- ‘Tis the Season: London florist creates $4.6 million Christmas wreath
- No tailgating allowed at Super Bowl XLVIII
- Pentagon to transport African troops to Central African Republic
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend’s shopping jumps to his death
- Ukraine leader to talk with protesters; Washington urges caution
- Pope Francis: A nun saved my life
- Israeli P.M. Netanyahu backs out of Mandela funeral
- Elian Gonzalez makes first trip outside Cuba since custody battle
- U.S., British intelligence agents enter online sci-fi world to spy on gamers
- Sarah Palin to host the outdoors show ‘Amazing America’
Support grows for journalist shield law after Justice Dept. snoops on The Associated Press
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 2013 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.
- Obama tries to calm Israeli fears over Iranian nuke deal 'not based on trust'
- Obama, first lady will attend Mandela memorial services
- Obama: Nelson Mandela now 'belongs to the ages'
- Obama lived with Uncle Onyango Obama in the 1980s, White House admits
- Obama calls on bartenders to help sell health care reform
Latest Blog Entries
By Brahma Chellaney
Beijing's creeping aggression signals a challenge to U.S. presence in the Asian Pacific
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend's shopping jumps to his death
- CURL: Obama tells a whopper on IRS scandal
- Satanists petition for statue at Oklahoma Statehouse
- Lawmakers see 'false narrative' of Obama as a terrorist fighter
- Ted Cruz sees legal landmines ahead for Obamacare
- Obama lied about Syrian chemical attack, 'cherry-picked' intelligence: report
- MILLER: Brady Campaign says Colorado recalls due to NRA, not grassroots opposition to gun control
- Bill OReilly reminds: Nelson Mandela was a communist
- Tech companies call for an end to NSA online snooping
- MSNBC host: Obamacare a 'wealthy white men' racist word
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow