Democrats: Criminalizing Dissent

posted at 3:34 pm on December 3, 2009 by Mitch Berg

Democrats Diane Feinstein and Dick “Turban” Durbin – who have long been the Dems’ official trial-balloon-floaters for assaults on free speech like the “Fairness Doctrine” – are proposing an amendment to a Senate bill (S.448) clarifying the press shield law.

And it’s aimed squarely at citizen journalists like you and I.  Via RWN, here’s the amendment text, with some emphases added:

AMENDMENTS intended to be proposed by Mrs. FEINSTEIN (for herself and Mr. DURBIN )

Viz:

In section 10(2)(A), strike clause (iii) and insert the following:

[a "journalist" is shielded if he/she] (iii) obtains the information sought while working as a salaried employee of, or independent contractor for, an entity

(I) that disseminates information by print, broadcast, cable, satellite, mechanical, photographic, electronic, 1or other means; and

(II) that—

(aa) publishes a newspaper, book, magazine, or other periodical;

(bb) operates a radio or television broadcast station, network, cable system, or satellite carrier, or a channel or programming service for any such station, network, system, or carrier;

(cc) operates a programming service; or

(dd) operates a news agency or wire service;

In other words, you need to be an employee of a news business.  All of us hobby hacks in our pajamas in our basements are out in the cold.

In section 10(2)(B), strike ‘‘and’’ at the end.

In section 10(2)(C), strike the period at the end and insert ‘‘; and’’.

In section 10(2), add at the end the following:

(D) does not include an individual who gathers or disseminates the protected information sought to be compelled anonymously or under a pseudonym.

This would seem to be aimed at the likes of James O’Keefe and Hannah Giles – provided they’re not employed by a Major News Outlet, of course.

Leaving aside the obvious indication that this is the Democrats’ way of circling their wagons around ACORN – this is a fascinating look into the authoritarianism of the Democrat party at work.

The conservative blogosphere is dominated by independents who cover their fields of expertise, whatever they are (this blog: music, financial planning, wine, tomatos and Minnesota politics) for the pure, unadulterated love of the game.  From Power Line (which covers all they survey) to Speed Gibson (who patrols the ramparts of northwest-suburban education), we mostly do it because we want to, money be damned.

The left, on the other hand, has built up a network of “business” entities and non-profits, from the pseudo-newspaper-y “MNPost” to the not-very-covert propagandists at the “Center for Independent Media” (parent of the Minnesoros “Indepdendent”), at exquisite cost; one might now presume that this money was spent to get ahead of the legislative curve that the Feinstein/Durbin proposal represents, as a further attempt to shut down independent, non-government-vetted thought in this country.

This is Obama’s America.

Cross-posted at Shot In The Dark.

This post was promoted from GreenRoom to HotAir.com.
To see the comments on the original post, look here.


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Oh, they will try and keep on trying, but we must have faith in their failure.
Yes, I WANT THEM TO FAIL!!!!

bbz123 on December 3, 2009 at 3:37 PM

Speaking Power to Truth.

Drained Brain on December 3, 2009 at 3:40 PM

Every time I hear the name Dick Durbin, I get so mad that I want to chew on iron nails.

This assclown has been disgracing Illinois for far too long now, and the astounding thing is that people in this state keep re-electing this bad joke over and over again!

pilamaye on December 3, 2009 at 3:41 PM

It’s a pretty good bet that they will fail. They have not done one thing of substance yet. All they do is play the blame game and try to keep people in the dark about their true motives. It is backfiring with a vengeance. People are angry… very angry. This is not going to end well.

ReneePA on December 3, 2009 at 3:42 PM

In soviet russia.. oh wait.

the_nile on December 3, 2009 at 3:42 PM

Unless Democrats are willing to go all the way and start taking officially non-conformist sites offline, all that attacking the blogosphere will do is make it more popular.

Track-A-'Crat on December 3, 2009 at 3:42 PM

Every time I hear the name Dick Durbin, I get so mad that I want to chew on iron nails.

This assclown has been disgracing Illinois for far too long now, and the astounding thing is that people in this state keep re-electing this bad joke over and over again!

pilamaye on December 3, 2009 at 3:41 PM

It’s totally understandable….all the dead and homeless vote multiple times until there are enough cast to declare victory.

Crimefyter on December 3, 2009 at 3:44 PM

Looks like the redcoats are back.

Fletch54 on December 3, 2009 at 3:44 PM

Trackacrat:

all that attacking the blogosphere will do is make it more popular

From your lips to God’s ears.

Drain:

Speaking Power to Truth.

I’m totally stealing that.

