Saturday, December 10, 2011

Judicial Tyranny

A US Federal judge decides that HE is the ONLY judge of who is an ‘authorized journalist' and who is not.  

U.S. District Judge Marco A. Hernández  ruled that “investigative blogger” Crystal L. Cox “was not a journalist and cannot claim the protections afforded to mainstream reporters and news outlets.” 

In his ruling Judge Marco A. Hernández  arbitrarily decided  “investigative blogger” Crystal L. Cox Montana blogger was not acting as a journalist when she lambasted an Oregon attorney in online statements.

The ruling by Judge Marco A. Hernández began as a lawsuit filed against Internet blogger Crystal Cox that accused her of defaming Oregon attorney Kevin Padrick with writings on her website that called him corrupt.

Kevin Padrick was working as a trustee in the bankruptcy case of an Oregon-based real estate firm, Summit Accommodators Inc.

After Summit unraveled, executives with the firm were charged with wire fraud and money laundering over an alleged scheme that saw customers lose millions, according to the FBI.

Cox representing herself (ALWAYS a BAD Move)presented arguments seeking legal protections given to the media on the grounds that, in her view,KEVIN  PADRICK and his company, Obsidian Finance Group, were public figures.

US Media organizations are protected by ”actual malice” legal standard established in a 1964 U.S. Supreme Court decision, which holds that under the First Amendment, journalists to be liable for defamation must know or have warning signs their inflammatory statements against a public figure are false.

David Ardia, co-director of the University of North Carolina center for media law and policy, said the judge exhibited a “cramped and myopic” view of journalism in his ruling against Cox.

“There is no accepted definition of journalism or who is a journalist,” he said. “Judges have wisely shied away from wading into that debate unless they absolutely have to.”

John Barrows, executive director of the Montana Newspaper Association, told Reuters he found the ruling “troubling” but that his group would review it further.

WHO or WHAT qualifies as a Journalist in the United States?

The Central Intelligence Agency( C.I.A.) and the National Security Agency (N.S.A.) have BOTH said Internet Bloggers are modern day 21st century Journalists.   The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the National Security Agency (NSA) have altered policies to indicate they’re taking blogs seriously, and a growing number of public offices are actively reaching out to the blogosphere. The CIA recently updated its policies on Freedom of Information Act requests to allow bloggers to qualify for special treatment once reserved for old-school reporters. Last August, the NSA issued a directive to its employees to report leaks of classified information to the media — "including Internet BLOGGERS!"

At the  the criminal trial of former White House aide "Scooter" Libby was the first time a federal court had issued press credentials to bloggers. 

Adding more to the issue...
The press, once again, has been expanded" 
 said New York University journalism professor (and blogger) Jay Rosen. 

"It’s not fundamentally different than other moments in earlier eras," Rosen explained. "Radio reporters had to be added to newspaper reporters, which were originally ‘the press.’ Public institutions had to make accommodations for television cameras when they became part of ‘the press.’" While some agencies are changing their policies — in the CIA’s case, they are granting bloggers a waiver on fees for copying the documents it releases to requesters once available only to traditional media.


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