On the letterhead of the U.S. Congress, William Roberts, chairman of the Standing Committee of Correspondents and a Bloomberg reporter, reveals in an Aug. 8 communication with the Western Journalism Center the new strategy for denying WorldNetDaily accreditation to cover the Capitol.
He claims that in a June 18 meeting the committee agreed to provisionally recognize WorldNetDaily as an eligible news-gathering organization “on condition of continuing separation and independence between WorldNetDaily and the Western Journalism Center.”
As Roberts knows, the separation of these two corporations I founded – one for-profit, the other non-profit – is a matter of public record and the law.
So why is Roberts asking for yet more documents from the center to prove a matter that is none of his business?
He’s on a fruitless fishing expedition for new reasons to deny WorldNetDaily access to the Congress.
I have bent over backwards to be forthright with Roberts’ committee, to accede to its outrageous and never-ending requests, to sit patiently through 18 months of stonewalling and delays and even to be abused verbally by this would-be petty tyrant whose journalistic credentials and experience don’t hold a candle to my own.
No more. Never again. We’re done pussyfooting around with Roberts. It’s time to demand his resignation. It’s time for the Senate Rules Committee and House Speaker Dennis Hastert to step up and tell Roberts to step down, to let him know he is compromised, to let him know he is now waging a petty vendetta that has nothing to do with matters of concern to the Senate Press Gallery.
Please, don’t bother writing to Roberts nor any other member of his committee. Join me, instead, in demanding they be overruled by responsible members of Congress who understand their own limitation under the First Amendment. You are wasting your time appealing to people who have no conscience, who have no comprehension of the proper role of a free press in a free society, who have no sense of right and wrong.
Roberts claims his concerns about WorldNetDaily hinge on its relationship to a non-profit news organization – the Western Journalism Center. Firstly, by law, these are two separate corporations with independent executives and board. They are incorporated in two different states. But there is no reason under the sun that Western Journalism Center itself shouldn’t be recognized for accreditation by the gallery. In fact, a representative of another non-profit media organization, Annie Tin of C-SPAN, serves as chairman of the Radio-Television Gallery.
So, why are different standards being applied to WorldNetDaily’s application? Why must we jump through hoops that don’t exist for other media entities? Why are we asked to prove our independence from a non-profit when other non-profits – such as C-SPAN and the Associated Press – are granted access to the Capitol in their own right?
Once again, I will tell you why. Roberts and his committee don’t like WorldNetDaily. They don’t like that we have such a large audience and provide readers with truly independent investigative reporting. They don’t like that we have no sacred cows. They don’t like that we are anti-establishment in our approach. They don’t like our content.
Here’s the problem: As representatives of the U.S. Congress, they can’t discriminate against us on the basis of our content. That’s a prima facie violation of the First Amendment.
If Congress, in the form of the Senate Rules Committee and House Speaker Dennis Hastert’s office stand behind the committee’s decision – either officially or tacitly – they will be complicit in an abuse of the First Amendment.
I don’t think that will happen – not once the facts of this issue are clear to them.
I’m asking you to help make the issues clear to them.
Write to the speaker. Write to Sen. Dodd, chairman of the Senate Rules Committee. Write to other senators on and off the committee. Write and call your own representative in the House. Make waves. Make noise. Let’s get WorldNetDaily accredited now, so we can keep you informed, expose government corruption, fraud, waste and abuse and serve as a real watchdog on government.
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: