Mandeville, LA – Exclusive Transcript – “Here’s the headline, “Schumer: Senate has votes for media shield law.” What do you need a media shield law for? The First Amendment is pretty clear, “Congress shall make no law.” If Congress shall make no law, not only would that include the printing of something that Congress may not like, it would also include the process under which the person that was going to do the printing gathered the information.” Check out today’s transcript for the rest…
Begin Mike Church Show Transcript
Mike: I wonder why the First Amendment has to be re-ratified. [mocking] “Mike, what are you talking about? Who’s re-ratifying the First Amendment?” Uh, the United States Senate. Here’s the headline, “Schumer: Senate has votes for media shield law.” What do you need a media shield law for? The First Amendment is pretty clear, “Congress shall make no law.” If Congress shall make no law, not only would that include the printing of something that Congress may not like, it would also include the process under which the person that was going to do the printing gathered the information.
All Glenn Greenwald did was agree to a meeting with Snowden after Snowden contacted him and said: Hey, man, you’re a pretty good journalist. I’ve got some mind-blowing stuff here that no one is going to believe. How can I get it out into the press without all of us being assassinated? Greenwald, for a fear of his life, and Snowden as well, where did they meet? They met in China. We’re going to meet in the land of the free and the mobile home of the brave. No, we wouldn’t want to do that sort of a meeting here in the United States. You’d have to go somewhere where they have some actual freedom, China. Yes, I know that sounds like it’s upside down and in reverse, but that’s what happened.
A supporter of a bill to protect reporters and the news media from having to reveal confidential sources said Friday the measure has the backing of the Obama administration and the support of enough senators to move ahead this year.
Mike: Whenever I hear anything like this, the first thing I think of is trouble. Uh-oh, what are they doing? Whose idea is it to try and pass a new shield law? By passing a new shield law, are they actually trying to write shield law code so it can be used against people like Glenn Greenwald, for example? I haven’t read the bill but I’ve read a little bit about it. It seems to me that under the disguise of “we must protect journalistic integrity,” no, you must protect the journalistic integrity of people that have found favor with you is what must happen.
Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York, the No. 3 Democrat in the Senate, spoke optimistically about prospects for the measure, identifying five Republicans who would join with Democrats and independents on a bill that he said would address a constitutional oversight. [Mike: Is it a constitutional oversight or was the Constitution just not clear enough for you, Senator Schumer?]
While the first amendment protects freedom of the press, “there is no first amendment right for gathering information,” Schumer said [Mike: Again, what good is freedom of the press if you can’t gather the information to put the materials together that you’re going to go to press with? This is a no-brainer here. What’s going on?] at The New York Times’ Sources and Secrets Conference on the press, government and national security.
The bill was revived last year after the disclosure that the Justice Department had secretly subpoenaed almost two months’ worth of telephone records for 21 phone lines used by reporters and editors for The Associated Press and secretly used a search warrant to obtain some emails of a Fox News journalist. [Mike: Of course, that Fox News journalist was James Rosen, if you didn’t follow the story.]
The Justice Department took the actions in looking into leaks of classified information to the news organizations. The AP received no advance warning of the subpoena.
Schumer discussed the bill’s provisions and how, if it became law, it might affect journalist Glenn Greenwald, who reported on National Security Agency’s secret surveillance based on documents leaked by Edward Snowden.
“It’s probably not enough protections to (cover) him, but it’s better than current law,” Schumer said.
Mike: If Schumer is saying, [mocking] “It’s probably not going to be enough to protect some clown like Greenwald,” what has Glenn Greenwald done? All Greenwald did was agree to a meeting with Snowden after Snowden contacted him and said: Hey, man, you’re a pretty good journalist. I’ve got some mind-blowing stuff here that no one is going to believe. How can I get it out into the press without all of us being assassinated? Greenwald, for a fear of his life, and Snowden as well, where did they meet? They met in China. We’re going to meet in the land of the free and the mobile home of the brave. No, we wouldn’t want to do that sort of a meeting here in the United States. You’d have to go somewhere where they have some actual freedom, China. Yes, I know that sounds like it’s upside down and in reverse, but that’s what happened. Then what happened after that? Greenwald vetted what he could, determined that Snowden was the real deal, brought in the filmmaker — what was the filmmaker’s name? Do you remember, Eric? It starts with a P, Lisa — it’ll come to me in a moment. He brought in a filmmaker to film the entire interview so he’d have a video record of it.
