Michigan To License Journalists?

This is the face of tyranny. A Michigan State Senator has introduced an Orwellian bill that would provide for the licensing of journalists. There is no doubt that this thing is aimed squarely at delegitimizing the New Media, silencing bloggers, and creating a protected class of state approved “journalists.”

State Senator Bruce Patterson is the braintrust behind this flouting of the U.S. Constitution and outrageously enough, this Patterson fellow claims to be a “constitutional lawyer.” Pair him with the “constitutional scholar” we have as president and we have a matched set of revisionists out to steal as much power for themselves as one can find in any tinpot dictatorship! Even more ridiculously, this mustachioed villain is a Michigan Republican, proving that this sort of megalomania infests both sides of the aisle.

So what is this licensing deal supposed to do for we, the stupid people not able to figure out what end is up with current events, anyway? According to Patterson we can’t get “good information” any more because of the proliferation of new sources of info. But not to worry, granny Patterson is here to save the day and he’ll selflessly take it upon himself to determine what news source is a “legitimate media source.” What could possibly go wrong, eh?

“Legitimate media sources are critically important to our government,” he told Fox News. “We have to be able to get good information. We have to be able to rely on the source and to understand the credentials of the source.” Big Brother Patterson is trying on those iron boots and he thinks he looks good in them apparently.

Prospectively approved “journalists” — read news folks that will say kind things about Patterson — will have to provide our caring and concerned Wolverine State government with the following:

  • “Good moral character” and demonstrate they have industry “ethics standards acceptable to the board.”
  • Possession of a degree in journalism or other degree substantially equivalent.
  • Not less than 3 years experience as a reporter or any other relevant background information.
  • Awards or recognition related to being a reporter.
  • Three or more writing samples.

This bill makes perfect sense, of course. If you’re Fidel Castro.

Fortunately, the rest of the Michigan Senate thinks Patterson is an idiot because not one other Senator of either party is willing to co-sponsor Fidel Patterson’s un-American attempt at state control of the media.

Even if the tubby retiring Senator was sane, nice as pie, and completely trustworthy to be the sole adjudicator of just what constitutes a “legitimate media source,” we as a free people could never trust the next political hack that might step into Patterson’s iron booties in order to decide what sort of journalism will be “allowed” by the state.

Imagine if Bill Clinton, he of laments about the “great right wing conspiracy,” was the man responsible to decide what is “legitimate” under a Patterson-like media licensing law? Do you think Drudge would have ever been able to break the Monica Lewinski story in such a climate? Or do you think, rather, that Drudge would currently be sitting next to some al Qaieda terrorists in some dark hole in the foreign camp he was “rendered” to by Mr. “I fell your pain”? In fact, one rather imagines that Drudge would be in a Democrat provided for cell right next to Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity even as William F. Buckley had become a long ago forgotten victim of the “journalist licensing” gulag!

In any case, we will be seeing this sort of nonsense more and more as the new media gets stronger and more vital. Government thugs like Bruce Patterson will continue to try and find ways to destroy the new media and will continue to dream of the day when they can control every word that we hear from the media, new or old.

We as Americans need to keep a constant vigil against these sort of anti-American, tyrannical usurpations of our right to free political speech. Regardless of what party label this sort of menace hides behind, we must always defeat it lest we lose our God-given liberty.

But I have to say, this is almost like a backhanded compliment. After all, if the new media is vexing comrade Pattersoninski this much, we must be having an effect. Right folks?

Warner Todd Huston

Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago-based freelance writer, has been writing opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and is featured on many websites such as Andrew Breitbart's BigGovernment.com, BigJournalsim.com and all Breitbart News' other sites, RightWingNews.com, CanadaFreePress.com, and many, many others. Additionally, he has been a frequent guest on talk-radio programs across the country to discuss his opinion editorials and current events as well as appearing on TV networks such as CNN, Fox News, Fox Business Network, and various Chicago-based news programs. He has also written for several history magazines and appears in the book "Americans on Politics, Policy and Pop Culture" which can be purchased on amazon.com. He is also the owner and operator of PubliusForum.com. Feel free to contact him with any comments or questions : EMAIL Warner Todd Huston and follow him on Twitter, on Google Plus , and Facebook.

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