Saturday, October 20, 2007


One thing from the news

Today and tomorrow, two small items from the news.

The first is something that’s mostly escaped notice, but it shouldn’t; it should be trumpeted all over, cause for rejoicing. The US House of Representatives has passed a bill — by a very strong margin, 398 to 21 — that will shield news reporters’ sources:

The House on Tuesday strongly backed the right of reporters to protect the confidentiality of sources in most federal court cases, saying that right was crucial to a free and effective press. The White House threatened a veto, saying the bill would encourage leaks of classified information.

Is anyone surprised that “the White House threatened a veto”? Yes, this is the same obstructionist idiot who recently accused Congress of not getting things done, while he vetos the important stuff and refuses any blame for that.

Under legislation that passed by 398 to 21, reporters could still be compelled to disclose information on sources if that information was needed to prevent acts of terrorism or harm to national security.

That was not enough for the White House, which said the privileges given to reporters “could severely frustrate — and in some cases completely eviscerate — the ability to investigate acts of terrorism or threats to national security.”

Mm, hm. The alternative, of course, is that the sources won’t give the information to the reporters in the first place, and we’ll be worse off than otherwise: it won’t be that we’ll have the information but not know who said it; we won’t have the information at all. But I can see how President Moron would think that an improvement.

In any case, the House vote appears veto-proof. Unfortunately, while the Senate Judiciary Committee came out with a similar bill, “it is uncertain if the full Senate will take it up in the final legislative weeks of this year.”

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