Renee;

It’s a pretty good bet that they will fail.

It’s interesting – I’d suspect as much, too. But Durbin and Feinstein seem to float a lot of these repressive trial balloons; last spring it was the Fairness Doctrine.

What – they’re teasing us with authoritarianism?

I can’t figure these people out, other than in terms of a naked power grab.

Mitch_Berg on December 3, 2009 at 3:47 PM

citizen journalists like you and I

Don’t make me laugh. “Journalists.” Right. Parasites is more like it.

Grow Fins on December 3, 2009 at 3:47 PM

pretty thin logic

Wade on December 3, 2009 at 3:49 PM

Poor BASTARDS can’t handle the truth…..

BigMike252 on December 3, 2009 at 3:49 PM

‘Bailing out’ the newspapers + criminalising blogs = total control over what the people read. Stalin would have been proud.

Aylios on December 3, 2009 at 3:49 PM

Credentials needed for your Constitutional rights? That’s rich.

tarpon on December 3, 2009 at 3:50 PM

Don’t make me laugh. “Journalists.” Right. Parasites is more like it.

Grow Fins on December 3, 2009 at 3:47 PM

The troll calls the blogger “parasite”? That’s some weapons grade irony to go with your critical mass of stupidity.

trubble on December 3, 2009 at 3:51 PM

Personally, I’m sick of the whining. Don’t like ‘em? RECALL ‘EM. Stop these ‘wait for election time’ excuses. Can’t recall ‘em? At least you tried, right?

Virus-X on December 3, 2009 at 3:51 PM

citizen journalists like you and I

Don’t make me laugh. “Journalists.” Right. Parasites is more like it.

Oh, aren’t we snarky! I suppose people like Thomas Paine could also be left out.

Eh, so much for the 1st Amendment. That’ll teach you guys to write nasty things about the ruling party.

GarandFan on December 3, 2009 at 3:52 PM

It is very simple to get around this…
create a non-profit entity to be an umbrella organization… call it “Free News” or whatever you want…
then have all the conservative blogshere become contractors to it for $1 or $10 per year or whatever figure works that moves them into a contractor designation… it could be a clearing house for all of them… there is no dollar amount shown and it doesn’t say it has to be their sole source of income, etc.
Look, there are smarter people than me that can figure a way around this crap..
until 2010 when it can be killed and then in 2012 when the bunch can be thrown in the crapper.

PhilipJames on December 3, 2009 at 3:55 PM

I do not believe that they can pass this…….. With much of the issues these days, this is not the one….. I remind everyone to watch what the other hand does as well….
On a silver lining note:….Less then a year till we boot these S O B’s out of congress..
God Bless all!

hawkman on December 3, 2009 at 3:56 PM

Grow Fins on December 3, 2009 at 3:47 PM

Ignore the troll people. The only purpose of that post is to move the discussion away from the indefensible.

strictnein on December 3, 2009 at 3:57 PM

God Damn America. It’s not an obscenity any longer…it’s already happening.

leftnomore on December 3, 2009 at 3:59 PM

buy a ham radio station and start signing up “independent contractors”

Chris_Balsz on December 3, 2009 at 4:00 PM

Don’t make me laugh. “Journalists.” Right. Parasites is more like it.

Grow Fins on December 3, 2009 at 3:47 PM

Maybe you’ve missed some of the original reporting that Ed has been doing here while you’ve been marinating in bile.

Mr. D on December 3, 2009 at 4:01 PM

Don’t make me laugh. “Journalists.” Right. Parasites is more like it.

Grow Fins on December 3, 2009 at 3:47 PM

Says the Acorn puppet.

the_nile on December 3, 2009 at 4:02 PM

Pajamas Media can solve this problem. Pajamas can come along and put every conservative blogger on their payroll with a salary of exactly 1 cent per year.

Problem solved.

Gregor on December 3, 2009 at 4:02 PM

Less then a year till we boot these S O B’s out of congress..

hawkman on December 3, 2009 at 3:56 PM

Good luck with that, with ACORN (or whatever they might be called at the time) stuffing ballots with dead people.

Gregor on December 3, 2009 at 4:05 PM

They’ll get my keyboard when they pry if from my cold dead hands. And since I and my political allies are more likely to armed, let’s just say that their premise seems suspect.

Physics Geek on December 3, 2009 at 4:06 PM

HERE’S AN IDEA FOR THE OBAMACRATS:

As long as you’re requiring credentials for reporters, how about requiring credentials for immigrants???

landlines on December 3, 2009 at 4:07 PM

Yeah, that will make things all better. Start fining and jailing the people reporting on their own time.

kahall on December 3, 2009 at 4:08 PM

I’m kinda curious as to the “or else” factor of this proposed legislation. Would this be civil or criminal law? What are the penalties for infraction there of?

