Stateside With Rosalea: Update And Some Feedback
Update And Some Feedback
::Media release from the Society of Professional Journalists::
September 20, 2006
“San Francisco Chronicle reporters Lance Williams and Mark Fainaru-Wada and freelance journalist Josh Wolf were named Journalists of the Year by the Northern California chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists for upholding the principles of a free and independent press.
“At a time when journalists are under increasing pressure to comply with government subpoenas – and in the absence of a federal shield law – these three have chosen to risk jail rather than reveal confidential sources or turn over to government unpublished portions of their work. The Chronicle reporters have refused to name the source of the grand jury testimony that informed their articles on steroid use among athletes. Wolf, who already has spent time in jail, has refused to turn over unpublished footage of an anarchist demonstration in San Francisco. While their cases are dissimilar, the underlying principles are not.”
::What is a grand jury?::
Grand juries consist of private citizens selected at random from those who apply to be one. The qualifications are that the person “be a citizen of the United States, 18 years of age or older, of ordinary intelligence and good character, and has a working knowledge of the English language.”
The purpose of grand juries is to provide some measure of protection by a state’s legal system against unfair treatment by the federal legal system. They hear evidence in secret prior to cases going to federal court to establish if there is sufficient cause for a federal case to be brought against someone. It is against the law for a grand jury member to divulge that evidence.
In the Wolf case, although the police car that was damaged belongs to a local authority, because the Department of Homeland Security provides some funding to the San Francisco police, the federal government wants to bring charges against the person who allegedly did the damage.
If you fail to comply with a grand jury’s request for evidence, it has the power to send you to jail for the entire time that a particular grand jury is serving. Without any other part of the legal system looking into the circumstances.
::What is a journalist?::
In a Chronicle story on September 12, Josh Wolf is quoted as saying:
“What is a journalist? There’s no journalist license. I have a body of work that is both self-published and in newspapers, and videos that have been picked up by other organizations. the easiest way I can see of judging a journalist is whether his peers judge him to be a journalist.”
::Some feedback about drugs in sport::
“You do not seem to understand the rules on drugs here in the United States. There are no rules. The only thing missing from the situation of the jailed reporters is having Oliver North doing the commentary on it. During the O.J. Simpson frame up, Col. North was running a drug smuggling operation that dumped tons of cocaine in southern California. He is a television reporter for Fox News. I believe Rush Limbaugh remains on the air after being caught with well over dealer volume in Oxycontin. We have 200,000 doing 5-10 years for getting caught with a few grams over the limit of pot.
“Here in Ohio, I have complained to the state athletic association about the lack of regulation on performance drugs at the high school level. They are legal. They use steroids and testosterone to go after college scholarships. The women really seem to be the big abusers. The testosterone causes the appearance altering effects, and the clean players know to watch out for shmales. They resemble female bodybuilders whose faces are a bit manly. We also see the roid rage, players going off out of nowhere in a huge fit. The best example is the small population towns that somehow have two dozen female soccer players at about 5'9" and 185# who can run like a college halfback. The biological odds just do not agree with the census that shows 5,000 to 8,000 residents. The irony here is that they will be tested in college.
“If you expect any logic in this country around drug laws, you will be disappointed. And this is coming from a person who never used or drank.”