This time in the form of a federal ‘shield law:’
Under fire for presidential adviser Karl Rove’s role in the leak of an undercover CIA agent’s identity, the Bush administration on Wednesday labeled as “bad public policy” legislation to protect reporters from being jailed when they refuse to reveal their sources.
Deputy Attorney General James Comey canceled his appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee just before a hearing on this issue was to commence Wednesday morning. In prepared remarks already submitted to the panel, Comey said the measure would “create serious impediments” to the Justice Department’s ability “to effectively enforce the law and fight terrorism.”
“The bill is bad public policy primarily because it would bar the government from obtaining information about media sources _ even in the most urgent of circumstances affecting the public’s health or safety or national security,” Comey’s prepared remarks said.
“If that is so,” said Sen. Christopher Dodd, “then wouldn’t we expect to see great threats to public safety in those states that have shield laws which are at least as protective as the shield laws that we propose?” Dodd, D-Conn., is a consponsor of the Senate bill.
Although, to cynics on the left, no shield law is necessary:
All day long, administration leakers jerked the media’s chain. “It’s Judge Edith 1,” they whispered, on double super duper background. Then: “No, it’s Judge Edith 2!” If the day had been longer, no doubt the Bushies would have tossed even more red herrings to the clapping seals. The Washington press corps, nanoseconds after being forced to admit how humiliatingly it had been spun by Turd Blossom, just lapped it all up. Leak on me again, they begged their sweet sources. Hit me with another scoop, Scottie, hard! The media show all the signs of domestic abuse pathology: they’ve been repeatedly battered and lied to, yet they just can’t bring themselves to flee the lethally dysfunctional relationship. They don’t need a shield law; they need a 12 Step program.