You need to read the article and then my commentary below.
Look, perhaps the judge ruled the way he did because he was sort of let off the hook because Cox defended herself and didn't know which points of law to raise. That shouldn't be an excuse for the judge though. I hate it that they hide behind that they don't have to consider anything about the law that isn't raised by the adversaries.
Here's the root of the issue. The shield law is irrelevant in terms of what press it seeks to protect because the US Constitution trumps state law. Freedom of the press is just that. You can't have a lower law that affords greater protection to one press owner/user over another where all other factors are equal, which they would be in this case with Cox. You can't say that a TV station may air something and then turn around to tell Cox that she can't cover the same story (not plagiarizing) just because she's not on the laundry list of "approved" forms of "press." She's press whether anyone else likes it or not. She has every bit as much right (and right to equal protection under the law) to publish as anyone else.
That US judge knows this but decided otherwise anyway and for purely political reasons. It's either that or he's stupid and ignorant. There are thousands and thousands of bloggers doing investigative reporting using all sorts of sources, and there are many fascistic elements in society that seek to shut that all down. There are also many greedy capitalists who want to do away with the competition and criticism. We seen this developing for years.
Look, freedom of the press is just like freedom of speech and religion and assembly, etc. If you let some people publish or speak or worship or gather but not others solely because you don't like what they publish, say, worship, or gather for, when there is no truly compelling, huge, urgent reason to prevent any of that, you're clearly violating the US Constitution and illegally playing favorites.
Oregon's law is completely worthless. It was well-intended to help make a statement that publishers, the press, should not be abused by the state or other powers that be. However, it was misguided in writing a closed list. It certainly should have said "including but not limited to" if anything at all. Even the US Constitution says that the powers not enumerated are reserved to the people, even though the people are always too cowed to exercise them in unison.
Therefore, it's my ruling that US District Court Judge Marco A. Hernandez's ruling isn't worth the paper it's written on. I certainly won't be adhering to it. I'm press in addition to being religious press. If he can stop me from publishing, he can stop anyone. He can stop Jesus from speaking openly in the synagogues. He can be what the Pharisees couldn't achieve without murdering Jesus.
Now, if I make an honest mistake and someone shows me, I'll do my best to correct it.
If I investigate anything or anyone brings information to me that I believe has merit and publish an article based upon that, that someone else feels is libelous or defaming, etc., I will certainly say that I have as much protection as the New York Times. If I don't have that protection, then neither should they. There's nothing about them that makes them either more trustworthy or even better or more professional. In fact, I've had many problems with NYT content over the years. They printed things I never would have agreed rise to the level worth publishing. They've printed things that were patently false on their faces. The lead-up to the Iraq invasion was just one such huge example.
The following should appear at the end of every post:
According to the IRS, "Know the law: Avoid political campaign intervention":
Tax-exempt section 501(c)(3) organizations like churches, universities, and hospitals must follow the law regarding political campaigns. Unfortunately, some don't know the law.
Under the Internal Revenue Code, all section 501(c)(3) organizations are prohibited from participating in any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office. The prohibition applies to campaigns at the federal, state and local level.
Violation of this prohibition may result in denial or revocation of tax-exempt status and the imposition of certain excise taxes. Section 501(c)(3) private foundations are subject to additional restrictions.
Political Campaign Intervention
Political campaign intervention includes any activities that favor or oppose one or more candidates for public office. The prohibition extends beyond candidate endorsements.
Contributions to political campaign funds, public statements of support or opposition (verbal or written) made by or on behalf of an organization, and the distribution of materials prepared by others that support or oppose any candidate for public office all violate the prohibition on political campaign intervention.
Factors in determining whether a communication results in political campaign intervention include the following:
- Whether the statement identifies one or more candidates for a given public office
- Whether the statement expresses approval or disapproval of one or more candidates' positions and/or actions
- Whether the statement is delivered close in time to the election
- Whether the statement makes reference to voting or an election
- Whether the issue addressed distinguishes candidates for a given office
Many religious organizations believe, as we do, that the above constitutes a violation of the First Amendment of the US Constitution.
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.
That said, we make the following absolutely clear here:
- The Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project not only do not endorse any candidate for any secular office, we say that Christianity forbids voting in such elections.
- Furthermore, when we discuss any public-office holder's position, policy, action or inaction, we definitely are not encouraging anyone to vote for that office holder's position.
- We are not trying to influence secular elections but rather want people to come out from that entire fallen system.
- When we analyze or discuss what is termed "public policy," we do it entirely from a theological standpoint with an eye to educating professing Christians and those to whom we are openly always proselytizing to convert to authentic Christianity.
- It is impossible for us to fully evangelize and proselytize without directly discussing the pros and cons of public policy and the positions of secular-office holders, hence the unconstitutionality of the IRS code on the matter.
- We are not rich and wouldn't be looking for a fight regardless. What we cannot do is compromise our faith (which seeks to harm nobody, quite the contrary).
- We render unto Caesar what is Caesar's. We render unto God what is God's.
- When Caesar says to us that unless we shut up about the unrighteousness of Caesar's policies and practices, we will lose the ability of people who donate to us to declare their donations as deductions on their federal and state income-tax returns, we say to Caesar that we cannot shut up while exercising our religion in a very reasonable way.
- We consider the IRS code on this matter as deliberate economic duress (a form of coercion) and a direct attempt by the federal government to censor dissenting, free political and religious speech.
- It's not freedom of religion if they tax it.
And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute? He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers? Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free. (Matthew 17:24-26)