Archimedes on December 3, 2009 at 4:11 PM

1st amendment, free press…. not so free anymore if you need to be on a payroll whether its $.01 a year or $100,000 a year to be considered “press

Koa on December 3, 2009 at 4:13 PM

(aa) publishes a newspaper, book, magazine, or other periodical;

So, when are we going to get the “HotAir” newsletter?

patsoffice.com on December 3, 2009 at 4:21 PM

Don’t make me laugh. “Journalists.” Right. Parasites is more like it.

Grow Fins on December 3, 2009 at 3:47 PM

The takeaway message here is that Fins would like his political allies to determine who is and is not a legitimate journalist. Much like the Whitehouse.

Fascist thug.

TheUnrepentantGeek on December 3, 2009 at 4:24 PM

Hot Air’s advertising setup blows. Just thought I’d say so.

Abby Adams on December 3, 2009 at 4:28 PM

This is Obama’s America.

True, after all….he won!

belad on December 3, 2009 at 4:30 PM

The constitutionality of such an amendment is seriously in doubt.

Carl on December 3, 2009 at 4:36 PM

I don’t think ACORN so much as the great climate hoax. Without alternative media this would have quickly been buried and the farce would continue.

jukin on December 3, 2009 at 4:37 PM

publishes a newspaper, book, magazine, or other periodical;

That’s like defining the transportation industry as operating mule and horse trains, barges, and steam or sail ships.

pedestrian on December 3, 2009 at 4:42 PM

Some states have shield laws but I see no reason for there to be a federal shield law.

Blake on December 3, 2009 at 4:49 PM

Keep it up, Washington…

*sits back, polishes pitchfork, admiring the mirror-like finish*

turfmann on December 3, 2009 at 4:52 PM

Time for Andrew Breitbart, Hotair and Townhall to each begin printing magazines (I’m thinking 10 copies per run) and then signing up lots of stringers at $.01 year retainer.

holdfast on December 3, 2009 at 5:03 PM

You can solve these unconstitutional challenges to the First Ammendment by exercising your rights under the Second Ammendment. I am not advocating anything I am just saying………

Joey1974 on December 3, 2009 at 5:07 PM

The party of “diversity” is launching a new attack on Dissenting opinions.

How Orwellian.

Slowburn on December 3, 2009 at 5:14 PM

So, create a new news wire.
I am sure you, Breitbart, TheBoss and others could easily do it.

Heck, you could do it with a simple twitter account.

barnone on December 3, 2009 at 5:23 PM

The party of “diversity” is launching a new attack on Dissenting opinions.

How Orwellian.

Slowburn on December 3, 2009 at 5:14 PM

I know that’s what they used to be called and it’s funny to see the hypocracy in that statement, but maybe it’s time we call them what they really are. It is time to call them National Socialists rather than the party of “diversity” or Liberals. Look at the parallels: The National Socialists instituted total gun control, most Liberals dream of this as a policy. The National Socialists created State run media which ignores, debunks and crushes dissent, how far are we from this. The National Socialists were anti-religious pagans, a Liberals only true religions are the Government, the Genitals, and the Global warming cult. I could go on but I am @ work. Anyone think of other parallels feel free to add on.

Joey1974 on December 3, 2009 at 5:24 PM

I guess Fox News will make ‘independent contractors’ of all the right wing blogs so that they will be shielded should this monstrous legislation pass. It is also worth noting that many conservatives pointed out that press shield laws invite this problem of the government protecting entities with which it agrees and leaving vulnerable those whom it disagrees at any particular time, in direct violation of the First Amendment’s protection of freedom of the press and speech.

eaglewingz08 on December 3, 2009 at 5:24 PM

MSM journalists are scum.

Of course we should bail them out.

Dhuka on December 3, 2009 at 5:26 PM

Gee I hope this applies to the National Enquirer, a better source of news than the Gay I mean Gray Lady.

Dhuka on December 3, 2009 at 5:26 PM

(bb) operates a radio or television broadcast station, network, cable system, or satellite carrier, or a channel or programming service for any such station, network, system, or carrier;

Does this include Fox News?

Steve Z on December 3, 2009 at 5:35 PM

Revolution is coming soon.

thmcbb on December 3, 2009 at 5:39 PM

Congress does forget:

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

The power of the press is reserved for the people, not the press. If Congress wishes to exempt the press from prosecution for disseminating information, then anyone doing so would be exempted. Otherwise Congress is elevating the rights of some over others, while it is required to make no distinction amongst the people. That is abridging the rights of the people and Congress cannot make a law to establish that.

