Journalistic Privileges Require Speaking Truth to Power


Elizabeth Price Foley is following a thread of the Democrat-driven Wisconsin invasions of conservatives’ homes that winds into the local news media, and it raises an interesting question of journalistic privileges and civic structure:

So the question remains:  Who tipped off Stein (a political reporter) about the Archer raid?  Stein denies that his source was a prosecutor or law enforcement officer, and it’s theoretically possible (though somewhat farfetched) that one of Archer’s groggy neighbors just happened to know Stein’s home or cell phone number and called him in the middle of the night to tip him off.

The John Doe investigation has been plagued by selective leaks all along, is an ongoing problem, and is almost invariably favorable to the prosecutors. All of this strongly indicates that the source of these leaks is an insider in the John Doe investigation.  While Stein appears to claim a reporters’ privilege to protect his source regarding the Archer raid, Wisconsin does not have a reporters’ shield statute, its courts have recognized only a qualified privilege pursuant to its state constitutional equivalent of the First Amendment.  So in theory, the identity of Stein’s source could be revealed under the right circumstances.

Whether there exists a legal route to address the political corruption of journalism is an important question, but those who ply the trade should also concern themselves with deeper consideration of the sources of their presumed privileges.  Their support is ultimately social, and it can rapidly disappear if they’re no longer acting as a public protection against tyrannical government.

In Wisconsin, journalists appear to have been part of the overtly fascist attempts to silence and punish political opposition.  In the Obama Era the news media’s sycophancy has woven from the adulation and failure to vet the unknown candidate through to the disgusting juxtaposition of an opulent White House Correspondents’ Dinner with riots in Baltimore.

It’s certainly been seeming that the news media is, on the whole, a partisan enterprise that has stoked racial and other divisions.  Put plainly: If you’re not protecting the people from an overreaching government, and if you’re not fostering a society-wide mutual understanding that allows our civic society to function, you forfeit your presumption of privilege.