News

Swalwell reintroduces Journalist Protection Act

Bill would make harming reporters a federal crime

Last week U.S. Rep. Eric Swalwell and two East Coast congressmen reintroduced a bill that would make certain attacks on news outlets a federal crime. The announcement came during Sunshine Week, an annual weeklong public campaign held this year from March 10 to 16, highlighting the importance of a transparent government and free media.

Under the Journalist Protection Act, Swalwell’s office said in a statement that it would be a federal crime to “intentionally cause bodily injury to a journalist affecting interstate or foreign commerce in the course of reporting or in a manner designed to intimidate him or her from news gathering for a media organization.”

The legislation is also intended to “ensure law enforcement is able to punish those who interfere with newsgathering.”

Swalwell originally introduced the bill last year but it failed to gather enough support in a then-Republican-controlled Congress.

“A healthy democracy depends on a free press unencumbered by threats of violence,” Swalwell said. “We must protect journalists in every corner of our country if they are attacked physically while doing their job, and send a strong, clear message that such violence will not be tolerated. That is what my bill, the Journalist Protection Act, would do.”

What's local journalism worth to you?

Support PleasantonWeekly.com for as little as $5/month.

Learn more

Last year, the United States’ ranking in the World Press Freedom Index -- released each year by the international organization Reporters Without Borders -- slipped to number 45, down two points from 2017. The bill has support from both the Communications Workers of America and News Media for Open Government, a coalition of news media and journalism organizations

Promoting preservation and protection of the press, public information and open government.

Stay informed

Get daily headlines sent straight to your inbox.

Sign up

Follow PleasantonWeekly.com and the Pleasanton Weekly on Twitter @pleasantonnews and Facebook for breaking news, local events, photos, videos and more.

Swalwell reintroduces Journalist Protection Act

Bill would make harming reporters a federal crime

by /

Uploaded: Thu, Mar 21, 2019, 12:44 pm

Last week U.S. Rep. Eric Swalwell and two East Coast congressmen reintroduced a bill that would make certain attacks on news outlets a federal crime. The announcement came during Sunshine Week, an annual weeklong public campaign held this year from March 10 to 16, highlighting the importance of a transparent government and free media.

Under the Journalist Protection Act, Swalwell’s office said in a statement that it would be a federal crime to “intentionally cause bodily injury to a journalist affecting interstate or foreign commerce in the course of reporting or in a manner designed to intimidate him or her from news gathering for a media organization.”

The legislation is also intended to “ensure law enforcement is able to punish those who interfere with newsgathering.”

Swalwell originally introduced the bill last year but it failed to gather enough support in a then-Republican-controlled Congress.

“A healthy democracy depends on a free press unencumbered by threats of violence,” Swalwell said. “We must protect journalists in every corner of our country if they are attacked physically while doing their job, and send a strong, clear message that such violence will not be tolerated. That is what my bill, the Journalist Protection Act, would do.”

Last year, the United States’ ranking in the World Press Freedom Index -- released each year by the international organization Reporters Without Borders -- slipped to number 45, down two points from 2017. The bill has support from both the Communications Workers of America and News Media for Open Government, a coalition of news media and journalism organizations

Promoting preservation and protection of the press, public information and open government.

Comments

Michael Austin
Pleasanton Meadows
on Mar 21, 2019 at 6:32 pm
Michael Austin, Pleasanton Meadows
on Mar 21, 2019 at 6:32 pm
26 people like this

Assault is already a crime in local jurisdictions. Why make it a federal crime.
Or, while you are at it, make rape a federal crime, make car jacking a federal crime, so on, so on. Have all local criminal activity in federal jurisdiction.

While drafting protections for journalists in general making it a federal crime, why aren't you also making it a federal crime for all of the fake news?

Why aren't you making it a federal crime when CNN reports unsubstantiated news and later must back track it. It is a two way street!


Ok
Birdland
on Mar 21, 2019 at 7:12 pm
Ok, Birdland
on Mar 21, 2019 at 7:12 pm
37 people like this

Right on Michael.


James Michael
Registered user
Val Vista
on Mar 21, 2019 at 7:25 pm
James Michael, Val Vista
Registered user
on Mar 21, 2019 at 7:25 pm
38 people like this

Democrat party hypocrisy just never ends. Did Nan put him up to this?


Pleasanton Parent
Pleasanton Meadows
on Mar 21, 2019 at 7:41 pm
Pleasanton Parent , Pleasanton Meadows
on Mar 21, 2019 at 7:41 pm
48 people like this

Baker please run against and beat this (removed) and show him what someone that actually delivers meaningful results with their community in mind looks like.