Otherwise Congress could put forth that only those in ‘legitimate groups’ had the right to freedom of assembly, say, or address grievances to the government.

That is what Congress wants, of course, as they are Aristocrats far removed from the common man and well neigh willing to tell us that by their high-handed actions. We fought a war to get rid of the Aristocracy in this country…

ajacksonian on December 3, 2009 at 5:43 PM

Grow Fins on December 3, 2009 at 3:47 PM

And it throws in with the bunch who thinks that the cure for bad speech is less speech.

JeffWeimer on December 3, 2009 at 5:57 PM

Using the State to shut down your competition is an old and much-beloved tradition. Haters.

mojo on December 3, 2009 at 6:09 PM

Paul Revere was a hero. Too bad she hates him.

seven on December 3, 2009 at 6:13 PM

So have the boss give you, Allah, Ed and the rest a buck a year.

That will get you around this ridiculous little requirement, at least until this attack on the free press can be defeated on 1st Amendment grounds.

Bob Mc on December 3, 2009 at 6:26 PM

Mr. Glock says NO

bill30097 on December 3, 2009 at 6:28 PM

Think Tass and Pravda. That’s the ticket.

LarryG on December 3, 2009 at 6:42 PM

Revolution is coming soon.

thmcbb on December 3, 2009 at 5:39 PM

Indeed it is.

justltl on December 3, 2009 at 6:49 PM

Why is anyone surprised that these communist maggots want to silence dissent? That’s how tyrants always work.

oldleprechaun on December 3, 2009 at 7:14 PM

(bb) operates a radio or television broadcast station, network, cable system, or satellite carrier, or a channel or programming service for any such station, network, system, or carrier;

Does this include Fox News?

Steve Z on December 3, 2009 at 5:35 PM

For now…

Spiny Norman on December 3, 2009 at 7:37 PM

Leftwingers, tell me how this law would be good for our nation?

Oh, that’s right. You can’t. This is indefensible.

By the way demorats, if you want to start dismantling the Constitution, you should have started not with the First Amendment, but the Second.

john1schn on December 3, 2009 at 7:38 PM

These pinko commies suck!

MCGIRV on December 3, 2009 at 7:59 PM

Great write up Mitch. Their elititism coupled with their fascism knows no bounds. In our lifetimes I would never have suspected that my government could possibly turn into the bottom feeding maniacally out of control beast it is today. But, I feel compelled to suggest one small correction.

This is becoming Obama’s America.

It is not Obama’s America. Not yet. Not by a long shot. He is famously quoted as publicly stating, “You ain’t seen nothing yet.” The damage he has wrought on this country so far is merely an appetizer for what he and this Democrat dominated Congress have in store for his/their next term. If they should still manage to achieve that honor bestowed upon them by this country’s voter’s in 2012.

There is still time and there is still the ability to halt the progress of his and our Congress’ Construction through Destruction reconstructionist agenda that has being foisted on the backs of us peon taxpayers.

There will always be enough time to undo the damage they have wrought too, if we can stop it before it is too late. The sooner we dispose of this Congress and this marxist elitist President, the less there will need to be undone.

SilverStar830 on December 3, 2009 at 8:17 PM

It is time to call them National Socialists rather than the party of “diversity” or Liberals.
Joey1974 on December 3, 2009 at 5:24 PM

I agree on this – time to call them what they obviously are!

silvernana on December 3, 2009 at 8:37 PM

strictnein on December 3, 2009 at 3:57 PM

Yep.

4shoes on December 3, 2009 at 8:42 PM

I plan to help stimulate the economy tomorrow by commissioning Feinstein and Durbin voodoo dolls, with extra sharp pins.

MayorDaley on December 3, 2009 at 8:45 PM

Better yet, establish a not for profit 501 (3c) and every blogger joins it.

elclynn on December 3, 2009 at 9:11 PM

We shouldn’t have to think of ways to get around this obvious infringement of our constitutional rights.

For too long we have let them erode those rights and subvert our constitution with their socialist programs and engineering.

Shutting down free speech right to dissent should be the last straw for the American people.

When do they wake up and see these (*)for what they are?

Jvette on December 3, 2009 at 11:12 PM

Anyone know the status of this “amendment?”

