an "anonymous source" comes to you (and you know who they are) and they tell you about a crime that they've committed, then you are guilty of being an accessory after the fact. A doctor cannot be forced to testify regarding the treatment of a patient, the clergy cannot be forced to testify about the confessions or "counsel" to a parishioner, and a spouse can't be forced to testify against their spouse, but a journalist does not enjoy the same rights as these other roles, and for good reason. I may be mistaken about the whole "having the right to conceal sources in criminal cases", but I doubt it. If I am, then something needs to be changed. That's the same as harboring or "giving aid and comfort" to a fugitive...which IS illegal.

    -- Posted by Thom on Fri, Aug 10, 2007, at 1:33 PM
    Brian Mosely's response:
    Well, the blogger issue is already being looked in the courts. But there are a lot of twists to this case.

    As for the accessory after the fact, that's a touchy one. I'm not a lawyer [although I've played one on TV] but reporters lately have had a problem with the sources issue.

    Many of the protections that journalists have known date to a 1972 Supreme Court finding in Branzberg vs. Hayes, which found that reporters are largely not protected from grand jury subpoenas. However, one of the justices who voted with the majority "appeared to say there was a First Amendment privilege, but it would have to be on a case-by-case basis,'' said Levine.

    Since then, "the body of law that has developed is that there is a (qualified) privilege'' for reporters, said Levine. But during the summer, an influential Seventh Circuit judge in Chicago, Richard Posner, questioned that finding, ruling that reporters aren't protected from subpoenas.

    I wonder how "accessory after the fact" would have impacted Jimmy Breslin of the New York Post, who started getting calls from the Son of Sam in 1977. I mean, if some nut were to call you and leave a message on your answering machine about a crime and you heard it and didn't report it, does that make you responsible?

    That's an interesting question.

  • Ouch!_ That one reminds me of an old 3 stooges bit where when Moe hears the word Niagra Falls he goes crazy.

    I must have one of these! _ Yeah me I've seen this before I liked it then too.

    this kind of profit ...or is it prophet? _ Just goes to show you people will buy anything on ebay.

    this is a little extreme_ funny how silly some people are isn't it?

    This,_ well as sad as this is it does hold some truth in it..Faux News is the perfect example of this Oh wait I meant Fox News :>)

    Not cool. _ Your right there, somebody needs to do something about these people!

    -- Posted by Dianatn on Fri, Aug 10, 2007, at 3:31 PM
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