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Journalist Protection Act an Unconstitutional and Shameless Political Ploy for Media Attention

Journalist Protection Act an Unconstitutional and Shameless Political Ploy for Media Attention
Either that or it’s an unconstitutional power grab designed to gin up “progressives” against those they hate, plus get Rep. Swalwell lots of free publicity to make it look like he’s a credible leader, as opposed to a pandering political opportunist. And point of order, it ain’t “our democracy.” And that fist looks familiar. (Rep. Eric Swalwell – Facebook)

“Rep. Eric Swalwell (CA-15), a member of the House Intelligence and Judiciary committees, on Monday introduced the Journalist Protection Act to make a federal crime of certain attacks on those reporting the news,” the Congressman’s media flack team announced. “The Journalist Protection Act makes it a federal crime to intentionally cause bodily injury to a journalist affecting interstate or foreign commerce in the course of reporting or in a manner designed to intimidate him or her from newsgathering for a media organization.”

Why is he pushing this, aside from to ingratiate himself with the press (he’s got the Communications Workers of America and the News Media for Open Government coalition giving him thumbs up)?

“President Trump has created a climate of extreme hostility to the press by describing mainstream media outlets as ‘a stain on America,’ ‘trying to take away our history and our heritage,’ and ‘the enemy of the American People,’” the release claims.

You see what Swalwell’s doing here. Understanding that President Trump is an avatar for his supporters, this is an attempt to conflate them with violent haters. And for the life of me, I’m trying to see where Trump is wrong in his assessment.

Still we don’t want people beating up our crusading reporters, do we?

Mr. Benny?

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No, of course not. No sane and honorable person believes in initiating violence in a Bill of Rights culture under rule of law.  Certainly no supporter of the Constitution does, and I’d challenge Rep. Swalwell to produce one who has. As a matter of fact, you don’t need to look far to find headlines like:

Anybody want to bet me I coudn’t find a dozen more similar links in a couple minutes?

Here’s a link to the bill itself.

First of all, as legal commentator Amy Swearer points out at The Daily Signal:

“The general police power—that is, the broad authorization to enforce criminal law—is reserved to the individual states by the 10th Amendment. The federal government’s ability to enact and enforce criminal statutes is limited, and must be based on one or more of its enumerated powers.”

And there are already laws in each state against assaulting and/or threatening people.

So Swalwell tries to get around that by claiming this involves interstate commerce. Unsurprisingly, considering he’s a California Democrat, his fidelity to the Founders’ understanding of the Commerce Clause is as fraudulent as his fidelity to their intent for all enumerated powers.

Case in point: Look what an oath-breaking usurper he’s proven to be on the Second Amendment.

Swalwell’s journalist bill raises two other glaring issues:

“Whoever … intentionally commits, or attempts to commit … an act … with the intention of intimidating or impeding newsgathering by such journalist…”

That leaves much open to interpretation. We’ve all seen “snowflakes” demand “safe spaces” because they claim “conservative” speakers make them “feel” unsafe. And I’ve seen plenty of “progressives” claiming to have been threatened by statements of sentiment, rather than intent. There’s a big difference between my saying I predict or hope something happens to you as opposed to I am going to do it to you. And that’s coming from someone who has endured anonymous “pop a cap in yo’ a$$” – type comments on numerous occasions over the years.

There’s also his qualifying definition for what constitutes a “journalist”:

“The term ‘journalist’ means an individual who— ‘‘(A) is an employee, independent contractor, or agent of an entity or service that disseminates news or information…”

In other words, if you’re an independent citizen journalist, what Juan Williams disparaged as “just a blogger,” guess who Swalwell doesn’t give a rip about?  More importantly, guess which story was broken by “independents” going where “professional” media did not?

I’ve been fighting that “Authorized Journalist” crap for years, and while I’ve since gained generally-recognized credentials, I’ll always remember the time before I did, 22 years ago. That’s when I was threatened with arrest for trying — as Swalwell’s bill requires — “to investigate events or procure material in order to disseminate to the public news or information concerning local, national, or international events or other matters of public interest…”

Fortunately, because it’s a lunatic bill everyone knows is just being introduced to get some ink (a lot, actually) to make him appear relevant, Swalwell’s attention-seeking gesture is going nowhere. While GovTrack hasn’t posted a likelihood of enactment prognosis yet, my prediction is the percentage will be in the single digits. Feel free to revisit that link in a few days and see if I’m close.

There’s another general observation that needs to be made, and that is how the press seems to believe it is above accountability for its role in promoting subversion. Per Pat Buchanan’s latest:

“These people are political enemies posturing as journalists who create ‘fake news’ to destroy me, says Trump. Enraged media, responding, reveal themselves to be not far removed from what Trump says they are.”

Instead of “MSM,” I’ve taken to calling them the DSM, which stands for “Duranty/Streicher Media.” Walter Duranty was The New York Times’ Pulitzer Prize-winning (!) apologist for Stalin, who helped cover up the communist dictator’s engineered mass starvation in the Ukraine, and who portrayed Great Purge victims as guilty. And Julius Streicher was a prominent anti-Jewish propagandist for the Nazis who ended up on the end of a rope after being convicted at Nuremberg.

