Voting Republican Is Not the Answer
(Yes, he is a Republican.)
A Michigan lawmaker wants to license reporters to ensure they’re credible and vet them for “good moral character.”
Senator Bruce Patterson is introducing legislation that will regulate reporters much like the state does with hairdressers, auto mechanics and plumbers. Patterson, who also practices constitutional law, says that the general public is being overwhelmed by an increasing number of media outlets--traditional, online and citizen generated--and an even greater amount misinformation.
The problem with this law is not that it's intrusive; it is voluntary (for now). The problem is that it puts the fence posts in place for worse regulations tomorrow. In the absence of such regulations, anybody trying to start censorship will have to hire censors; they will have to deal with people claiming to be censors who are leaking information; and they will have to deal with the fact that most policeman will refuse to get involved in book burning unless they're already used to demanding identification papers from journalists.
Remember the most useful question to ask when considering a proposed government activity: Would I trust my worst enemy with the power?