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Senate Amendment Would Give DOJ Power to Determine Who Is a 'Journalist'

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posted on Sep, 13 2013 @ 04:04 PM
Is the First Amendment finally under final attack to allow the US government to 'police' what is given to the citizens of the US as news? After watching the following video it would seem so. One part is about defining who is a 'journalist' by making them someone who must be 'employed' by a state, I mean, corporate media institution. One part of this is explained below with not being able to, as it would seem, whistleblow if you have documents that you have acquired without authorization. So, if this happens, what rights will this give the government to prosecute and find your source to stop the leak. Snowden anyone? Is this giving the DOJ too much power and discretion? Is this also the beginning of restricting the internet and its ability to give alt news?

An amendment is moving through the Senate Judiciary Committee that would essentially allow the government to determine who is a journalist for purposes of legal protection of sources. For purposes of protecting a source, a “journalist” under law would be anyone who:
Link to Article

Works or worked for “an entity or service that disseminates news or information by means of newspaper; nonfiction book; wire service; news agency; news website, mobile application or other news or information service…news program; magazine or other periodical…or through television or radio broadcast…” These people would have to have the “primary intent to investigate events and procure material in order to disseminate to the public news or information.” Opinion journalists might not be covered.
Bloggers and citizen journalists – citizens who commit acts of journalists without working for such an outlet – would not be covered, unless it was determined that “at the inception of the process of gathering the news or information sought, had the primary intent to investigate issues or events and procure material in order to disseminate to the public news or information.” In other words, the government – the Department of Justice – would now determine whether primary intent was news distribution or political concerns.
Those explicitly excluded from protection include those “whose principal function, as demonstrated by the totality of such person or entity’s work, is to publish primary source documents that have been disclosed to such person or entity without authorization.” Glenn Greenwald, please contact your lawyer.

By definition of this amendment, bloggers and other such 'free press' agencies would not be protected or able to withhold a source. Opinion journalists? Aren't all news agencies opinion journalists in one way or another, unless they are on a government payroll at which time they are a propoganda journalist which seems to be the model that the US is moving towards or in some cases, has attained.

Link to article

Multiple journalists are now working directly for the administration.

Why would anyone enamored enough with an Obama administration they want to go work for do anything that might make a potential employer uncomfortable -- you know, like actually report on ObamaCare and the economy honestly, or dig into Benghazi and the IRS?
The media is left-wing and crusading enough without the potential of a cushy government job being held out as a carrot.
And don't think the Obama administration isn't doling out these jobs for a reason. What a wonderful message to send to the world of media: Don't go too far, don't burn a bridge, don't upset us too much and there just might be a lifeline off the sinking MSM ship.
And obviously it is working.

Just like any right, once you allow the government to determine status it is a slippery slope for them to then attempt more control and oversight.

edit on 13-9-2013 by matafuchs because: (no reason given)

edit on 13-9-2013 by matafuchs because: (no reason given)

edit on 13-9-2013 by matafuchs because: sp

posted on Sep, 13 2013 @ 04:43 PM
reply to post by matafuchs

Yeah, well, Diane Feinstein or DOJ or whomever isn't going to successfully hinder journalism any more than the attempt to 'professionalize' the industry has.

I'm not saying we shouldn't watch these clowns but, there are bigger fish to fry at the moment. If such a thing were to pass, all heck would break loose.

Great thread anyway OP, thanks! S&F
edit on 13-9-2013 by greencmp because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 13 2013 @ 04:45 PM
So basically anyone that would actually tell the truth and isn't corporate owned would have no protection under the law or the 1st amendment. This doesn't surprise me, but it still smells bad.

edit on 2013/9/13 by Metallicus because: Sp

(post by xuenchen removed for political trolling and baiting)

posted on Sep, 13 2013 @ 05:20 PM
Basically what they are saying is if you are not already a power player, or an indentured servant to one, you have no right to promulgate the truth to others in the USA. Land of the fearful home of the [redacted].

That they have to bring such a ridiculous fascist state piece of legislation into the open shows the extent which the internet frightens them. You can see it in the low return on investment of the Syria War Propaganda campaign.

