Please disable your Ad Blocker to better interact with this website.

SC Rep Proposes Bill to Require Media to Acquire Permits and Register With State

After continuous, misleading, false and scurrilous reporting about guns from the liberal media of his state, Rep. Mike Pitts employed a bit of old fashioned “How do YOU like it” politics when he introduced the ““South Carolina Responsible Journalism Law,” on Tuesday.

Pitts cited the media’s continued attack in support of infringing upon South Carolinian’s gun rights as reason to proceed with his experiment to limit these journalists 1st Amendment rights in the same manner.

A statement from Pitts on Facebook:

I filed a very controversial piece of legislation that would require media outlets and their journalists to register with the SC Secretary of State’s office. I filed this legislation as an experiment to make a point about the media and how they only care about the constitution when it comes their portion of the 1st Amendment. In doing so, it put the media under the microscope, and they did not like it. The 1st Amendment states: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” The only portion they care about is freedom of the press. They constantly attack people who follow their Christian beliefs and attempt to portray them as bigots, and they certainly do not like the fact that normal everyday Americans gather to petition the government and air grievances. Look no further than how they have demonized the Tea Party. Furthermore, they love to trample on our 2nd Amendment rights to “Keep and Bear Arms”. If they had their way, there would be no 2nd Amendment.

The bill itself is rather straightforward and modeled after the gun control laws that exist in South Carolina all ready:

TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING CHAPTER 85 TO TITLE 40 TO ENACT THE “SOUTH CAROLINA RESPONSIBLE JOURNALISM REGISTRY LAW” SO AS TO ESTABLISH REQUIREMENTS FOR PERSONS BEFORE WORKING AS A JOURNALIST FOR A MEDIA OUTLET AND FOR MEDIA OUTLETS BEFORE HIRING A JOURNALIST; TO REQUIRE THE ESTABLISHMENT AND OPERATION OF A RESPONSIBLE JOURNALISM REGISTRY BY THE SOUTH CAROLINA SECRETARY OF STATE’S OFFICE; TO AUTHORIZE REGISTRY FEES; TO ESTABLISH FINES AND CRIMINAL PENALTIES FOR VIOLATION OF THE CHAPTER; AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.

Some of the highlights of the bill:

(B)    A person seeking to register shall provide all information required by the office including, but not limited to, a criminal record background check, an affidavit from the media outlet attesting to the applicant’s journalistic competence, and an application fee in an amount determined by the office.

(C)    A registration is valid for two years and must be renewed within thirty days of expiration.

(D)(1)    The Secretary of State’s Office may deny, revoke, or refuse to issue or renew a registration if the office finds that the person:

(a)    has filed an application for registration that contains a statement that is false or misleading with respect to a material fact;

(b)    has failed to pay the proper application fee or any other fee or penalty imposed pursuant to this chapter; or

(c)    has failed to comply with any provision of this chapter.

(2)    The Secretary of State’s Office shall deny, revoke, or refuse to issue or renew a registration if a media outlet has determined pursuant to Section 40-85-40 that the person is not competent to be a journalist.

(A)    A person is not competent to be a journalist if:

(1)    within the three years before submitting an application for registration, the person has been determined by a court of law to have committed:

(a)    libel, slander, or invasion of privacy; or

(b)    a felony if the underlying offense was committed to collect, write, or distribute news or other current information for a media outlet; or

(2)    as a journalist, the person has demonstrated a reckless disregard of the basic codes and canons of professional journalism associations, including a disregard of truth, accuracy, objectivity, impartiality, fairness, and public accountability, as applicable to the acquisition of newsworthy information and its subsequent dissemination to the public.

You can read the Bill in it’s entirety here:  South Carolina Responsible Journalism Bill

The rest of the bill goes into penalties including fines and eventually jail time for repeat offenders.

Now, while I don’t necessarily support the notion of two wrongs making a right, to hear some people in the media respond just shows how clueless and hypocritical they truly are.

For instance, take Bill Rogers, executive director of the South Carolina Press Association.  He was incredulous when asked about the bill:

“Any registration of journalists would be unconstitutional — unless you lived in Cuba or North Korea.”

Isn’t it ironic then how often I hear gun owners make the argument that Hitler, Stalin and Mao all outlawed private gun ownership when they came to power, only to be mocked by people in the media for making hyperbolic statements.

But Rogers hypocrisy continues on to almost comic proportions:

“The Constitution doesn’t say anything about responsible journalism, it says free journalism.  I don’t trust the government to say who’s qualified to be a journalist”

Is he actually being serious or has he gotten a nose bleed from being so high up in his ivory tower?  I’m pretty sure, strike that, I KNOW the Bill of Rights states that the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.  It doesn’t say what arms the government can limit or who can and cannot bear them.  I agree with Rogers on one point, I also don’t trust the government to say who’s qualified to exercise their God given rights.

Then we have Charles Bierbauer, a University of South Carolina journalism professor, veteran newsman and dean of the College of Information and Communications.  Bierbauer uttered the same sentiment as Rogers and I can’t even believe he could get it out with a straight face.

“It says here in the building where I work that ‘Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press,’ ”  referring to wording posted in the USC journalism school.

Once again: SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED.  If Bierbauer thinks that gun control, registration, permit fees and the like are not an infringement upon the right to keep and bear arms then Rep Pitts’ bill would not be a law abridging the freedom of the press but rather a law helping the press operate better…or some such nonsense…the illogical fallacies of gun control have never really been defended well by gun control zealots.

As for Pitts, he has no delusions about the fate of his bill but he did want to make a point and cast a light under the rock that these liberal media types like to hide under.  That they are hypocrites and liars when you apply the same unconstitutional infringements upon the freedoms THEY like that are levied upon the ones THEY hate, their true colors come out.

Pitts on his bills chances:

“Let’s be realistic; this is an election year.  It is well into the second year and the Senate is not going to do anything this year and certainly not going to do anything controversial. So no, I don’t anticipate it going anywhere. Would I mind getting a hearing on it to further the debate and discussion? I would love to have that.”

I would love that too.  I would love the media types testifying before the State Legislature and voicing their resounding hypocrisy why violating the Constitutional rights of other people is good but violating THEIR Constitutional rights is bad.

Food for thought; if the press is so twisted in their own ideology that they feel that its ok to violate others Constitutional rights how “free” is that press to begin with?

  • Kari

    How’s that shoe feeling on the other foot?? Lol

Send this to friend