True to his word, Mr. Pence introduced the “Free Flow of Information Act” with Democratic Rep. Rick Boucher of Virginia. “As a conservative who believes in limited government,” he said after reintroducing the legislation, which failed the first time he proposed it, “I believe the only check on government power in real time is a free and independent press.”Pence’s bill was far from perfect. The language describing when reporters would be forced to reveal sources on national security grounds was far broader than I would have liked. First Amendment purists attacked it then and now as being too loose, noting that most politically sensitive cases ensnaring reporters and classified information involve “national security” information.Yet writing in The New Yorker, even Steve Coll, the dean of the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University who is no fan of Mr. Pence’s, called the legislation “politically plausible … ” and “much, much better than the status quo.” The bill was also endorsed by the Society of Professional Journalists.
August 4, 2017 at 1:58 PM EDT