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"It was a splendid population - for all the slow, sleepy, sluggish-brained sloths stayed at home - you never find that sort of people among pioneers - you cannot build pioneers out of that sort of material. It was that population that gave to California a name for getting up astounding enterprises and rushing them through with a magnificent dash and daring and a recklessness of cost or consequences, which she bears unto this day - and when she projects a new surprise the grave world smiles as usual and says, "Well, that is California all over."
- - - - Mark Twain (Roughing It)
Saturday, October 1, 2016
Democrats Abolish Freedom of the Press
Democrats Attack Freedom of the Press
(Life News) - California Governor Jerry Brown has signed an oppressive, Planned Parenthood-backed bill to stop whistleblowers and journalists from conducting undercover investigations of any “health care providers.”
The Center for Medical Progress’s undercover video project did a lot of damage to Planned Parenthood when it revealed the abortion giant’s baby body parts operation. Through the California bill, Planned Parenthood is trying to stop anyone from trying to expose its horrendous practices ever again.
The legislation makes it a crime for anyone to record undercover footage of “health care providers,” including abortion facilities. An original version of the bill also would have punished third parties, including journalists and lawyers, who do nothing more than report or distribute the footage, the Courthouse News Service reports. Violations include stiff fines and jail time, according to the report.
California Assembly Bill 1671 is almost assuredly going to become the subject of a lawsuit not only from pro-life groups who wish to expose the abortion industry but other political groups, the media and defenders of free speech who want to engage in similar undercover journalism.
After Governor Brown signed the bill, David Daleiden emailed LifeNews:
“The Center for Medical Progress never recorded “confidential” communications, so California’s existing recording law and the new distribution provision are simply inapplicable to our work. However, it is clear that Planned Parenthood does not want to be held accountable to the public whose taxpayer money it gladly takes by the hundreds of millions, and will even attack freedom of speech and the freedom of the press in order to maintain its own arbitrary levels of secrecy.”
The amended version removed the penalties for third parties who distribute the footage. But that was not enough even for some of Planned Parenthood’s allies. The Los Angeles Times editorial board published a strong op-ed against the bill. The American Civil Liberties Union of California, which often partners with Planned Parenthood on legal cases, also opposes the bill, citing First Amendment concerns about freedom of the press.
Kevin Baker, legislative director for the American Civil Liberties Union of California, said they share Planned Parenthood’s concerns about privacy, but the measure is written too broadly and could inadvertently catch people in criminal activity. Lawyers and journalists who share material from a whistleblower, he said, could be held liable for aiding and abetting.
Opponents point to [bill sponsor state Assemblyman Jimmy] Gomez’s own live Facebook video from a hospital last week, when he was treated for a broken elbow sustained in a legislative softball game, as an extreme example of the bill’s reach. Could the conversations captured in the background as Gomez discussed his injury be considered an infraction?
“You might be inadvertently recording conversations and posting them online in ways that violate the wording of this law,” Baker said. “That’s the problem of the bill. It isn’t limited.”
During the debate on Wednesday, state Sen. John Moorlach, R-Costa Mesa, called out the hypocrisy of the bill.
“When ‘60 Minutes’ uses a hidden camera and discovers a unique story, it’s called outstanding journalism,” Moorlach said. “But when a private citizen does it and unmasks a very, very unpleasant truth, it’s a call for legislation.”
State Sen. Loni Hancock, D-Oakland, a pro-abortion lawmaker, also expressed concerns about the bill.
“Everyone is supportive of Planned Parenthood, because it was a terrible thing that happened to them,” Hancock said, but added that First Amendment rights “are absolutely core values.”