Now, why would Greenwald want to have a video record? Think about that for just a moment. Why would he videotape it? Why would you want to tape that? It ought to be pretty obvious. The reason you want to tape it is because sometime in the future when somebody like Schumer tries to get ahold of you and bury you underneath the federal prison in Leavenworth, accusing you of this and that and the other, then you have a videotape record and can say: That’s not the way it happened, sir. This is the way it happened. I was contacted as a journalist. I met the man as a journalist. I asked questions. I did not incite him. I did not encourage him to do anything. You trying to nab me as a terrorist isn’t going to work because I have a video record here that shows that’s not what I did. That’s why you would tape it.
The bill’s protections would apply to a “covered journalist,” [Mike: What exactly is a “covered journalist?”] defined as an employee, independent contractor or agent of an entity that disseminates news or information. The individual would have to have been employed for one year within the last 20 or three months within the last five years.
It would apply to student journalists or someone with a considerable amount of freelance work in the last five years.
Mike: In other words “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.” If you’re a journalist then, in what part of the First Amendment does it say you had to have worked for a year and a half inside of journalism before you could qualify to report on something according to the United States Senate? Folks, this whole thing is rigged. This is an attempt to stifle speech, not increase it.
A federal judge also would have the discretion to declare an individual a “covered journalist” who would be granted the privileges of the law.
Mike: You know what that means, ladies and gentlemen. That means that a federal judge would also have the discretion to declare a journalist not to be a “covered journalist.” What does that mean? That means hello Leavenworth, that’s what that means.
The bill also says that information is only privileged if it is disseminated by a news medium, described as “newspaper, nonfiction book, wire service, news agency, news website, mobile application or other news or information service (whether distributed digitally or otherwise); news program, magazine or other periodical, whether in print, electronic or other format; or thorough television or radio broadcast … or motion picture for public showing.”
While the definition covers traditional and online media, it draws the line at posts on Twitter, blogs or other social media websites by non-journalists.
Mike: Again, Congress and the United States Senate is saying: That whole First Amendment thing is not really whole. We get to determine what the press is. We get to define what is the press. Does any of this sound like it’s aboveboard to any of you? Does this sound like an honest and valiant and gallant effort to protect the integrity and safety of the free press out there? Or does it sound like an attempt to try and rig the rules so that only those that do what Congress wants them to do or does what people like Senator Schumer want them to do are then afforded State protection? Why do I need State protection? The First Amendment is put in there to instruct Congress and instruct the new general government that it may not have any say-so, it doesn’t have any role in telling people what they can or cannot write, what they may or may not speak, what religion they may or may not practice. That’s what it says. It doesn’t say anything about defining what a journalist is, about transferring that authority to a federal judge, about saying you have to work a certain amount of months or a certain amount of years in order to be accorded the status of journalist. It doesn’t say anything about that. What’s really going on here?
The bill makes clear that before the government asks a news organization to divulge sources, it first must go to a judge, who would supervise any subpoenas or court orders for information.
Mike: You mean the judges you go to to get the orders to go barnstorm people’s houses and shoot at them in the middle of the night? You mean the judges you go to to get the orders to wiretap or eavesdrop on 110 million Verizon Wireless customers? You mean those kinds of judges? [mocking] “Come on, Mike, we have the protection of judges now. If we don’t trust these guys…” Do you trust these guys? Have you seen what they’ve done to the Constitution lately? Have you seen what they’ve done to the acts of the several states lately? Do you trust them? What’s happening here is this bill basically is going to put into the hands of Congress what is and what is not free speech, what is and what is not published free speech. They get to define it and write the rules, and they get to write the rules in their favor. What do you think is going to happen? [mocking] “You’re just being paranoid.” You know what? In this day and age, you better be paranoid, or at least proceed with a healthy dose of skepticism.
The Senate Judiciary Committee passed the bill last September on a 13-5 vote. Schumer said the measure has the support of Republican Sens. Johnny Isakson of Georgia [Mike: Big red flag.], Roy Blunt of Missouri [Mike: Larger red flag.] and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina [Mike: Warning, warning, Will Robinson. Warning, liberal approaching. Bigger and more giant red flag.] He also noted the backing of Iowa Sen. Charles Grassley and Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch in the committee.
Mike: Okay, this is a fait accompli here, folks.
End Mike Church Show Transcript