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Are Democrats in Congress looking to create brand-new government controls on journalists in America?
Broadcaster Rush Limbaugh believes so, following remarks over the weekend by Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill.
Appearing on "Fox News Sunday," Durbin said it was too early to call for a special counsel to investigate the recent monitoring of journalists at the Associated Press and Fox News by President Obama's Justice Department.
Durbin said he supported a "media shield law," but wasn't sure if such a measure would protect bloggers or "someone who is tweeting."
"You've raised an important point and I heard Sen. Graham call for special counsel," Durbin said. "I'm not ready to do this at this moment. I would like to know if Holder has any conflict in here beyond what we heard when it comes to the Fox case."
"But here is the bottom line – the media shield law, which I am prepared to support, and I know Sen. Graham supports, still leaves an unanswered question, which I have raised many times: What is a journalist today in 2013? We know it's someone that works for Fox or AP, but does it include a blogger? Does it include someone who is tweeting? Are these people journalists and entitled to constitutional protection? We need to ask 21st century questions about a provision that was written over 200 years ago."
"You see what they want to do, folks?" noted Limbaugh on his national radio program Tuesday. "That's right, they want to set up licensing of journalists. That's where the Democrats are headed on this. 'You tweeters, you bloggers, you're not journalists. We are going to determine who is a journalist and who isn't. We are going to license journalists. I mean that Constitution's 200-plus years old. It's no longer relevant,' is what he means."
Limbaugh continued: "If a leading Democratic senator wants to talk about who's a journalist and who isn't, and if he thinks bloggers and tweeters aren't and he wants to stop 'em, how's he gonna stop 'em? You gotta license journalists. So the government will decide who's a journalist and who isn't and grant licenses and approvals. And if you don't get your license and you start doing journalism, you could be sent to jail, or you could be reprimanded."
"I just want to be clear he didn't say those words [about licensing for journalists], but where does it go?" he concluded.