My sources tell me I’m really getting to those folks on the Standing Committee of Correspondents, guardians of the Senate Press Gallery.
They are growing weary of the fight they decided to pick when they first gave WorldNetDaily an unnecessary runaround of 18 months, only to turn down our Washington bureau chief, Paul Sperry, for accreditation to cover the Capitol. They’re losing face. They don’t like being portrayed as what they are – elitists who think licenses should be required to practice the First Amendment. They don’t appreciate having their non-standards scrutinized and debated publicly. They’re not used to the relentless pursuit of the truth as practiced by WorldNetDaily.
If you saw Sperry’s report last week on the ever-changing story of the ministers of information at the gallery, you know the press police now say WorldNetDaily is conditionally approved for admittance to “the club.” But Sperry is not welcome. He must be punished. And, oh, there are a few more questions, a few more documents to be retrieved and this provisional decision will be regularly reviewed so WorldNetDaily can be turned away from doing its job covering news in the Capitol at the committee’s whim.
I’ve decided the Senate Press Gallery and the Standing Committee of Correspondents can take their “provisional” approval of WorldNetDaily and – pardon the expression – shove it.
I reject it. I won’t accept it. Accepting a “provisional” approval is like agreeing with probation when we’ve done absolutely nothing wrong. It’s an admission of guilt when none exists.
As I recall, the First Amendment stipulates Congress shall make no laws abridging the freedom of the press. And, as the Senate Press Gallery and the Standing Committee of Correspondents are very much arms of Congress, we simply will not participate in any decision that compromises our rights and the rights of our colleagues in the free press.
It’s better to be denied access by this blatantly unconstitutional cabal than to comply with it, to tolerate it, to condone it, to accept it, to acknowledge its illegitimate authority.
Therefore, I state here publicly that all cooperation with the committee hereby ceases with the publication of this column. I will not answer any more of their insulting questions. I will not defend my 25-year history in the news-gathering business. I will not meet with them. I will not accept their phone calls. I will not encourage third parties, such as the Western Journalism Center, to provide them any more information or documentation.
Enough is enough. I can’t believe I was so accommodating for so long. No more abuse. No more excuses. No more negotiations.
The committee is a disgrace. Despite its taxpayer funding, it is disorganized. It is not in compliance with the law. It doesn’t announce its meetings to interested parties and it doesn’t announce the results of those meetings to interested parties. In fact, some committee members admit they really don’t even meet when they say they meet. Maybe some phone calls are made. Maybe members read each other’s minds. And since there is little debate or regard for information other than that provided by paid political staffers with axes to grind, it’s probably pretty easy to reach consensus in these fantasy meetings.
A group like this couldn’t buy my association. I don’t want to join their club, personally. But I do want my reporters to have access to the Capitol.
So now the battlefield changes.
These folks at the committee have bosses. Their bosses don’t like to get involved in messes like this. They have more important matters on their hands than whether we still have freedom of the press in America. Their bosses are members of the Senate Rules Committee and Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert.
That’s where our appeal of the committee’s decision rests now.
There’s no point pummeling these committee members any more with e-mails. They are not going to change their minds until their minds are changed for them. They are not going to see the light until they are spanked by the people who fund them. They are not going to grant WorldNetDaily the same access to the Capitol every other eligible news organization has until they are instructed to do so.
By the way, as some of you have discovered already, these folks at the committee have other bosses as well. They each work for news organizations that rely on advertisers, readers, subscribers and audiences.
If you’re interested in communicating with their news media bosses, here are those contacts:
Chairman William Roberts works for:
Donna Smith works for:
J. Kuhnhenn works for:
J. Torry works for:
S. Shepherd works for:
That’s where the action moves now – to the congressional overseers and the employers of these nincompoops. If you still believe in the First Amendment, it’s time to stand up and be counted. It’s time to sound off in defense of the free press. It’s time to rally behind the cause of WorldNetDaily’s accreditation to cover the Capitol – freely and without strings attached.