The standard is that YOU get to decide what qualifies. If they want to force you they have exactly one option. Give you full immunity from prosecution.
A child can see 100 ways the government could prosecute the FOX reporter for reporting what they have hidden from us. All that has to happen is that the reporter has to say “i refuse to answer to the grounds that it might tend to incriminate me”.
The judge can then lock her up for contempt, and she can sit and let corporate lawyers start emergency lawsuits and writs to federal courts for her immediate release. She shouldnt say a word. She did a service to gun owners here.
There is a nice upside to this (again, devil’s advocate here) in that if this does hold up to further scrutiny, those lefties writing ‘sources say’ crap can then be compelled to testify as to who their sources were - or they they can be compelled to recant.
Personally, I really don’t see why we have a journalist shield concept for named authors. If you publish anonymously or under an obvious pseudonym, as the Federalist Papers were done, that’s one thing. But if you put your name on something, you’d best be able to back up your assertions. As it is right now, the shield is being abused to promote partisan attacks by the Left.
I don’t know if that’s true. Seems to me if witnesses could unilaterally decide not to testify on the off chance that maybe someday it could come back to bite them somehow, then there wouldn’t be such a thing as compelling testimony. And there’d be a lot fewer witnesses.
“A child can see 100 ways the government could prosecute the Fix reporter for reporting what they have hidden from us”
Maybe, but then her source wouldn’t doom her. They’d know she got the dirt somehow, because she reported it. The fact that they’re compelling her to testify about the source implies they’re going after the source, not her. You can say they could always backtracked and use her testimony against herself later. But, again, in that case the best evidence against her is the fact that she published the info, not who was her source.
“If they want to force you they have exactly one option. Give you full immunity from prosecution”
What world do you live in where only witnesses with immunity from prosecution can be compelled to testify? The court system would shut down were this the case. Or the granting of immunity would expand to absurd dimensions, making the business mostly worthless.
Fact is she will not be compelled to testify against herself; she will be asked to testify against her source. The judge would interpret refusal as protecting the source from incrimination, not herself, and she would be held in contempt of court.