The mainstream media is having an absolute temper tantrum after Attorney General Jeff Sessions reminded them at Friday's press conference, which he and DNI Dan Coats spoke at, that while they and others investigating the leaks of classified information to the press "respect the important role that the press plays and will give them respect," it is "not unlimited." Sessions went on to expand on that by stating "They cannot place lives at risk with impunity. We must balance their role with protecting our national security and the lives of those who serve in our intelligence community, the armed forces, and all law abiding Americans."
The attorney general said that the DOJ has tripled investigations into these leaks, adding he has “listened to career investigators and prosecutors about how to most successfully investigate and prosecute these matters.”
“At their suggestion, one of the things we are doing is reviewing policies affecting media subpoenas.”
Sessions and Coats statements below:
That ladies and gentlemen was a shot across the bow, letting leakers know that they will be hunted, found and prosecuted to the fullest extent, while also making it clear that the MSM cannot use their "shield laws" and "reporter's privilege" to protect their sources if those sources are jeopardizing national security.
Others like New York Times reporter Serge Kovaleski described Sessions’ speech as “authoritarian-style threats.” BuzzFeed deputy news director Tom Namako dramatically declared "Sessions threatens the free press — which is protected by the First Amendment."
MSM employees took to social media to decry Sessions threats of forcing them to reveal sources that leaked classified information that damages the governments ability to protect Americans, but case law and Supreme Court rulings back Sessions up on the assertion that their First Amendment protections are indeed limited when it comes to protecting deep state sources within the intelligence community that are revealing classified information to members of the press.
In Branzburg v. Hayes, 1972, the Supreme Court found that a journalist does not have the constitutional right to refuse to reveal sources if the the government can "convincingly show a substantial relation between the information sought and a subject of overriding and compelling state interest."
We have heard from current intelligence leaders, former intelligence leaders and politicians from both sides of the aisle, and even Trump critics, as to the dangers posed by the recent leaks from deep state members in the intelligence community to national security, which negates the the claims by the MSM that taking measures to stop those illegal leaks, which violate federal laws, is a matter of "free press," or falls under the First Amendment.
“This is beyond the pale and will have a chilling effect going forward on the ability of the commander in chief to have candid discussions with his counterparts,” Ned Price, a former National Security Council official under President Barack Obama, told The Hill.
But Thursday’s revelation went too for some Democrats, who warned that the release of the president’s private conversations with foreign leaders is a bridge too far. “Leaks of sensitive or classified information damages our national security,” Michael McFaul, who served as Russian ambassador under Obama, told The Hill.
MSM JOURNALISTS HAVE BECOME AN ENEMY OF THE STATE
While an independent press and freedom of the press should always be protected, today's establishment media fought long and hard against Donald Trump for president of the united States, in favor of Hillary Clinton, and they made no bones about it, yet when the election ended and their misrepresentations were exposed, they set themselves up as the "opposition party" rather than a press for the people, representing the governed, to the point where they have consistently jeopardized national security.
Examples can be found all over the news as to how reporters, rather than reporting the news, are confrontational, argumentative, arguing Democratic talking points, instead of "reporting" the news. One recent example came from CNN's Jim Acosta, who became so obnoxious in an exchange with President Donald Trump's senior advisor for policy, that even colleagues within CNN ripped him to shreds for his antics.
CNN colleagues were not the only members of the MSM that highlighted Acosta's unprofessional behavior, or his obnoxiousness, as even Trump haters over at the Morning Joe show, along with their panel guests, shredded his lack of professionalism, even though they dislike Trump's immigration policies.
Make no mistake, it is not just CNN, that in their zeal to attack President Trump, rather than report the news, has published outright fake news that had to be retracted, deleted and apologized for, with three CNN employees being forced to resign, but other networks such as ABC, CBS, NBC, in just the first 80 days of Trump's presidency, clocked in at 89 percent negative coverage. Newspaper & network coverage, unless neutral, in President Trump's first 100 days was found to have been 80 hostile, according to a Harvard Study.
The study looked at Trump's first 100 days and examined coverage in the print editions of The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post, as well as broadcast outlets CNN, CBS, Fox News and CNBC parent NBC, and European news outlets the Financial Times, BBC and ARD in Germany.
Of the total news stories examined, 41 percent focused on Trump, which was triple the coverage for previous presidents for the same period.
And of that group, the tone was resoundingly negative — 80 percent of all stories, to be exact. That would be just shy of double the first 100 days of Barack Obama and significantly more than George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton.
SHOULD THE MSM BE AFFORDED 'PRIVILEGE' LAWS WHEN THEY HAVE BECOME AN OPPOSITION PARTY?
The numbers speak for themselves, as do the public "statements" versus questions by the media at press conferences and White House press briefings as the shown above, which brings us to a very slippery slope and a critical question.
When the establishment media decided to become the opposition party, the propaganda arm for the Democratic party instead of the "free press," soliciting and publishing information that jeopardizes national security, not because of the peoples right to know, but as a deliberate attempt to harm the presidency by sacrificing the safety of the nation, did they forfeit their right to hide their sources which leaked information to them in violation of federal law, specifically 18 U.S. Code § 798 - Disclosure of classified information?
(a) Whoever knowingly and willfully communicates, furnishes, transmits, or otherwise makes available to an unauthorized person, or publishes, or uses in any manner prejudicial to the safety or interest of the United States or for the benefit of any foreign government to the detriment of the United States any classified information—
(1) concerning the nature, preparation, or use of any code, cipher, or cryptographic system of the United States or any foreign government; or
(2) concerning the design, construction, use, maintenance, or repair of any device, apparatus, or appliance used or prepared or planned for use by the United States or any foreign government for cryptographic or communication intelligence purposes; or
(3) concerning the communication intelligence activities of the United States or any foreign government; or
(4) obtained by the processes of communication intelligence from the communications of any foreign government, knowing the same to have been obtained by such processes—
Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both
There are reporters out there attempting to provide decent coverage and Independent Media that is willing to report on issues the MSM completely blacks out, but legal lines are clear, as shown by Columbia Journalism Review, under the category titled "Who’s privileged, what’s privileged, and when privilege doesn’t apply" where point number three states :
Third, many privileges are subject to exceptions and/or balancing tests, and they affect whether or how a judge will apply a privilege on specific facts. National-defense exceptions, for example, can allow a prosecutor to overcome a privilege if national security is implicated by the case in which the journalist’s information is sought. Balancing tests, on the other hand, typically require a judge to consider the importance of the information to the case (importance favors disclosure), whether the information is available from other sources (availability disfavors disclosure), and whether the case is civil or criminal (criminal favors disclosure).
Right now AG Sessions is going after the leakers and court precedent shows there is a limit to the MSMs right to not reveal sources, and that limit is when it endangers national security.
The bottom line here is that there is no way any of us should consider all media as "enemies of the state," otherwise we risk having all media sources become nothing more than government run machines, therefore networks need to clean house of those that are colluding to act as the opposition party, and since many networks refuse to do so, AG Sessions can, and should, take any steps necessary to stop the leaks, and go after individual reporters that are risking national security for no other purpose than to be the propaganda arm of the Democratic party, rather than reporters holding officials accountable.
The latter should be applauded, the former..... prosecuted. Make an example of those publishing outright fake news for no other reason than to damage the President and jeopardize the nation, and others will be more likely to confirm their so-called sources, stop lying, and start reporting actual news.