Skip to comments.Lindsey Graham Isn't Sure If Bloggers Deserve 'First Amendment Protection'
Posted on 06/05/2013 9:18:43 AM PDT by don-o
Whether bloggers count as journalists has mostly been a matter of esoterics for reporter types. But as Congress weighs a media shield law in response to the Associated Press/Justice Department subpoena scandal, the question is gaining an urgency that lawmakers are finding hard to ignore as they turn to writing the bill.
Speaking to reporters Tuesday, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., took on the issueand stumbled.
"Who is a journalist is a question we need to ask ourselves," he said. "Is any blogger out there saying anythingdo they deserve First Amendment protection? These are the issues of our times."
The verbal slipup aside (of course bloggers are covered under the Bill of Rights!), Graham's riffing on constitutional law exposes one of the age-old tensions between journalism as a product and journalism as an activity. What Graham really meant to ask was whether bloggers deserve the specific protections of the First Amendment that are granted to the press. But as the line between blogger and journalist has blurred, a far more relevant challenge is figuring out whether those protections apply to the behavior of finding and passing on (sometimes secret) information, or if they apply only to people with little plastic ID badges to prove their affiliation.
In some ways, what this episode really suggests is that it might be time to retire the word "blogger" as an artifact of the aughts.
Not OK - Vital!
I think we all understand why Lindsey would think this.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
Yup - some of my best friends.....
Who gives a sh*t what Lindsey Graham thinks....
If he wants to persecute bloggers, let him amend the Bill of Rights or go f*** himself.
Oh... I get it now. I have to be a journalist in order to be given protection under the first amendment.
Clearly, the internet blogs have taken a front seat to providing a venue for all American’s to express their opinions without reproach.
Or am I missing something from Durbin and Graham here?
I’m sure the British wanted to silence the bloggers like Tom Paine too.
Of course they do. However, Graham doesn’t deserve re-election.
That there freedom of speech dealie covers a multitude of sins if that there freedom of the ‘press’, don't.
what a dolt 'she' is
Lindsey? Shut up...
The 1st Amendment isn’t about journalism. A journalist has no more right to free speech than a garbage collector. The moment the government determines who is a journalist and who isn’t, journalism will be nothing but propaganda for government.
He may not be sure, but one thing I’m sure of-I’ll not vote for his ass EVER again.
SC Republicans, please please get a constitutional conservative to run against him this upcoming election. Lindsey Graham knows most of the information that we deserve is published through means of the web. Fire him, SC!
Goober isn’t even sure what the First Amendment is.
What the hell is with him and his partner MeCain butting in!
The problem is that he or to be more specific the obama Junta just might decide to do just that (see what the IRS has been up to) .
Also given this governments penchant for ever increasing police state like powers of surveillance if you want to see the shape of things to come as far as Federal Law Enforcement take a look at what the old East German Stasi used to do to folks to send the message of shut up & stay in line or else.
Why are you surprised at this ? We have people right here on Free Republic too who harass conservative bloggers and try to shut them out/up on a daily basis .
You’re right, of course; however, I’m old and have one foot in the grave, so I have the luxury of not giving a sh*t.
Another Whacko-Bird speaks.
Lemme think back to those Founding Fathers and their Journalism degrees. Wait. No such thing.
Correct. You have to be a Gov’t sanctioned ‘press’ agent to have a 1st amendment. Not like you were born with those rights already.
Some folks would be happy just to have them post their full content instead of excerpting.
Which seems rather the opposite of "try to shut them out/up".
The self-evident truth of right to free speech was given by God. Where does Graham get off thinking he has the right to veto GOD?
Freedom of Speech is separate from Freedom of the Press because the local newspaper doesn’t have to print you Letter to the Editor. But you can print your own. i.e. a Blog.
hum? And here I thought EVERYONE deserves First Amendment rights.
That is very simple they (Graham & McCain) view the Senate a a very elite good old boys club were Republicans & Democrats play a power sharing game that also allows them to line their pockets & enjoy the perks & prestige of high office .
The last thing either Graham or McCain want is somebody rocking the boat.
The fact that the Democrats have decided to turn this country into something resembling East Germany doesn’t really bother them as long as the bastards get to remain in office with all the perks & benefits/freebies.
Exactly. There was politician (republican actually) that wanted to "license" journalists. Dan Rather wanted a huge tax break for news organization (there's some irony). Liberals want the Fair Speech Act and for it to be illegal to lie for news anchors (and they get to determine what's a lie and when that rule is enforced).
They might as well consolidate all the news and call it Pravda.
It is not “Does a particular person or organization “deserve” first amendment protections?”
The proper question is “Under what authority does the government have the right to deny ANYONE their first amendment protections?”
Hey, Grahamnesty, today’s blog is yesterday’s Broadsheet, specifically included in the First Amendment by the Founding Fathers.
The weblog is one equivalent of the handbill. Graham should surrender his law license.
I guess none of our founding fathers would qualify for the right to free speech under these tyrants. To these tyrants only the lamestream media that supports their communism agenda are allowed to speak.
Uhmmu, Lindsay, it’s called FREE SPEECH. You poor fool.
But do bloggers have one of those cards in their hats that say PRESS?
It's not complicated. We all have freedom of speech, even those who support Obama as more important than preserving America as a free country. We all have freedom of the press, even ordinary people who post on Kos and DU or who slam Governor Sarah Palin right here on FR. These are God-given rights, and He gave them to every single person on earth - even Muslims who don't want to have those rights, even to leftists who don't want us to have those rights, and even to the unborn babies who will be murdered by their own mothers at Planned Parenthood before they ever have a chance to communicate aloud or in writing and exercise those rights.
Are there blogs devoted to his “life style” of choice?
It does not matter what you think they deserve. The constitution guarantees them 1st amendment rights no matter what your wishes might be.
Can this clown be recalled?
Any chance Trey Gowdy will run in 2014 primary to FINALLY remove Linda Gramnesty?
Is this spitwad retarded or something?
The Bill of Rights only applies to speshul people, Linseed? GFY!
Oh, Lindsey! You’re SUCH a bitch! I just want to pinch your chubby cheeks!
(No, the ones on your face.)
Do we have to register as reporters before expressing an opinion? What are the standards? What are the requirements? Where is the free government training program?