Dem Sen. Dick Durbin not sure bloggers entitled to Constitutional protection

Dem Sen. Dick Durbin not sure bloggers entitled to Constitutional protection

Durbin on Fox News SundayFirst they came for the bloggers…

The Daily Caller notes Illinois Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin was a guest on “Fox News Sunday,” where he opined, unsurprisingly, that it’s too early to appoint a special counsel to look into the Justice Department’s spying on journalists.

Apparently Durbin thinks it’s a much better idea to have Attorney General Eric Holder investigate himself. Maybe Durbin didn’t read the news reports affirming that Holder knew of and signed off on the search warrant to pry into the personal accounts of Fox News reporter James Rosen.

What is a surprise — a bit of a shock actually — is that Durbin isn’t sure that bloggers are covered by protection under the First Amendment.

In his comments, Durbin offered the view that bloggers may not be real journalists (even those, I guess, who went to journalism school) and are therefore not protected by media shield laws.

Here is a transcript of what the senator said:

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.

Maybe the senator’s confusion stems from unkind things having been written about him on various blogs, but negative comments about him posted online have more to do with his deficiencies as a statesman than they do with the limitations of the writer.

LU Staff

LU Staff

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