- The Washington Times - Friday, January 22, 2016

A South Carolina lawmaker said his bill proposing a mandatory journalist registry which received widespread backlash this week was intended to trick the press into exposing their own hypocrisy.

State Rep. Mike Pitts said the “South Carolina Responsible Journalism Registry Law” — introduced in the House on Tuesday and quickly picked up by national media outlets — was “an experiment to make a point about the media and how they only care about the constitution when it comes their portion of the 1st Amendment,” he wrote on Facebook Wednesday.

Mr. Pitts said he knew all along that the legislation would cause an uproar, and wanted to use it to point out the hypocrisy of journalists who defend the First Amendment while ignoring other constitutional rights.

“They constantly attack people who follow their Christain [sic] beliefs and attempt to portray them as bigots, and they certainly do not like the fact that normal everyday Americans gather to petition the government and air grievances,” the Republican wrote. “Look no further than how they have demonized the Tea Party. Furthermore, they love to trample on our 2nd Amendment rights to ‘Keep and Bear Arms’. If they had their way, there would be no 2nd Amendment.”

It’s unclear if the bill, which would have jailed repeat-offending journalists who failed to register with the state, was actually intended as a joke, or if it will now be withdrawn.

Mr. Pitts‘ communications director said the lawmaker would appear in a press conference to discuss the issue at the state capitol on Tuesday.

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