Glenn Reynolds has a roundup on the latest New York Times outrage regarding the phony story they ran on U.S. abuses in Iraq that, evidently, didn’t happen, as the paper now admits. Yes, we all make mistakes, but if all my mistakes were in the same direction, you’d accuse me of bias, wouldn’t you? That’s why, as Glenn has argued, journalist shield laws are such a bad idea: Journalists aren’t entitled to special rights because they’re no more accountable for, nor are they any less inclined toward, screwups than you and I.
Yet the same Instapundit joins in the chorus insisting that we support the Online Freedom of Speech Act, supposedly the epitome of the protection of free speech. And I am just putting down my marker one more time on this: Bloggers need the rights protected by this bill, but so does everyone else. The solution is no special privileges for journalists or for journalism (a distinction I have heard Glenn make — journalism is a thing you do, not a status or a “profession” in any meaningful sense); just plain old freedom of speech for everyone. And until the McCain-Feingold Anti-Sedition Act is repealed, or recognized as unconstitional by a Supreme Court that is hopefullly reinvigorated by some fresh blood, we aren’t going to have it.