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It is time for a Shield Law

constitution quill penFor the reporter in the street, help is at hand. According to Congressman Jamie Raskin (MD-08) and Jim Jordan (OH-04) the help is in the form of the Free Flow of Information Act of 2017 (H.R.4382), a bipartisan federal shield law that would protect the public’s right to know by safeguarding a free and independent press. The legislation would establish a federal statutory privilege that would protect journalists from being compelled to reveal confidential sources and ensure that they can do their jobs without fear of imprisonment or intimidation.
The legislation was introduced after Attorney General Jeff Sessions, in testimony before the House Judiciary Committee refused to commit to not jailing journalists for doing their jobs.
Although many states have shield laws or some sort of reporter’s privilege, no such protection exists at the federal level. Dozens of journalists have served jail time, including former New York Times reporter Judith Miller, who served more than 80 days in jail for refusing to reveal a confidential source in 2005 – and me.

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It's all about Russia -stupid

trumpnmeSarah Huckabee Sanders walked out to the podium twice this week and once again spread a false narrative about former FBI Director James Comey. She accused him of illegally leaking information to the public when she and everyone in the present administration have absolutely no proof of it – and in fact have absolute proof that when Comey leaked memos he wasn’t leaking classified information and therefore he didn’t do anything illegal.
It doesn’t matter. The President’s base will buy it. They’ll believe it. They’ll endorse it. They will repeat it. They will cheer it and they will yell “Fake News” at anyone who says otherwise.

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Pee-wee Herman and today's political scene

pee wee herman

 

“I know you are, but what am I?” are the famous words of man-child Pee-wee Herman when caught in a heated argument. Should there really be any surprise that this is the same reaction of the other famous man-child, Donald J. Trump, when he reacts to those who question his fitness for the presidency or the actions he takes as president?

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The real problems in the press

karem joe“Why didn’t someone in the press stand up for themselves before?”
That question has been in thousands of emails, tweets and snail mail correspondence we’ve received at the newspaper this week following a viral moment I had with Sarah Sanders during an on-camera briefing at the White House last week.
I don’t know. Well, I have an idea.
The other question I’ve seen quite often is – “What is wrong with the press?”
On that issue, I have a few more ideas.

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About enduring press freedom

Brian Karem at White House press briefingI walked slowly to my bunk and looked up at the television set. Twenty pairs of eyes were on the NBC Nightly News watching a story about me.
One man turned around and said, “Man, you famous.”
Since I was in jail at the time – for refusing to give up a confidential source – and wearing jail-issued underwear as well, this meant very little to me.
Fame is fleeting. Jail underwear sticks with you for a long time.
I thought about that yesterday when my smart phone started incessantly vibrating for several hours on end.

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'Fake News' is well established in real estate

for-sale-sign-outside-house

“Fake news” is the cause du-jour that has energized many into a movement to stop the spreading of falsehoods. Ironically, the crusaders who point their finger at alleged sources of fake news may also be guilty of promoting it. Fake news accusations are sometimes used to promote misinformation and half-truths. Unfortunately, fake news has become a meme that is becoming trite and meaningless. The promotion of fake news may be found throughout history, but it is certainly well established in the real estate industry.

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Solving the "Fake News" problem

 

MC DC - Hillarys Behghazi MomentIn an interview with The Sentinel this week incoming U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen said one of the greatest concerns facing the country is the “Fake News” currently spreading virally like a pestilence across the land – aided and abetted by a President-elect who acts like Typhoid Mary by tweeting factually inaccurate information gobbled up by the electorate as a sugar-freak gobbles twinkies.

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