Just in time for the Independence Day festivities, Sen. Dick Durbin has launched another bullying attack on free press. The senior senator from Illinois penned a recent op-ed in the Chicago Sun-Times called, “It’s time to say who is a real reporter.”
“To those who feel politicians shouldn’t define who a journalist is, I’d remind them that they likely live in one of the 49 states, like Illinois, where elected officials have already made that decision,” Durbin writes. “It’s long past time for Congress to create a federal law that defines and protects journalists.”
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Durbin’s argument is outrageous, arrogant, deceitful, and dangerous to anyone who truly values the First Amendment.
Are the American people supposed to trust Durbin and his biased colleagues with this determination as if they have no memory of the Justice Department’s recent seizure of phone records from Associated Press reporters and Fox News’ James Rosen? Or the IRS’ targeting of conservative groups?
Should politicians be trusted with any more power?
In his piece, Durbin also wrongly attempts to lump bloggers in with the casual Facebook user or tweeter. “Journalists should have reasonable legal protections to do their important work. But not every blogger, tweeter or Facebook user is a ‘journalist,'” Durbin writes.