Michigan legislator wants to license journalists

Rick Moran
This would be a great idea - if it didn't fly in the face of the First Amendment and if we lived in Nazi Germany rather than the United States:

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.

"Legitimate media sources are critically important to our government," he said.

He told FoxNews.com that some reporters covering state politics don't know what they're talking about and they're working for publications he's never heard of, so he wants to install a process that'll help him and the general public figure out which reporters to trust.

"We have to be able to get good information," he said. "We have to be able to rely on the source and to understand the credentials of the source."

A little voice in my head is telling me that the pols will find a way to license only those "journalists" who won't expose their malfeasance and spendthrift ways.

There isn't a chance in hell this proposal will fly. But it seems relevant to point out two things; this guy practices constitutional law - although what constitution he is an expert in is open to debate; and secondly...

He's a Republican.




This would be a great idea - if it didn't fly in the face of the First Amendment and if we lived in Nazi Germany rather than the United States:

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.

"Legitimate media sources are critically important to our government," he said.

He told FoxNews.com that some reporters covering state politics don't know what they're talking about and they're working for publications he's never heard of, so he wants to install a process that'll help him and the general public figure out which reporters to trust.

"We have to be able to get good information," he said. "We have to be able to rely on the source and to understand the credentials of the source."

A little voice in my head is telling me that the pols will find a way to license only those "journalists" who won't expose their malfeasance and spendthrift ways.

There isn't a chance in hell this proposal will fly. But it seems relevant to point out two things; this guy practices constitutional law - although what constitution he is an expert in is open to debate; and secondly...

He's a Republican.