JeffVader on December 4, 2009 at 12:20 AM

This is actually good in a way. This should inspire bloggers to organize themselves into a quasi-business/guild/association as an umbrella to allow them to lay claim to the ‘journalist’ sobriquet and the protections thereof.

forming such an alliance/association would have myriad benefits (with some very difficult to resolve problems) to the currently independent and lone ‘pajama wearing fools’ out there who can be easily picked off now by any group willing to focus their attention on them using legal or semi-legal means.

it would be a BLOGGER’S GUILD and membership would provide one with a network of skills and the power of multiple voices AND a larger purse to help fend off the rapacious government. (waxberg, I’m talking about YOU!)

jcw46 on December 4, 2009 at 12:39 AM

It’s time to lay the 18 USC 242 smackdown on these crooked f*cksticks.

TITLE 18, U.S.C., SECTION 242

Whoever, under color of any law, statute, ordinance, regulation, or custom, willfully subjects any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured or protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States, … shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both; and if bodily injury results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include the use, attempted use, or threatened use of a dangerous weapon, explosives, or fire, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and if death results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include kidnaping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, shall be fined under this title, or imprisoned for any term of years or for life, or both, or may be sentenced to death.

I’d say threatening us with jail time and fines by using uniformed goons qualifies.

CPL 310 on December 4, 2009 at 1:53 AM

There’s no depth too deep that the Democrats would bury our Constitution. Their atrocities against our Bill of Rights are grounded in their dismissal of any human unalienable rights. These politicians were elected, and our ire should be directed at their constituents who presume to dictate to us as if they are lords.

Pajamas Media can solve this problem. Pajamas can come along and put every conservative blogger on their payroll with a salary of exactly 1 cent per year.

Problem solved.

Gregor on December 3, 2009 at 4:02 PM

Should worse come to worse, that seems possible. Being on a payroll, even for a penny, would have legal connotations obliging a degree of responsibility upon PJMedia for the content of their associated penny journalists. Then again, submitting one article a year that PJMedia scrutinizes prior to publishing would likely solve that problem. But even if content is 100% scholarly, every entity discriminates based upon “who sent you”. So if you’re an unknown, you’ll most likely be overlooked.

Forming one’s own LLC would be the way for independent blogging journalists to go as self employed. And taking it a step further into the non-profit realm would have tax benefits with the possibility of tax funded grants if the LLC consists of some particular “special” minority base and interest to meet liberally stipulated requirements.

maverick muse on December 4, 2009 at 6:12 AM

Look, they gotta subdue the people as best they can. Can’t have any more Breitbarts out there! They’ve taken over the media and plan to cement the deal with their “bail out” of the news folks. The only way to keep us doing what they want is to outlaw citizens taking on the job the media no longer will do.

I hope to heck people pay attention to this and stop them. They didn’t stop ‘em on the hate crimes bill. Now you have to be careful what you say where lest it be taken as a hate crime. It’s only a matter of time unless this country wakes up.

Mad Mad Monica on December 4, 2009 at 8:46 AM

November 2010 can’t come fast enough!

olesparkie on December 4, 2009 at 9:02 AM

I assume this will include the likes of HuffPo and MoveOn?

hopefloats on December 4, 2009 at 9:04 AM

It’s looking more and more like 2010 will be either the flowering of a new love of freedom in America or the final nail in its coffin. The moron, brain-dead, a$$hat 52% will awake and arise and grow a pair or they will cower and crumble and bow to Obamunism by reelecting the statist scum now infesting our republic. If they chose the latter, then 2012 won’t even matter and we can all bow to our masters.
At worst, dissent will be outlawed. At best it will be laughed at. Either way, it will mean nothing without the will to back up that dissent like our forefathers did.
They knew what it meant to choose to live on their knees. They chose to stand. With God’s help, so will we.

SKYFOX on December 4, 2009 at 10:14 AM

Don’t make me laugh. “Journalists.” Right. Parasites is more like it.

Grow Fins on December 3, 2009 at 3:47 PM

Are you actually defending this blatantly fascist move by your party? Do you actually realize the implications of said defense with regard to how others will view you personally? Do you even care? I don’t mind calling you the fascist you obviously are, but you should be aware that nothing you ever say again can be viewed by anyone else without that lens.

runawayyyy on December 4, 2009 at 10:34 AM

Can someone help me out here? The proposed amendment alters “section 10″, but when I looked at the actual text of the bill, it has only eight sections. See bill text here.

Is there any confirmation of this story?

MassVictim on December 4, 2009 at 2:10 PM

MassVictim on December 4, 2009 at 2:10 PM

The NAZIS will add this after the vote.You know just another secret law to keep the traitorous Right under control.

Farfed on December 4, 2009 at 3:34 PM