On October 16, Stephen Colbert announced that he is seeking the presidential nomination from both the Republican and Democratic parties in his home state of South Carolina. Though Colbert has never asserted he is serious (he recently told students at Columbia University, "I don't actually want to win, I just want to f**k with people."), his candidacy continues to be covered by just about every media outlet you can think of. Some people fully support his run for president whereas others are less than excited about turning the U.S. into a Colbert Nation.
While it'… Read more
It isn't often legal nightmares are resolved quickly. In fact, anything pertaining to the law tends to drag on tirelessly.But for the two executives at Village Voice Media who spent a night in jail last week, their legal woes were abated before the weekend arrived. On Friday afternoon, I wrote about how Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin were incarcerated after they published details in the Phoenix New Times about a subpoena they received. Hours later, Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas, dropped all the charges against Lacey, Larkin and the paper. Dennis Wilenchik, the special prosecutor assigned to the case, was removed from the investigation by Thomas the same day. Wilenchick has denied any wrongdoing, stating that "his investigation was not 'grossly mishandled or mismanaged,'" and he will not stand to have his reputation tarnished. While it's not entirely clear what prompted the county attorney to drop the charges and remove Wilenchick, The Arizona Republic points out, that "Thomas' announcement came just hours after the State Bar Association confirmed that it had received multiple complaints and had launched an internal investigation into Thomas and special prosecutor Dennis Wilenchik for their actions in the New Times case and an unrelated one."
I've been tracking the progress of the Free Flow of Information Act of 2007 for months. Having spent time in a federal prison for protecting my source material, it's natural that I would be interested in a law that would prevent others from enduring this same fate.
The last time I wrote about the bill's status was in August, after it cleared the House Judiciary Committee. Last week, the Senate Judiciary Committee followed suit, and both houses of Congress are now ready to vote on the law.
While this is very exciting news for many journalists, I'm less than ecstatic, given that neither the version of the bill is ideal, and there is no telling how the two bills will be combined, should it pass both houses.
While the amended version of the House bill seeks to tie journalism to an economic exchange, the Senate's definition is broader in scope and would not only protect professionals but would likely apply to students and many bloggers as well.… Read more