I am an American citizen first and foremost. I am also a blogger, a commentator of political actions and speech, a historian, and lastly I am a journalist. Now mind you I am not a credentialed journalist, but in the twenty-first century realm of the internet I produce a product that informs others. In fact according to the definition:
a : a person engaged in journalism; especially : a writer or editor for a news medium
b : a writer who aims at a mass audience
That second definition right there, that is me in a nutshell. I don’t have to be paid or frankly even appreciated it is enough that I put it out there.
But, our Congressional A-holes would like to give that speech some limits. Chuck Schumer for one would like to limit the First Amendment. He wants to be able to shut down speech that he doesn’t like, he wants that control over the “little people” he pretends to represent so he can go on mis-representing them and staying in office like that fat-cat politician he is. He thinks that just because he says that speech is inflammatory it becomes unnecessary and illegal.
Guess what, some speech is inflammatory by nature…the only speech that is illegal is the kind that presents the clear and present danger. Oliver Wendell Holmes would paraphrase it best in Schenk v. United States: The question in every case is whether the words used are used in such circumstances and are of such a nature as to create a Clear and present danger that they will bring about the substantive evils that Congress has a right to prevent. Clearly bloggers, tweeters, etc are not posing the clear and present danger unless they are engaging in activity designed to incite rioting or violence.
Dick Durbin, a Senator with a name so astute I thought it was his title for six months, said in an interview in May of this year: “But here is the bottom line – the media shield law, which I am prepared to support, and I know Sen. Graham supports, still leaves an unanswered question, which I have raised many times: What is a journalist today in 2013? We know it’s someone that works for Fox or AP, but does it include a blogger? Does it include someone who is tweeting? Are these people journalists and entitled to constitutional protection. We need to ask 21st century questions about a provision that was written over 200 years ago.”