In Marcy Wheeler's recent article at emptywheel.net (which Norman Solomon also links in his excellent diary on the rec list right now) Marcy gets right down to the federal courts' Catch 22 interpretation of freedom of the press.

There is no First Amendment testimonial privilege, absolute or qualified, that protects a reporter from being compelled to testify by the prosecution or the defense in criminal proceedings about criminal conduct that the reporter personally witnessed or participated in...
That sounds okay, doesn't it? James Risen (for example) sees his source shoot a nun. Make him testify!

And now for Catch 22!

Indeed, he can provide the only first-hand account of the commission of a most serious crime indicted by the grand jury –- the illegal disclosure of classified, national security information...

The "crime" Risen witnessed was... Risen's source talking to Risen!

So I guess "freedom of the press" means shooting the breeze about baseball and the weather with your "source," but if he or she tells you almost anything you don't already know...


It's a crime and you're the star witness!

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