Doug
Birdland
on Mar 21, 2019 at 8:27 pm
Doug, Birdland
on Mar 21, 2019 at 8:27 pm
24 people like this

I think that we all know that Swalwell’s bill is at least in part a response to Donald Trump’s habit of suggesting violence against reporters. Trump’s lack of good judgement and inability to think before speaking are still mind boggling. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again without the slightest trace of sarcasm and in full honesty and sincerity: There are Pleasanton elementary school students who are more mature than the current President of the United States. Truth.


Michael Austin
Pleasanton Meadows
on Mar 21, 2019 at 9:00 pm
Michael Austin, Pleasanton Meadows
on Mar 21, 2019 at 9:00 pm
20 people like this

Doug:
Thank you for defining the Swalwell bill as a partisan response to President Trumps mouth. I too am offended with Trumps mouth.

I did not vote for Trump. But, I am appreciative that he was elected President.

With all of the extreme violent democratic response to Trump and his election as President of the United States of America, will insure his reelection in 2020.


Doug
Birdland
on Mar 21, 2019 at 9:22 pm
Doug, Birdland
on Mar 21, 2019 at 9:22 pm
10 people like this

@Michael Austin

Michael, given Trump’s current approval ratings, and the fact that about half the country thinks that he’s mentally unstable, and the fact that his administration has been running so smoothly, I can see why you’re so confident that he’ll be re-elected.


Doug
Birdland
on Mar 21, 2019 at 9:30 pm
Doug, Birdland
on Mar 21, 2019 at 9:30 pm
12 people like this

@Michael Austin

Oh, and thank you for defining as being “partisan” against the Republican Party a bill which makes it a federal crime to “intentionally cause bodily injury to a journalist”.


Student at AV
Amador Valley High School
on Mar 21, 2019 at 9:43 pm
Student at AV, Amador Valley High School
on Mar 21, 2019 at 9:43 pm
27 people like this

Why does it matter that Swalwell introduced this bill?

I'd love to see this comment section if this story was about a Republican congressman who proposed this exact same bill...

All I see here is a proposed bill that literally does nobody harm. It's a bill designed to protect people. Why are people outraged over this?

I'm sure there are better ways to spend your time and energy rather than engaging in recreational outrage.


Pleasanton Parent
Pleasanton Meadows
on Mar 21, 2019 at 10:39 pm
Pleasanton Parent, Pleasanton Meadows
on Mar 21, 2019 at 10:39 pm
32 people like this

Student,
It does harm in furthering our belief that passing new laws on existing laws is somewhat progress. It harms what our expectation of a politician is accountable for.

This really is just swalelll looking for another venue to wage war on trump. He doesn’t care about reporters, he only cares about making a name for himself


Resident
Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 22, 2019 at 7:09 am
Resident, Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 22, 2019 at 7:09 am
12 people like this

"when CNN reports unsubstantiated new"
I notice that Fox News wasn't brought into this.
Biased much?


OK
Birdland
on Mar 22, 2019 at 8:44 am
OK, Birdland
on Mar 22, 2019 at 8:44 am
17 people like this

Trump has a higher approval rating than Obama at the same time in his term. Which one of all the democrat candidates climbing out of the clown car will beat him?


Sam
Oak Hill
on Mar 22, 2019 at 9:04 am
Sam, Oak Hill
on Mar 22, 2019 at 9:04 am
37 people like this

To be fair. I am a Democrat and have been for 30 years and voted for Hillary. That said, I now think my vote was a mistake based on what I have seen in the last 2 years out of my party. You have to give the devil his due, President Trump is doing a great job and much better than I would have ever imagined. When I look at my party it seems to be a gang of fools with no plan nor strategy other than radicalism and socialism. neither of these will help the country and only further damage it. I will be voting for President Trump this next time around.


Doug
Birdland
on Mar 22, 2019 at 9:24 am
Doug, Birdland
on Mar 22, 2019 at 9:24 am
14 people like this

@OK :”Trump has a higher approval rating than Obama at the same time in his term.”

