Yesterday the US Senate attempted to define who is and is not a journalist. In the process of passing a “Shield Law” to protect journalists and their sources, a fiery debate ensued over just who is a journalist and who deserves the shield law protection.
Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA) was adamant to only extend the protection to “real reporters” and not, she said, a 17-year-old with his own website.
“I can’t support it if everyone who has a blog has a special privilege … or if Edward Snowden were to sit down and write this stuff, he would have a privilege. I’m not going to go there.”
Matt Drudge, a man who redefined journalism at the dawn of the new media, and continues to lead the industry in traffic and influence, took to Twitter to defend bloggers and to hammer the senator:
Comments from Sen. Feinstein yesterday on who’s a reporter were disgusting. 17-year old ‘blogger’ is as important as Wolf Blitzer. Fascist!
— MATT DRUDGE (@DRUDGE) September 13, 2013
And Drudge is speaking from personal experience. There was a time when the political and media establishment targeted him as “Public Enemy #1” and his groundbreaking work was derided as the end of journalism. Drudge tweets that even a federal judge attempted to define his work as non-journalism: