- Israel hits symbols of Hamas rule; scores killed
- Mississippi abortion law can’t be enforced
- Teacher who survived Sandy Hook has book deal
- Jury awards Jesse Ventura $1.8M in case vs. ‘American Sniper’ author Chris Kyle
- Government OKs Arab-owned company to operate U.S. cargo port
- Defense lawyer: McDonnell’s wife had ‘crush’ on CEO
- Chinese hackers stole ‘huge quantities’ of sensitive data on Israel’s Iron Dome
- House unveils bill to speed deportations of illegal immigrant children
- Californians protest middle school for hiring white man to teach cultural studies
- Killer’s sentencing overturned because mother couldn’t find seat in courtroom
Support grows for journalist shield law after Justice Dept. snoops on The Associated Press
Question of the Day
With journalists now justifiably fearful that the federal government could examine their telephone logs and dig up other information, support is growing in Congress for a measure to help reporters keep their sources confidential.
Democratic Rep. Karen Bass of California on Thursday morning said she supports the so-called "shield law."
"We need legislation to address that. I think it's time we put that back on the table and that we talk about that," she said during an appearance on C-Span's "Washington Journal" program, adding that she finds the Justice Department's snooping on The Associated Press to be "terrible."
The DOJ has admitted it sought telephone records from at least 20 AP reporters and editors in an attempt to track down the source of national security leaks related to a terrorist plot. The collection of those logs was done without the AP's knowledge and has caused a firestorm on Capitol Hill with critics accusing the White House of trampling the First Amendment.
During an appearance before Congress on Wednesday, Attorney General Eric Holder pleaded ignorance on the issue and said that, because he recused himself from the AP investigation shortly after it began last year, he has very limited knowledge of what transpired.
But he did seem to offer his support for a shield law, saying that the focus of these government inquiries should be finding the sources of leaks, not on the journalists who report on classified information.
Members of Congress increasingly agree that there need to be more limits on when the government can infringe on the rights of the Fourth Estate.
"This kind of law would balance national security needs against the public's right to the free flow of information. At minimum, our bill would have ensured a fairer, more deliberate process in this case," said Sen. Charles Schumer, New York Democrat, in an ABC News report.
Mr. Schumer on Wednesday reintroduced the Free Flow of Information Act of 2013, which would establish very limited circumstances under which courts could compel a reporter to disclose the identities of his sources.
The measure also was brought up in 2009 but failed to clear the Senate.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Ben Wolfgang covers the White House for The Washington Times.
Before joining the Times in March 2011, Ben spent four years as a political reporter at the Republican-Herald in Pottsville, Pa.
He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- White House: No choice but to act now on climate change
- Russia in violation of 1987 missile treaty, White House says
- In politics, all states are 'border' states
- Libya now nation at risk with weak U.S. influence; embassy closes as chaos grows
- White House readies for House GOP impeachment push: 'Foolish' to ignore
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
- Boehner rules out impeachment: 'Scam started by Democrats'
- Obama: 'Not a new Cold War,' but new Russia sanctions announced
- Federal judge grants 90-day stay in D.C. gun case
- Obama thanks Muslims for 'building the very fabric of our nation'
- Smugglers, rainstorm combine to poke holes in border fence
- HURT: Impeaching Obama is a losing strategy for the GOP
- GOP Senate candidate: Obama needs to visit Central America
- Obama's brother wears Hamas scarf bearing anti-Israel slogans in photo
- D.C. seeks to stay judge's order allowing gun owners to carry in public
- Kerry's credibility questioned as fighting in Gaza rages
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world