A member of the South Carolina South of Representatives wanted to remind the media about its disrespect for Second Amendment rights, so he introduced a bill proposing the licensing of journalists.
Gavin Jackson and Schuyler Kropf of The Post and Courier of Charleston got the joke, but proudly displayed their bias with this lead:
“An Upstate lawmaker who tried to keep the Confederate battle flag flying and whose campaign spending habits were part of a Post and Courier examination of Statehouse money trails says it’s time to register journalists in the state.”
Geez, I’m starting to think they don’t like Mike Pitts, probably because he had the audacity to win his seat as a Republican. The rest of the article was grandstanding by Rep. Pitts and anybody else the reporters could get on the phone.
This joke got new life when The Washington Post got wind of it. Reporter Callum Borchers originally fired out:
“My visceral reaction isn’t printable but can be summarized thusly: This is a naked attack on the First Amendment – you know, the one that says “Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech or of the press.” I realize we’re talking about a state legislature here, not Congress, but we’re also talking about one of the nation’s founding principles.”
And this: “Journalists can’t even define who is a journalist anymore, what with all the bloggers and tweeters posting the kind of information and opinion that used to come only from a highly institutionalized press. Good luck to Pitts when it comes to crafting a legal definition of journalism.”
When it was pointed out to Mr. Borchers that he should read stories before commenting on them, he got the point and came back with a different version the next day. Too late. Gotcha.