“Just a blogger,” colleague and friend, the late Mike Vanderboegh, on occasion saw fit to remind journalists that media figures like Streicher had been held to account before, and that doing so in time of conflict was now a U.S. policy initiated by one of their “progressive” political heroes. He called it “Bill Clinton’s Rules of Engagement,” observing:

“Bill Clinton changed the American rules of war as they then applied. The Serbs were being recalcitrant, so, in his frustration, he decided that the politicians, the news media and the intellectuals who laid the predicate for the enemy’s war effort were legitimate targets of war.”

In other words, it’s in their self-interest to not stoke the fires of rebellion to where American citizens are left with no choices but to surrender all pretexts of principles and obey clearly tyrannical orders — or say “Nuts” and start pushing force back with force of their own..

Swalwell and his media fanboys would probably consider that idea the kind of threat his bill would mete out severe punishment for. At the risk of becoming a target (I know, it’s probably a little late for that), I’d call trying to do that a huge mistake.

Let’s instead rely on the framework for peaceable redress designed by the Founders, one with limited delegated powers for the national government, powers compliant with “the supreme Law of the Land” for the states, and respect by all for the Bill of Rights.

Let’s make sure full due process — along with a right to keep and bear arms that shall not be infringed — applies to all: You, me, and hell, even politicians and journalists.


If you believe in the mission of Oath Keepers, to defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic, please make a donation to support our work.  You can donate HERE.


David Codrea’s opinions are his own. See “Who speaks for Oath Keepers?”



David Codrea blogs at The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance (, and is a field editor/columnist for GUNS Magazine. Named “Journalist of the Year” in 2011 by the Second Amendment Foundation for his groundbreaking work on the “Fast and Furious” ATF “gunwalking” scandal, he is a frequent event speaker and guest on national radio and television programs.



  1. Thank you for writing this.

    I see commentator Amy Swearer writes ‘The general police power’ — it’s really the PLENARY police power. Even so, while I agree with her, SCOTUS does not.

    Congress has enjoyed essentially *plenary* police powers since the New Deal and the infamous Darby case, granting Congress the power to regulate intrastate commerce.

    That is not going to change.

  2. Ah yes… how many lives have these journalist elites destroyed under the protection of the First Amendment? Hypocrisy is their sir name. Now the same character assassins in their cowardous adventure seek protection.

  3. I’ve no sympathy for what these traitors have brought upon themselves.
    Let it be Painfull and Of there worst Nighmare

  4. Who can blame them? I’d want protection too, when the public wakes up to realize MSM “Journalists” are the Stormtroopers of the 21st Century. They are ALL complicit. “Its OK to be worong. Its unforgivable to stay wrong.”

  5. In the minds of some a few groups are super-special and deserving of more protection than us multitude of despised commoners. Then I recall the adage: Freedom of the press is a wonderful thing… for those who can afford the presses.

    That adage is even more true in today’s technical world where it takes BIG bucks to afford radio and TV stations.

  6. It is fascinating that these leftist congressmen didn’t give a whit when Obama actually violated the rights of Fox News correspondent James Rosen in 2016. He was wiretapped, his home searched and records seized, and the leftist media doesn’t bat an eye. Trump has only called them out on their phoniness, and they are butt-hurt about it!

  7. The mainstream media has always been dishonest. From the “yellow journalism” of the late 1800s and early 1900s to today’s “fake news”, journalism has shown its true (communist) roots.
    From the lies about the Spanish-American war to the New York Times’ walter duranty hiding the truth about and denying the artificially engineered and forced communist “famine” in the Ukraine, to the lies about the 1968 Viet Nam communist Tet offensive (a military victory for the South Vietnamese and American troops) reported by walter cronkite as a military defeat, cronkite and his ilk were successful in prolonging the Viet Nam war for years, giving “aid and comfort” to the enemy, who bragged about being supported by the U S media.
    Look at NBCs doctoring of GMC truck gas tanks, rigging them to explode, and the deliberate mischaracterization of George Zimmerman’s conversation withe the 911 dispatcher, deleting a key phrase, as well as showing Trayvon Martin as a 12-year-old rather than his more recent “thug” facebook picture.
    The media has become a “fifth column” of the government and is not to be trusted.
    To our advantage, we now have the internet, which gives the ability for ordinary citizens to be real “journalists”, quite often getting and reporting the story TRUTHFULLY before the mainstream media.
    In fact, there are calls by “mainstream media” to “license” journalists, in an attempt to keep these “citizen journalists” out…twenty years ago, any journalist suggesting such a scheme would have been thrown out, but nowadays…

  8. Kinda like the BAR association private organization which runs our judicial system, Judges,lawyers,District Attorneys and of course lawyers who couldn’t make it AKA congressmen and Senators.

  9. Odd thing: I was under the misguided impression assault was generally against the law….why the Protected Class for journos? And what’s a “journalist” these days anyway?

  10. Bill Clinton also changed the sexual misconduct rules at the White House too… “Anything Goes,” so long as you are me…and your wife’s named Hillary…..
    A.K.A. the DC beltway disfunctionals….
    American citizens deserve way more than the filth that somehow seems to become their elect.
    Drain the swap isn’t as honest a saying as, “Arrest The Traitors Now,”…
    The next generation should be better off, not less
    Don’t think about “Ego me” think about “WE”.
    America for our youth…..

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