WASHINGTON ? Judith Miller of The New York Times is one of the scheduled witnesses for today’s Senate hearing on a proposed federal media shield law. The hearing has been orchestrated with selected witnesses in order to pave the way for the Senate to pass a bill giving special rights to journalists. Accuracy in Media (AIM) stands firmly opposed to this proposed bill.
The first hearing was held in July and the witnesses were stacked 9-1 in favor of the bill. AIM was denied the opportunity to submit testimony in opposition to the legislation. AIM was contacted about appearing at today’s hearing but was eventually told that Democratic staffers on the committee objected to having a conservative media watchdog organization provide testimony in person.
The Senate Judiciary Committee, chaired by Sen. Specter (R-PA), is only partially to blame for this outrage. The performance of the press has been even worse. Backers of the bill include such media giants as The Washington Post, The New York Times, CBS News, Newsweek, Time Inc., the Tribune Co., and NBC Universal, to name a few. Yet in most cases, these organizations provided no mention of support in their coverage, most of which was clearly lobbying passage of the legislative initiative.
AIM Editor Cliff Kincaid calls the proposed legislation the “Special Rights for Journalists Act.”
“It is no surprise that the bill is backed by the press but it is an outrage that the Judiciary Committee is stacking witnesses in favor of the press and, furthermore, it is an outrage that the press, whose job is to inform the public objectively, has ignored this fact,” said Kincaid.
He continued, “What is it about press credentials that make a working reporter somehow stand above the rest of us? Why should every single American be obliged to testify in criminal investigations with the exception of members of the press?”
Accuracy In Media (AIM) is a non-profit, grassroots citizens watchdog of the news media that critiques botched and bungled news stories and sets the record straight on important issues that have received slanted coverage.