So holds today’s Obsidian Finance Group v. Cox (9th Cir. Jan. 17, 2014) (in which I represented the defendant). To be precise, the Ninth Circuit concludes that all who speak to the public, whether or not they are members of the institutional press, are equally protected by the First Amendment.
To quote the court, The protections of the First Amendment do not turn on whether the defendant was a trained journalist, formally affiliated with traditional news entities, engaged in conflict-of-interest disclosure, went beyond just assembling others’ writings, or tried to get both sides of a story.
But the institutional press thinks they should.
It helps to keep the riff-raff out of the club, you see.
UPDATE: It seems germane to mention Dianne “Liberal-Fascist” Feinstein here:
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., wondered whether it could be used to provide protections to employees of WikiLeaks, an organization that allows anonymous sources to leak information to the public.
“I’m concerned this would provide special privilege to those who are not reporters at all,” she said. Feinstein suggested that the definition comprise only journalists who make salaries, saying it should be applied just to “real reporters.”
The sponsor of the bill, Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., was against that idea, since there are bloggers and others in the Internet age who don’t necessarily receive salaries.
In your face, Fascist bint.