Roger L. Simon

Lugar Luddite?

Richard Lugar’s heart may be in the right place sponsoring the Free Flow of Information Act of 2005, but I doubt the Indiana senator knew what was he was saying when he told the Inter American Press Association (IAPA) today bloggers would “probably not” be considered journalists under the proposed federal shield law.

Which bloggers was he talking about? This man who has more professional journalistic credits than almost anyone I have ever met? Or this man who also happens to be a columnist for one of our major political journals? I mean are they protected by the shield law when they are writing, say, for the Los Angeles Times but not when they blog? Confusing, isn’t it? And what happens if more people start to get information from blogs than newspapers? This is certainly a possibility two or three years out if things continue to morph at current rates. Many blogs are already professionalizing. My advice to Sen. Lugar is to get wired before it’s too late.