No. It’s been 792 days into Trump’s presidency and he has never had a higher approval rating than Obama at the same time in his term. FACT.

fivethirtyeight: Web Link

......


helen
Jensen Tract
on Mar 22, 2019 at 9:41 am
helen, Jensen Tract
on Mar 22, 2019 at 9:41 am
11 people like this

Sam, you are right on!!! Agree with every word


Doug
Birdland
on Mar 22, 2019 at 10:16 am
Doug, Birdland
on Mar 22, 2019 at 10:16 am
11 people like this

I note that Sam of Oak Hill doesn’t actually say what Trump has done that is a “great job”. Nope, Sam just fast-forwarded over that. So what should Trump be celebrated for? Building the Wall and getting Mexico to pay for it? No. Negotiating a peace treaty with North Korea? No. Unifying the country after the “divisive” Obama? No. Low unemployment? No. Unemployment was already low at 4.7% when Obama left office. Avoiding scandals or the appearance of corruption in his administration? LOL - No.


Charlie Brown
Pleasanton Valley
on Mar 22, 2019 at 10:54 am
Charlie Brown, Pleasanton Valley
on Mar 22, 2019 at 10:54 am
Like this comment

I guess this legislation will be the centerpiece of Swalwell's run for the presidency. He should run instead for Vice President, as he an Beto would make a great team.


BobB
Registered user
Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 22, 2019 at 11:31 am
BobB, Another Pleasanton neighborhood
Registered user
on Mar 22, 2019 at 11:31 am
8 people like this

While I agree with Sam that the Democratic party seems intent on looking foolish and out of touch -- The Green New Deal -- I don't know what Trump has done that a reasonable center-right or center-left president wouldn't have done better.

The NAFTA rework probably did more harm than good. The tarriffs on our allies are holding back our economy at a time when things are starting to slow down. His "fine people on both sides" comments are doing actual harm. I'd also point to the increasing deficit, but Hillary would probably have increased it even more.

What do you think about John Delaney?


Sam
Oak Hill
on Mar 22, 2019 at 11:33 am
Sam, Oak Hill
on Mar 22, 2019 at 11:33 am
9 people like this

To be fair to him. No missles shot over Japan by Korea and we are having discussions without the threat of nuke war (talking is always good), Iran has quieted to a whimper in its threats against us, Assad got blasted for gassing innocent people, Russia has been stopped in their tracks, China has been hit with tariffs, Mexico and Canada did a better agreement with us, Maduro is on his way out, NATO members are now paying the 2% they agreed to pay, US embassy has been moved in Israel and we are once again friends with Israel, new supreme court justices who are intelligent and use the constitution, stock market is on fire, unemployment is the lowest in decades for blacks, hispanics, and women. Crippling regulations have been stopped in their tracks, and yes the wall is being built slower than desired but built, and he is standing up for big labor......

All of the above used to be good things by my party but now a party of America haters and in some cases radical terrorists. We need to move the country forward and we cannot win with the agenda we are putting forward once I figure out what we stand for.


dknute
Golden Eagle
on Mar 22, 2019 at 12:47 pm
dknute, Golden Eagle
on Mar 22, 2019 at 12:47 pm
5 people like this

Swallwall....he is always writing legislation.....oh, really, he's not? well, i'd have to agree, this thread could have stopped with Michael....it's already a crime....why make another Federal Crime....Swillwell serving should be a crime.....Swalwell’s office said in a statement that it would be a federal crime to “intentionally cause bodily injury to a journalist so cute...that he could think to add on to already what is a crime....and the 'journalist' is not necessary...its a crime for anyone to attack anyone.....isn't it?

Oh, btw, this isn't attacking!.... :-)


Doug
Birdland
on Mar 22, 2019 at 1:05 pm
Doug, Birdland
on Mar 22, 2019 at 1:05 pm
9 people like this

@sam. :”To be fair to him. No missles shot over Japan by Korea...”

The reason that North Korea is no longer shooting missiles over Japan or conducting nuclear tests is that they don’t have to. Why? Because under Trump they successfully completed their nuclear testing and declared themselves to be a full-fledged nuclear power. So, yes, thank you Donald Trump for quietly standing aside and letting North Korea complete its nuclear testing. That’s what you are thanking Donald Trump for.

As for Iran, no they haven’t quieted their criticism of the US. Syria has not stopped committing atrocities against its own people. Russia has not been “stopped in its tracks” (whatever that’s supposed to mean).

As for the stock market being “on fire”. Yes there was a jump in the stock market due to the tax reductions introduced by Trump, but that stimulus was short lived. The S&P 500 index over the past year increased by a mere 2.6%. Is that your definition of a stock market which is “on fire”?


Michael Austin
Pleasanton Meadows
on Mar 22, 2019 at 6:58 pm
Michael Austin, Pleasanton Meadows
on Mar 22, 2019 at 6:58 pm
3 people like this

The Robert Mueller Report has been delivered to the U.S. Attorney General.
Headline is "No New Indictments".

@Doug: No doubt, this disappoints you!


