The Society of Professional Journalists said it is “outraged” over the Obama administration’s alterations to a bill which would leverage a “shield law” nation-wide to protect reporters and their sources.
The Free Flow of Information Act, the group said on Friday, would have offered significant protections against journalists being forced to testify over the use of anonymous sources. However, “[the] administration this week sent to Congress sweeping revisions to a ‘media shield’ bill that would significantly weaken its protections…” reported The New York Times on Sept. 30.
During the presidential campaign, then-Illinois Senator Obama supported the legislation and added his name to a list of cosponsors of the Senate’s media shield bill.
“Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, who spoke later at an AP luncheon, has endorsed the shield law to protect reporters but told editors that courts should decide whether a confidential source deserves protection,” reported USA Today in April, 2008.
“This raises, I think, a broader issue of civil liberties and our various freedoms, at a time when we have real enemies and real conflict,” Senator Obama reportedly said.
“Not long ago, President Obama was a key supporter of this bill, but after one meeting with his national security team he appears to have been scared into making this poor decision,” SPJ President Kevin Smith said in a media advisory. “President Obama was elected by the people, for the people. It’s time for him to stand up and support legislation that gives those people the power to have better oversight of their government.”
The press release carried a plainly stated headline: “SPJ is outraged by Obama administration changes to shield law bill”.
Sens. Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Arlen Specter (D-PA), who sponsor the bill, joined the SPJ in finding fault with the administration’s alterations.
The Times added: “Mr. Specter called the proposed changes ‘totally unacceptable,’ saying they would gut meaningful judicial review. And in a statement, Mr. Schumer said: ‘The White House’s opposition to the fundamental essence of this bill is an unexpected and significant setback. It will make it hard to pass this legislation.'”
White House spokesman Ben LaBolt, the paper also noted, said that any administration support for the bill was still a change from the Bush years, during which the president considered such protection for reporters to be an affront to executive power.
Here’s an 8 part plan to stop the US from going into free fall
Former fiction writer Richard North Patterson quit working on books to report on what he was witnessing in the country under President Donald Trump's administration.
Writing for The Bulwark, Patterson explained that he has seen the downfall of the U.S. coming for a while and he fears it could reach the dangerous point of being irreversible.
He explained that much of it can be attributed to "a lack of national cohesion and a sense of common citizenship. An economy wherein a prospering stock market disguised growing economic insecurity. Our deteriorating infrastructure and public finances. A widening political polarization. A corrupt campaign finance system which promoted plutocracy. An increasingly politicized judiciary. The burgeoning fundamentalism which infused a major party with theocratic tendencies and contempt for science."
Trump is ‘attacking the very foundation of our electoral system’ — according to a former Florida Supreme Court chief justice
Charles T. Wells, former chief justice of the Florida Supreme Court, made the national headlines during the Bush v. Gore case and the turbulent aftermath of the 2000 presidential election. As chaotic as that election was, the 2020 election is shaping up to be much more chaotic — and Wells, during a September 28 appearance on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," was vehemently critical of President Donald Trump for saying that he might not accept the election results if former Vice President Joe Biden wins in November.
Explaining why he believes that Trump's actions are so egregious, Wells told "Morning Joe" hosts Joe Scarborough (a former Republican congressman who served in the U.S. House of Representatives via Florida during Bush v. Gore) and Mika Brzezinski, "Coming out of my experience in 2000….. it is important that our citizens have confidence in our electoral system."
‘Swindler’: Here are 5 reasons why Trump’s taxes will actually matter in 2020
I've been a consistent proponent of the 'lol, nothing matters' school of analysis of the 2020 election. I've noted that voters are unusually locked in this cycle, that Trump's approval rating and the head-to-head polling have been remarkably stable and that his base consumes a diet of conservative opinion journalism and Facebook memes that insulate them from bad news for their guy.
And if one defines "mattering" as a dramatic cratering support for Trump, that will indeed prove to be the case with Trump's tax returns. This isn't an Aaron Sorkin script, and the scales won't suddenly fall from eyes of MAGA Nation upon discovering that the brilliant businessman they thought they were supporting is in fact a deeply-indebted tax swindler.