The so-called shield law is not about shielding anything. It’s twin purposes are (i) to regulate speech by effectively licensing who’s permitted to speak within its “protections” and (ii) to protect incumbent press organizations facing severe disruptions that likely will lead to their extinction, and also would end their cozy access to the organs and personalities of government, nice dinner parties, hot girls (and guys), and fat salaries. Any legislator who votes for this should be subject to impeachment or recall and civil liability for such a blatant violation of what’s left of our constitutional rights.
There have been debates on a setting up a special journalist shield law for many years, and every time it comes up it leads to something problematic, as various supporters suddenly want to narrowly define what a journalist is, often in a manner that carves out new forms of media. And, indeed, it appears thats exactly what happened this morning in the Senate Judiciary Committee. Eventually, the bill passed out of committee with a much broader definition than some feared, but one that still tries to define who is a journalist very specifically — in a manner that “carves out” the specific kinds of journalism Congress doesnt like, such as Wikileaks.