Open & Shut

News Media and the Law, Summer 2006 | Go to article overview
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Open & Shut

A recent collection of funny, fascinating, nonsensical or just notable newsworthy quotations

"If anyone here wants to imprison journalists, I invite them to spend some time in China, Cuba or North Korea and see whether they feel safer."

- Rep. Jane Harman CD-Calif.) during a May 26 House Intelligence Committee hearing on news organizations' legal responsibilities when covering national security.

"We don't have oral arguments to show people, the public, how we function."

- Chief Justice John Roberts on cameras in the high court, in a July 14 Los Angeles Times story about the 9th Circuit Judicial Conference in Huntington Beach, Calif.

"I think oftentimes in the past, there's no question, the executive branch has probably overdone it with respect to classification."

- Vice President Dick Cheney in a June 19 speech at the National Press Club.

"I think journalism based on confidential sources is going to be done more carefully, more surgically - certainly more thoughtfully - than ever before, because this settlement raises, potentially, the cost of publishing or broadcasting a story based on confidential sources."

- Media lawyer Bruce Sanford on the The NewsHour with Jim Lehrerjune 5 after the Wen Ho Lee settlement.

"I would certainly argue that if the public wants to feel likes its government is being held accountable, that big business is being held accountable, and that wrongs are going to be exposed, then it's going to need journalists who are going to be able to rely on confidential sources in certain circumstances, to be able to provide that information."

- Mark Fainaru-Wada, one of two San Francisco Chronicle reporters who broke the BALCO stories on steroid use in professional sports in an interview published June 13 on

"Keeping news sources confidential serves the public interest and their right to know the truth. Even if the sources violated their obligation to protect job secrets, a news reporter is allowed to keep the identity of the sources secret.

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Open & Shut


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