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Rosalea Barker: Just Another Day In The Tank

Stateside with Rosalea Barker

Just Another Day In The Tank

::Big fish::

If it weren't so dangerous, it would be endearingly laughable. I'm speaking of the current furore around a federal case against two journalists in San Francisco who have refused to divulge the source of the information they used in a book about performance enhancing drugs in sport.

Journalists across the US contributed money and hotel rooms and frequent flyer miles in order that a strong show of nationwide support for the two Chron writers be incarnated at the court hearing. The phrase "dangerous precedent" was tossed about like the opening throw by some celebrity at a ballgame. But all this indignation completely misses the plate, I mean the point.

Those guys shouldn't be jailed for reporting the drug use; they should be jailed for NOT reporting it for the past two decades when it was patently obvious what was going on to anyone with even limited vision in one eye and their head stuck up their fundament.

::Little fish::

Intertwined with the Big Story for the past couple of weeks has been the smaller story of a blogger and self-styled anarchist who video-ed a protest march, posted some of the material on the internet, and then refused to turn over the rest of it when a federal grand jury demanded he do so.

This blogger first came to public attention last year with his criticisms of the lack of chanciness that Al Gore's online (and now cable) TV channel CurrentTV was taking in its formative days. He has been jailed twice for his refusal to cooperate with the grand jury, and is a bit of a cause celebre amongst journos, who are frantically auctioning off bits of free speech memorabilia in order to contribute to his legal costs.

Again, they've missed the real issue, which isn't whether a journalist can be required by a grand jury to hand over material in their possession, but whether a blogger is a journalist at all.

See http://thisweek.kqed.org/segments/1159/index.html for more about Big Fish,
and http://www.huffingtonpost.com/anthony-lappe/a-last-meal-with-josh-wol_b_29882.html for another blogger's view of Little Fish.

(Okay, so I’m being lazy. It’s autumn solstice, for heaven’s sake!)

*************

rosalea.barker@gmail.com

--PEACE--


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