Citing ‘Continuing Threat Of Violence,’ Senator Urges Congress To Pass ‘Journalist Protection Act’

Citing ‘Continuing Threat Of Violence,’ Senator Urges Congress To Pass ‘Journalist Protection Act’


By:  Mark Joyella
Forbes

Senator Richard Blumenthal cited a fake video depicting President Trump carrying out a violent attack on members of the news media as he again called on Congress to make it a federal crime for anyone to attack or threaten a member of the news media doing their job.

“What we have to address is the continuing threat of physical violence, whether by guns or other means, against the press that may intimidate them in their vital news gathering operation,” the Connecticut Democrat said Tuesday.

Blumenthal’s proposed Journalist Protection Act would make assaulting a member of the working press or making threats with the intent to intimidate journalists from doing their jobs a crime carrying a sentence of three to six years in federal prison.

“We know from the incidents that have occurred in the past–and in fact some of these attacks on journalists have been fatal–that there is a segment of the population that feels an antipathy toward the press that they express verbally in threats and also, at the extreme, physically in direct attacks on the press,” Blumenthal said.

Blumenthal has previously called for such a law, but repeated his call in the wake of the horrific attack video that was reportedly shown at an event for Trump supporters at President Trump’s Doral resort in Miami.

“We need to make sure anybody who is inclined to threaten or intimidate the press knows that federal prosecutors will have the tool to pursue anyone who threatens the press or attacks the press in any way,” Blumenthal said.

The proposed legislation is co-sponsored by New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez and California U.S. Rep. Eric Swalwell, both Democrats.