National Security, Government 'Spin' and the First Amendment
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The Obama Administration's accused of abusing press freedom by seizing Associated Press phone records. Was that really necessary to protect American lives? Should reporters go back to meeting sources on shaded park benches or can new technology protect them and their sources from government intrusion and hackers who've spread false messages? Also, Capitol Hill begins hearing on IRS misconduct, and the summer movie season begins. Get ready for blockbusters and R-rated comedies.
Banner image: US Attorney General Eric Holder testifies before a House Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington May 15, 2013. Photo: Yuri Gripas/Reuters
First Capitol Hill Hearing on IRS Misconduct ()
As the first of four committees of Congress took up the IRS targeting of conservative "social welfare" groups, fired IRS Commissioner Steven Miller called the actions "obnoxious." That wasn't good enough for Republicans. Jonathan Weisman is Congressional reporter for the New York Times.
National Security, Government 'Spin' and the First Amendment ()
Last Friday, the Associated Press learned that the Justice Department had obtained records for more than 20 separate telephone lines" for reporters' office phones, home phones and cell phones. Despite regulations that require negotiations to protect First Amendment rights, the records were seized in secret. Politicians of both parties have jumped to defend the free press, and President Obama has renewed talk of a reporters’ shield law. Attorney General Eric Holder justified the seizure because "it put the American people at risk and that is not hyperbole." Was it really a case of national security or "spin" to control a story about the CIA infiltrating al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula? Did the Obama administration intrude on a free press? Will the news media be able to protect the next "Deep Throat" in the digital age?
- Erik Wemple: Washington Post, @ErikWemple
- Matthew Miller: Vianovo, @matthewamiller
- Jesselyn Radack: Government Accountability Project, @JesselynRadack
- Kevin Poulsen: Wired, @kpoulsen
Summer Movies: Small Gems and a Wave of Comedies ()
The summer movie season is getting underway, featuring Superman and wars of the future. But the big money may be in comedies that are not either light romance or family fare. Comedies are inexpensive to make and enormously profitable, and it turns out that films aimed at rowdy teenagers also appeal to adult men, women and audiences overseas. That's according to Rachel Dodes, film features writer for the Wall Street Journal.
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