All those paid puppets beating the drum in a frenzy and public opinion wont roll over. Damn bloggers, we cant be having that, no sir.

+3 more 
posted on Sep, 13 2013 @ 05:29 PM
reply to post by matafuchs

The following is my opinion as a member participating in this discussion.

It can be argued that since the turn of the twentieth century this nation of diverse societies which we call The United States of America, has neither journalists nor press to speak of. If, rather than focus on possible exceptions, we concentrate on the norm of conglomerated media cooperating with national-level social institutions; we see that we are treated to a diminished product, strictly engineered for our consumption - and perpetually devoid of any sincere devotion to reporting fact, without ideological demagoguery or emotional embellishment.

Ever since the merger of the Military and Academic Industrial complex; with it's near total dominion over public policy, and immunity from scrutiny, there has been neither a grass roots movement to remedy this, nor any movement towards reforming the policies and paradigms established (to render them a force of public policy.)

In any nation where the means of public information has been - or is being - usurped from the citizens; it becomes incumbent on every citizen to become a journalist. The so-called "Fourth Estate" is so important to our national blueprint, it is the only one directly singled out in the Constitution for special concern.

The political thespian clubs, (alpha and omega) whose collective pool of celebrities hold a true monopoly in government, can only pray that true journalism and editorial integrity never again resurface in any meaningful way in this country. They know that Americans, as with the citizens of nearly any other nation on Earth, do respond to the truth - with immeasurable and unstoppable force. This is why they wish to control exactly "who" gets to craft the narrative.

As the basely globalist American institution known as the Council on Foreign Relations (called "the Mother-ship" by H. Clinton) would no doubt phrase differently... "We can't have the peasants filling each others heads with thoughts they have no right to."

The more I learn, the uglier the truth seems to get.

edit on 13-9-2013 by Maxmars because: (no reason given)
extra DIV

posted on Sep, 13 2013 @ 06:52 PM


posted on Sep, 13 2013 @ 06:55 PM
reply to post by matafuchs

So, pertinent questions: how long are we going to let this kind of thing keep going on, as a nation?
What exactly is it going to take to finally get a reaction out of our people?

posted on Sep, 13 2013 @ 08:22 PM
reply to post by Malynn

Do you ever post anything on ATS that does not include the words commie ultra-left or liberal?
Yes, plenty.

You do realize the people you demonize as less than human on a day to day basis around here are in fact...human and Americans correct?
Those are Your words, not mine !! ... Just keeping the table level.

So what's your opinion of the bill introduced by the Senate ?

posted on Sep, 13 2013 @ 08:37 PM
" think of the press as a great keyboard on which government can play. "
-Joseph gobbels

posted on Sep, 13 2013 @ 08:52 PM
reply to post by matafuchs

I saw this yesterday and am so glad you made a post about it. I do believe that they are trying to get around the First Amendment by defining what a journalist is. The FA tells us that there will be no laws enacted that would abridge the press.

Despite popular misunderstanding the right to freedom of the press guaranteed by the first amendment is not very different from the right to freedom of speech. It allows an individual to express themselves through publication and dissemination. It is part of the constitutional protection of freedom of expression. It does not afford members of the media any special rights or privileges not afforded to citizens in general.


To me it is a clear attempt to circumvent the First Amendment by re-characterising what a member of the press might be.

Truly fascist and worth putting up a big fight over.

posted on Sep, 13 2013 @ 08:55 PM


posted on Sep, 13 2013 @ 11:09 PM
Why not? We already allow the government to issue and deny licenses to whom ever they please in how many professions already? Why should journalists be any different?

posted on Sep, 13 2013 @ 11:51 PM
reply to post by TKDRL

Seriously?? Are you talking about driver's licenses? A license to practice law or medicine? You think there should be a necessary license to disseminate current events and politics. This is nothing more than censorship and the stifling of dissent. It couldn't be any clearer. They don't want some "rogue" blogger, that is not owned by some corporate power, to be able to gather, investigate and disseminate news.

