That really is a good question given the special protections offered journalists. In his latest column entitled Press Credentials Fred Reed takes aim at a recent and incredibly stupid decision by United States District Judge Marco A. Hernandez. In this decision Hernandez lists seven criteria he thinks define a journalist deserving of protection under the First Amendment and the shield laws:
- Education in journalism
- Credentials or proof of any affiliation with any recognized news entity
- Proof of adherence to journalistic standards such as editing, fact-checking, or disclosures of conflicts of interest
- Keeping notes of conversations and interviews conducted
- Mutual understanding or agreement of confidentiality between the defendant and his/her sources
- Creation of an independent product rather than assembling writings and postings of others
- Contacting "the other side" to get both sides of a story.
Reed -- having actually been a journalist for decades -- neatly dissects the unbelievable ignorance Hernandez demonstrates in the above. In a blast of pure vitriolic brilliance, Fred offers as a response to Hernandez, "Vete a la chingada, cabrón. No me estés jodiendo", which he translates as, "I appreciate your point of view. I will consider it at leisure[sic]."
I am still laughing at that one.