Via the National Journal:
Whether bloggers count as journalists has mostly been a matter of esoterics for reporter types. But as Congress weighs a media shield law in response to the Associated Press/Justice Department subpoena scandal, the question is gaining an urgency that lawmakers are finding hard to ignore as they turn to writing the bill.
Speaking to reporters Tuesday, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., took on the issue—and stumbled.
"Who is a journalist is a question we need to ask ourselves," he said. "Is any blogger out there saying anything—do they deserve First Amendment protection? These are the issues of our times."
Actually, these have been "issues" throughout America's history. I like to think of we humble bloggers as the "Thomas Paines" of today, just far less eloquent. If you'll recall, Paine's seditious pamphlet was a key instrument in America's fight for independence. It sold about 500,000 copies in 1776 -- that's like an author selling more than 40 million books today. That's quite a haul for an author who risked charges of treason for his writings.
"These are the times that try men's souls," Paine wrote. "Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph."
What could be more glorious than a good primary challenger for Senator Graham?