Moxie
Amador Estates
on Mar 22, 2019 at 7:35 pm
Moxie, Amador Estates
on Mar 22, 2019 at 7:35 pm
5 people like this

How's the Russian collusion canard coming along, fool?


Doug
Birdland
on Mar 22, 2019 at 8:02 pm
Doug, Birdland
on Mar 22, 2019 at 8:02 pm
8 people like this

@Michael Austin :”Headline is "No New Indictments". @Doug: No doubt, this disappoints you!”

Let me get this straight, Michael. Multiple Trump associates have already been arrested, indicted, and pled guilty to felonies including George Papadopolos, Paul Manafort, Rick Gates, Michael Flynn, Michael Cohen, and Roger Stone - And you’re cheering and gloating because no further Trump associates in addition to all those were indicted??? Seriously? Wow, talk about setting a low bar for your own guy. But don’t worry. I think that Trump has set a modern record for Presidents with the most associates indicted in recent history.

Your comment is as funny as the time when Trump supporters were cheering and gloating because Trump passed a cognitive test that included questions like “Name these animals” (pictures of a lion, rhino, and elephant shown), and “Draw a picture of a clock with hands showing 10 minutes after 11”, and “Draw a picture of this stick cube”.


Michael Austin
Pleasanton Meadows
on Mar 22, 2019 at 8:29 pm
Michael Austin, Pleasanton Meadows
on Mar 22, 2019 at 8:29 pm
Like this comment

There were sixty-nine people indicted in the Watergate scandal.


Moxie
Amador Estates
on Mar 22, 2019 at 8:29 pm
Moxie, Amador Estates
on Mar 22, 2019 at 8:29 pm
8 people like this


I miss the good old days, especially this time of year, when the media was busy reporting on President Obama's NCAA tournament bracket

Fools


Michael Austin
Pleasanton Meadows
on Mar 22, 2019 at 9:01 pm
Michael Austin, Pleasanton Meadows
on Mar 22, 2019 at 9:01 pm
9 people like this

Doug:
You are an anonymous poster.
Which defines you as on line coward.
I recommend that you read letters to the editor in this weeks edition.


Moxie
Amador Estates
on Mar 22, 2019 at 9:11 pm
Moxie, Amador Estates
on Mar 22, 2019 at 9:11 pm
5 people like this

So much BS the democrats and enablers in the media have spewed the last two years

But the pearl clutchers will move on the the next thing, and won't be held to account. And the sheeple will lap it up

Congressman: are you unable to sleep at night, knowing the threat to the free world Carter Page is a fee man.

What a sad joke.


Doug
Birdland
on Mar 23, 2019 at 8:58 am
Doug, Birdland
on Mar 23, 2019 at 8:58 am
6 people like this

@Michael Austin

You’ve completely given up trying to debate the topic and have now submitted a post that consists of 100% personal attack content, Michael? How disappointing.


Michael Austin
Pleasanton Meadows
on Mar 23, 2019 at 9:12 am
Michael Austin, Pleasanton Meadows
on Mar 23, 2019 at 9:12 am
5 people like this

With release of the Mueller report the left will resurface with even greater rage.


Sam
Oak Hill
on Mar 23, 2019 at 9:35 am
Sam, Oak Hill
on Mar 23, 2019 at 9:35 am
14 people like this

One would hope that cooler heads would prevail and the Democratic party would revert to normalcy and bring back voters like myself but I fear that have gone to far to the left and will continue to drive away voters. We should always support our President and work with him or her for the American people. I was very fearful when we started claiming sanctuary city, county, and state status. Not because I'm against immigration if done legally but rather because we were deciding on our own which laws we were and were not going to enforce and now it is coming full circle on us. Now many cities, counties, and states across the nation are declaring themselves 2nd amendment sanctuaries. Always remember "when is a law not a law? when it is not enforced". We are very close to anarchy or significant civil unrest.


Doug
Birdland
on Mar 23, 2019 at 10:25 am
Doug, Birdland
on Mar 23, 2019 at 10:25 am
8 people like this

@Sam :”One would hope that cooler heads would prevail and the Democratic party would revert to normalcy ...”

Where were the “cooler heads” in the Republican Party when you all decided to elect a person of unprecedented immaturity, pettiness, and poor judgement and who lies as naturally as he breathes to be President? Tell us when the Republican Party is going to revert to “normalcy”.


Sam
Oak Hill
on Mar 23, 2019 at 11:59 am
Sam, Oak Hill
on Mar 23, 2019 at 11:59 am
15 people like this

Doug,

First, I am a Democrat and voted for Clinton. Based on what I know now I wish that I had not and given the chance will vote for President Trump the next time around based on his accomplishments.