How dare you stand up or defend this. What are you??

posted on Sep, 14 2013 @ 03:54 AM
reply to post by GrantedBail

Law, medicine, construction, selling lemonade, cutting hair, doing nails, baking bread. You name it, you need the government's permission AKA a license or permit to do it. It's called irony by the way. Anyways, the government doesn't have a need to arrest journalists, they just have the CIA kill those that are real threats to them. If they really want to know the source, I am sure the NSA could narrow it down for them. This is just yet another distraction tossed out there to the masses. I wonder what they don't want us looking at now?
edit on Sat, 14 Sep 2013 03:55:51 -0500 by TKDRL because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 14 2013 @ 04:14 AM
This is bad, thank goodness for youtube. Not too many replies so it must not be important to most but it should.

posted on Sep, 14 2013 @ 04:37 AM
Of course, if they actually manage to get such legislation in place, then we can imagine already the sort of Q&A sessions we'll get from political talking heads in front of the press. Softball pre-approved questions, with slickly rehearsed answers from the publicly paid actors, which we have already seen many times before. Anyone not accredited and part of the major media corporations won't even get into the building - they'll probably even outlaw any kind of journalistic activity outside of the approved channels.

In order to restrict the flow of information even further though, they'd also need to censor the internet and shut down anyone disseminating anything other than the officially approved narrative, but I am sure they know that too and already have something cooked up to make it happen. Ok, so people wil search for the news on foreign press sites, both corporate and alternative, but I am sure they will block access to those too. The only way they can truly take such control would be to completely shut down public access to anything other than the government approved media.

posted on Sep, 14 2013 @ 08:25 AM
reply to post by matafuchs

There are so few "real" journalists left, it's hard to think of even one. They are strictly entertainers presenting what is perceived to be an entertaining agenda.

I have noticed lately, that sometimes after a particularly pathetic story, one of the entertainers will say to another "That's good journalism!" I was thinking "poor ole things -- patting each other on the back pretending like they are journalists". Well, now I know why.

Laws cannot designate what is and is not good journalism. The situation now would be like trying to legislate what is and is not, a good variety show.

I would love to see the profession repair itself from within. But I don't think it will happen.

Nothing, especially integrity, trumps money and 'star power'.

posted on Sep, 15 2013 @ 10:38 AM
The worst part of this that I took away is that there is now no veil. They are not even trying anymore to keep it secret. However, in a time where most people get their political commentary from John Stewart it makes a lot of sense. Tough questions are no longer asked of what was billed as the most transparent government that there would be. The general consensus bought it hook, line and sinker.

The laws passed since 08 have been sweeping in the power of control of the government. There was, to me, reason after 9/11 for some of the changes as we were caught with our intel pants down. Too many chiefs and not enough injuns as the old phrase goes.

Now, though, it all goes out the window for protection when you read this statement in the Summary of HR 1962

disclosure of an information source's identity is necessary to prevent an act of terrorism, harm to national security, imminent death, significant bodily harm or to identify a person who has disclosed a trade secret, individually identifiable health information, or certain nonpublic personal information; and (4) the public interest in compelling disclosure of the information or document involved outweighs the public interest in gathering or disseminating news or information.

We all know where this is leading. They have already in recent documents linked Tea Party members as potential domestic terrorists as well as anyone who is 'opposed to the views of government'.

and then there is this gem at the end...

Applies this Act to communications service providers with regard to testimony or any record, information, or other communication that relates to a business transaction between such providers and covered persons.

This too me reads like a way to monitor ANY and ALL communications as needed...

This is not about protecting anyone just like the ARRA was not about recovery and the PPACA about healthcare. When folks, when are the rest of you going to wake up???

posted on Sep, 15 2013 @ 11:00 AM

Justice is lost
Justice is raped
Justice is gone
Pulling your strings
Justice is done
Seeking no truth
Winning is all
Find it so grim, so true, so real

Lyrics from a song; from the 90's? Not by Rage against the Machine; controversial-like....

the department of justice is as ineffective as the department of corrections.

Maybe the dept. of corrections can correct this shenanigan, eh?

I wonder nowadays what the planet's inhabitants are mainly comprised of;

Are there more sociopaths than there are imbeciles who worship them?

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