Looks like Diane Feinstein has topped John McCain as this year’s poster child for term limits in the US Senate.
Now you’re probably wondering, ‘What has the old battle-axe done this time?”. It transpires that her latest rant against the First Amendment of the US Constitution couldn’t be more vile and off the mark. It seems that this tired old political relic is not satisfied with the multi-million dollars fortunes she has accrued while keeping her taxpayer-funded chair warm – now she wants to shut down commentators on the internet, namely independent bloggers, websites and radio shows.
According to Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA) and her backers, you’re not a real journalist unless you work for a corporate mainstream media organisation, and do so as your ‘primary source of income’. That means you can only express an opinion or expose corruption in Washington and elsewhere… if you belong to a government-approved media outlet. Does this sound familiar? It’s the same system championed by the Nazis in Germany, and by Stalin in the old Soviet.
Conclusion: if Feinstein believes that this is the correct system then she should be classed as a throwback to those failed regimes just mentioned.
Like in the old Soviet days, the top party leaders would pass laws shielding them from regulators, and spent most of their energy whilst in office building their personal nest eggs and collecting rent from various and sundry enterprises. The facts speak for themselves: “In 2003, Feinstein was ranked the fifth-wealthiest senator, with an estimated net worth of $26 million. By 2005 her net worth had increased to between $43 million and $99 million (…)… with many of her assets in blind trusts.”
She’s been busy alright.
It’s important to know that she is not just acting on her own behalf in this regressive Orwellian effort, but also on behalf of other members of the exclusive political inner circle to which she belongs. The other names are indeed familiar ones, and they too have adequately enriched themselves while being able to wheel and deal on America’s dime. None of them like the freedom of the internet, and are now actively working to shut down free speech online, because it scares them – because, like with their mainstream media, they cannot buy-off or threaten the millions of voices who exist for no profit online.
THIS should be a lesson to those who believe in their liberal or Democrat, heart of hearts, that a conservative or Republican regime is the only type which can effectively usher a fascist totalitarian era…
US SENATOR FEINSTEIN SEEKS TO FURTHER LIMIT FREEDOM OF PRESS.
The majority of America now gets its news from online sources. This has opened the country up to a whole new variety of sources including blogs, vlogs, youtube and other alternative media sources. The term “Freedom of the Press” has certainly expanded to include multiple new-age venues of modern press. However, in a developing story, Senator Feinstein (D-CA) is seeking an amendment to restrict who gets protection under new media shield laws.
First, consider the problem with a media shield law. On the surface, it may seem great. Here, you will find one of government’s dirtiest tricks. Journalists and media already have a shield law. It’s called the first amendment:
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
DC will now try and pass a law that will put parameters on media, journalism, journalists, etc. We are told that this will strengthen protection for journalists. In reality, it could open the door for government persecution due to purposefully placed ambiguous language. This is certainly by design, as it is repeated in almost every law passed by Congress and signed by the President.
S. 987 (Free Flow of Information Act) defines what a media provider is and who a journalist is, and is not. However, Senator Feinstein is not satisfied with the language and wants it further restricted. According to a report, Feinstein says, “I’m concerned this would provide special privilege to those who are not reporters at all.” She is referring to bloggers and the likes of Edward Snowden, NSA whistle-blower. Feinstein went on to suggest that the term journalist only apply to those who report for mainstream media sources, and do so as a primary source of income. H. 1962, the House version of the bill, already includes such stipulation:
The term ‘‘covered person’’ means a person who, for financial gain or livelihood, is engaged in journalism and includes a supervisor, employer, parent, subsidiary, or affiliate of such covered person.
- working as a “salaried employee, independent contractor, or agent of an entity that disseminates news or information;”
- either (a) meeting the prior definition “for any continuous three-month period within the two years prior to the relevant date” or (b) having “substantially contributed, as an author, editor, photographer, or producer, to a significant number of articles, stories, programs, or publications by an entity . . . within two years prior to the relevant date;” or
- working as a student journalist “participating in a journalistic publication at an institution of higher education.” (emphases added)
Amendment to S. 987, 113th Cong. § 5(A)(i), § 5(B)(iii) (2013)
Her amendment continues to muddy the waters by retaining original language that requires:
- that individuals “engage in . . . the regular gathering, preparation, collection, photographing, recording, writing, editing, reporting or publishing on” matters of public interest; or
- that individuals “regularly conducted interviews, reviewed documents, captured images of events, or directly observed events.” (emphases added)
Amendment to S. 987, 113th Cong. § 5(A)(ii), § 5(B)(i) (2013)
These criteria are troublesome. What about those not salaried? How do you define a “substantial contributor”, “entity”, or “significant”? What happens to these students once they have graduated? How do you define one who is “regularly” engaged in journalism? It is certainly ambiguous at best.
In the future, keep an open eye for federal legislation, which claims any association with your innate rights such as the “Free Flow of Information Act”. Rights such as those to keep and bear arms, or the freedom of speech. When our rights are left to the hands of vague legislative language, no good can be found as result. For liberty and freedom are words of absolute, and ambiguity must find no refuge here.
After researching the law and proposed amendments, I cannot even be certain if my colleagues and myself would protected here at BenSwann.com due to the ambiguity. This ambiguity and fear certainly leads to restrictions on the press.