In a major loss for press freedom and the right of citizens to be informed about what their government is doing, CIA whistleblower Jeffrey Sterling was convicted this week on nine felony counts related to his supposed exposure of a bungled CIA operation.
On this week's episode: Pundits say now would be a great time to have a surgeon general–but that hasn't happened, thanks to "Washington dysfunction." Is that really what's happening here? Plus Time magazine promotes Rand Paul, and says his critics–like MSNBC's Rachel Maddow–are unfairly tarnishing his record. And we'll take a look at the new law in Pennsylvania that attempts to silence prisoners like Mumia Abu-Jamal. It's a blatant assault on the First Amendment. So where's the press? Watch:
Sen. Dick Durbin (D.-Ill.), writing in the Chicago Sun-Times ("It's Time to Say Who's a Real Reporter," 6/26/13), says it's time to stop letting just anyone call themselves a journalist. Everyone, regardless of the mode of expression, has a constitutionally protected right to free speech. But when it comes to freedom of the press, I believe we must define a journalist and the constitutional and statutory protections those journalists should receive. By this he means, basically, that the First Amendment's guarantee of freedom of the press probably don't apply to you: Not every blogger, tweeter or Facebook user is a […]
It seems inadequate for U.S. media outlets to critique the level of free expression in the country where NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden is seeking asylum without comparing it to the level of free expression in the country he is seeking asylum from. While the United States has on paper some of the best guarantees of the right to speak in the world, its practice is considerably more chilling.
NBC's Brian Williams called Bradley Manning "the man who may have put U.S. military secrets in the hands of Osama bin Laden." But giving classified information to the public is something that news outlets–including NBC News–routinely do, and each time they do it they too could be accused of "aiding the enemy."