The Department of Homeland Security wants to build a global database of journalists. This is not the mere intelligence-gathering that’s already done – this is monitoring news articles and reports, according to Bloomberg Government. This isn’t about the news – this is about the people writing the news.

These are not the actions of a free state with freedom of the press. The First Amendment exists for a reason: to protect the journalist from governmental interference.

Just as the Second Amendment (and note the order!) exists, according to the gun-rights folks, to allow the citizens to protect themselves from governmental overreach, the First is there to shine a light on what the government does. This then feeds into the Second, so that the people will know when they need to protect themselves.

You cannot have one without the other.

I wish I could say that this is the start of a slippery slope, but I fear we’re already sliding down the slope, and this is merely an increase in the slope’s angle.

Jeffrey Kaplan


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