White House presses Congress to revive media protection bill

WASHINGTON Wed May 15, 2013 1:50pm EDT

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks at the National Peace Officers Memorial Service at the Capitol in Washington May 15, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks at the National Peace Officers Memorial Service at the Capitol in Washington May 15, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House on Wednesday sought to revive legislation that would give journalists legal protection when guarding their sources, a move that comes days after the Obama administration revealed it had seized records from the Associated Press news agency in a leak probe.

A White House official confirmed the administration was pushing for the 2009 bill, supported by Democratic Senator Charles Schumer of New York, to be taken up again in Congress.

President Barack Obama has come under fire after the seizure of the AP telephone records, denounced by critics as a gross intrusion into constitutionally protected rights to freedom of the press.

"This kind of law would balance national security needs against the public's right to the free flow of information," Schumer said in a statement on Wednesday. "At minimum, our bill would have ensured a fairer, more deliberate process in this case."

(Reporting by Jeff Mason and Richard Cowan; Editing by Doina chiacu)

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Comments (15)
totherepublic wrote:
This is the apex of hypocrisy and blatant political manipulation. Any one with an IQ over 10 that would read this and not be insulted cheated on the test. If I worked in the media-liberal or conservative-I would do all I could to discredit this administration even if it did mean my house would be the target of the next terror attack. Considering the timing of this is announcement…this is BAD!

May 15, 2013 2:06pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
totherepublic wrote:
BTW He just called everyone in the press a whore. You did get that right?

May 15, 2013 2:08pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
USAPragmatist wrote:
@totherepublic, so it comes out the the DoJ has obtained phone records from AP reporters with the detials showing that there is a lot of ‘vagueness’ in the rules allowing this to take place. Then the President announces that we should enact a bill that would help to clarify the vagueness (that I would bet was filibustered by the GOP in 2009, because EVERYTHING was) and you say it ‘bad timing’. You really cant be serious can you?

And please expand on how he called everyone in the press a ‘whore’, I do not even see one quote from Obama in the article.

May 15, 2013 2:14pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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