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You are so right. Say it louder and louder.
Newspapers (to use the generic idea) have never been perfect, but the closer they are to blue-collar down-to-earth people, the better they are. The closer reporters are to bow-tied power suckups, the worse they are. For an example: In my town--look at the Boston Globe. A huge scandal involving $15 billion of construction for "the Big Dig" went unnoticed by the Boston Globe over 15-year period. The Globe in the 1990s was rich, and they could have assigned two fulltime beat reporters to the damned project if they chose to. Instead, the blue-blazer-wearing reporters had white wine with the politicians...felt important...and as a result, skeptical digging coverage of this huge project...just didn't...kind of...just didn't happen. (Yes, the graft-filled project ate 15,000 millions of dollars and transformed the entire look of Boston, but the Globe snoozed through it.)
Every reporter wants to rise socially; and they are easily bought out by the promise of hobnobbing with their betters. When the government is licensing reporters, a new branch of tyranny will have sprung up on our soil Our very eyes and ears will have sold out.
Every American is a journalist or reporter--period. As soon as we allow the government of any given year to start defining the Bill of Rights as applying only to "professionals" we are f***ed. This year's government officials may be semi-innocuous, but that's no reason to trust that five years from now a Robert Mugabe or Huey Long or Karl Rove or Anton Rezko or Eliot Spitzer (pick your self-aggrandizing jerk)...will not be using the new regulations to encroach on our freedoms. Tyranny is eternal, like crabgrass. Shield laws, to the extent that they marginalize everyman, are indeed evil.
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