Hawaii Rep. Neil Abercrombie was the only Democrat to side with the Bush Administration in voting against a media sheild bill that would protect journalists from being forced to reveal confidential sources. It’s an odd vote for a man who may just be the last surviving long-haired hippie in congress, and who rails against the Iraq War on a near daily basis.
In fact, 176 Republicans voted with every other Democrat to support the media shield law, leaving Abercrombie with only 20 like-minded G.O.P. legislators. Opponents of the bill say the protection would limit the government’s ability to go after criminals and terrorists.
A similar, but less expansive bill is struggling in the Senate. Even if passed by both houses, President Bush has threatened a veto.
As for bloggers? They’d qualify for protection under the House bill if they “regularly report the news and earn a substantial portion of their livelihood from journalism.” It obviously favors the mainstream press, but doesn’t exclude the hardcore citizen journalist. [via Supreme Court of Hawaii Blog]