The fits, emotion, crying, hysteria I see with my own eyes is coming from my party and led by the likes of Pelosi, Schumer, Schiff, Feinstein, yes you name it. They are coming off as unhinged. We need adults running our party like Joe Biden. The people are insane with their ideas either that or they absolutely hate this country. I will not respond to you again because you seem not bound to reason.


Good day


Doug
Birdland
on Mar 23, 2019 at 12:19 pm
Doug, Birdland
on Mar 23, 2019 at 12:19 pm
4 people like this

@Sam

You can choose to respond to my comments or not. Believe it or not, I don’t care because when I point out factual inaccuracies and/or distortions by posters, I’m really doing it for the benefit of other readers and not for the person who wrote the post since that person is hardly ever open to reason or to modifying their views. You are under absolutely no obligation to try to defend your views when they are criticized or shown to be factually inaccurate, such as your claim that the stock market is “on fire” when in reality the total return of the S&P index over the past year has been about a measly 2.6%.


Doug
Birdland
on Mar 23, 2019 at 12:41 pm
Doug, Birdland
on Mar 23, 2019 at 12:41 pm
4 people like this

Oh, and by the way, everyone note the how Sam writes “...given the chance (I) will vote for President Trump...” followed later by his writing “We need adults running our party,,,,”.

Nope, don’t even try to figure it out....


MichaelB
Registered user
Pleasanton Meadows
on Mar 23, 2019 at 12:50 pm
MichaelB, Pleasanton Meadows
Registered user
on Mar 23, 2019 at 12:50 pm
7 people like this

"As for the stock market being “on fire”. Yes there was a jump in the stock market due to the tax reductions introduced by Trump, but that stimulus was short lived. The S&P 500 index over the past year increased by a mere 2.6%. Is that your definition of a stock market which is “on fire”?"

Actually, it's a definition of someone who understands how our economy works/grows and how jobs are created. This in direct contrast to someone (Obama) who did not, blamed the "1%" for people being worse off, and wanted the government micromanaging/regulating the economy until everything was supposedly "fair" and/or "free".

Let me guess which approach/model you would prefer. It's the "spread the wealth around" and "you didn't build that" one?


DKHSK
Registered user
Bridle Creek
on Mar 24, 2019 at 12:02 pm
DKHSK, Bridle Creek
Registered user
on Mar 24, 2019 at 12:02 pm
12 people like this

(removed)

You were told that Trump had nothing to do with Russian colusion (whatever that means). None of the Trump associates were indicted for any crimes related to Trump, or Russia for that matter.

Yet here Doug sits...

Now its going back to Trumps personality while in office. Doesn't matter that he is actually DOING something in office, like holding to his campaign promises. It's about Trumps attitude.

So utterly predictable its boring.

It's going to be an absolute scream when Trump is re-elected. I can't wait to watch and hear all the democrat heads explode.

Dan


dave
Amador Estates
on Mar 24, 2019 at 12:06 pm
dave, Amador Estates
on Mar 24, 2019 at 12:06 pm
15 people like this

This poor guy Swalwell looks like the useful idiot hey is. He tried to hard to be the medias go to guy and now he just looks like a clown.


Jake Waters
Registered user
Birdland
on Mar 25, 2019 at 2:57 pm
Jake Waters, Birdland
Registered user
on Mar 25, 2019 at 2:57 pm
14 people like this

This Bill is nothing more than ‘busy work’ to give the false impression that Swalwell is doing something. For over 2 years he and Adam Schiff have done nothing but lie through media appearances, tweets on Twitter, and articles in print about a Russian Collusion that existed only in the actions of the DNC and Hillary Clinton. Instead of working for the people of our district and this state, he has wasted his time on his bias agenda. A little boy who looks like he got caught doing something he shouldn’t, I have no time to listen to his distractions. I’m waiting to vote him out in the next election.


Neighbor925
Registered user
Vintage Hills
on Apr 2, 2019 at 1:11 am
Neighbor925, Vintage Hills
Registered user
on Apr 2, 2019 at 1:11 am
Like this comment

I’m curious where people are getting their news from these days? CNN and Fox have a lot of commentators spewing their opinions but they aren’t journalists and are therefore clearly biased. I often wonder if people mistake people like Hannity for a journalists. Where are Republicans and Democrats posting here getting their news from? As a Democrat I only read news, I don’t know of any viable sources of news outside of our local stations like KTVU.


Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.