Tags: media | shield | law | gop

Republicans Split on Media Shield Law

Image: Republicans Split on Media Shield Law Sen. Lindsey Graham

Friday, 17 May 2013 10:58 AM

By Melanie Batley

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Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham has joined Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer in co-sponsoring a bill granting legal protections to journalists. This comes on the heels of news that that the Justice Department secretly seized phone records of Associated Press reporters.

"The government has a legitimate interest in preventing and investigating leaks of classified information," Graham and Schumer wrote in a letter urging colleagues to support the bill, according to the Huffington Post.

"At the same time, the public has a legitimate interest in a robust free press. This bill strikes a fair and reasonable balance between those interests, and we urge you to join us in advancing it."

The media shield bill was initiated at the request of the Obama administration, and though Republicans expressed outrage over the Justice Department's seizure of AP phone records, many have voted against similar measures in the past. For now, most Republicans in both the House and the Senate appear noncommittal on granting legal protections to journalists.

Asked in an MSNBC interview whether he would support the bill, Sen. Marco Rubio — who blasted the Justice Department in a speech Wednesday on the Senate floor — said: "To be honest with you, I haven't even read it. I don't fully understand the details of it."


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