Time for journalist licenses?

Maybe it's time to for the government to standardize requirements to obtain a journalist's license.

With a driver's license, many driving infractions incur points.  Accrue enough points, and you lose your license.  Commit a particularly heinous offense, and you may lose your license for life.  Climb on up the nefarious scale, and you could do hard time.  I know convicted traffic offenders who have done time for habitual minuscule offenses.

Maybe that's the remedy for "fake news" offenses as well.

The First Amendment delineates a distinction between freedom of "speech" and of "the press."

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

So there is a difference between being free to speak your mind and freedoms that "the press" enjoy.  They get access to backstage, crime scenes, and special events.  So what distinguishes "the press" from commoners?  How do you qualify for that distinction?

According to the National Press Photographers Association:

There is no single answer for how to obtain a press ID from a governmental agency. Every municipality that provides press ID's has its own policies. Agencies providing press ID's usually have a public information officer (PIO) whose job it is to deal with the media.

Well, perhaps it's time – given the epidemic of "fake news" – that there is a single answer.  Maybe you should have to prove that you're qualified to disseminate truth before you wear the moniker, just as you must to qualify to drive or perform surgery or myriad other specialties.

I'm kidding, of course.  God forbid that when the pendulum swings and radical leftists dominate the legislature, they possess the power to dictate who may publish and who may not.  This layman's unqualified opinion is that the First Amendment's delineation between "speech" and "press" is merely the difference between oral and written publication.  You want to be a member of the press?  Write something.  Presto!  You're in.

I possess pay stubs from a news agency from a few years ago.  I could probably go downtown and get a Matt Drudge press pass to stuff in the headband of my Indiana Jones hat.  That's all it would take to dupe the average low-information voter.

AT readers aren't that easy to fool.

I get home from my factory job every day, and like a dog returning to its vomit, I scan the news online in an attempt to decompress.  But when you read the drivel that passes for news, it increases your stress level rather than help to reboot.

For example, Bloomberg published an article on February 7, titled "Prominent Republicans Pitch Carbon-Tax Plan to Top Trump Aides," that contained the following jewels:

"We know we have an uphill slog to get Republicans interested in this," [former secretary of state James] Baker said before the White House meeting. But "a conservative, free-market approach is a very Republican way of approaching the problem."

Supporters say the tax is a conservative solution to climate change that replaces a regulatory regime with a free-market approach for addressing the greenhouse gas emissions.


The blueprint involves a $40 tax on every metric ton of carbon dioxide released by burning fossil fuels, with the price climbing over time. To avoid an undue burden on the poor from the higher energy bills that would result, the projected $200 billion to $300 billion in annual revenue would be redistributed to households in the form of quarterly checks from the Social Security Administration. Families of four would see an average annual payout of $2,000 under the plan, they say.

Someone needs to buy these clowns a dictionary.  There is absolutely nothing "conservative" about extorting wealth via taxes and redistributing it under the guise of "climate control."  I realize that that doesn't constitute "fake news" because the publication was merely "attributing" a statement to a source.  But gullible readers would assume – based on their press credentials – that such things are indeed conservative.  That discrepancy should have been noted.

"Free markets" don't require leveling of the playing field via taxation.  "Joe the Plumber" could blue-collar-intellectually body-slam these Columbia University Journalism graduates.

As regarding climate change: AT has documented voluminous refutations of its "anthropomorphic" origins.  The "carbon tax" endorses extorting hundreds of billions of dollars to address a nonexistent dilemma, which wouldn't affect it if it did exist.  This world has a Creator.  The Creator controls the climate – not the IRS or the Social Security Administration.  Governments cannot usurp that control via taxation.

Sow the wind; reap the whirlwind.

Mike VanOuse is a Factoryjack (one who works in a factory) from Indiana.