In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review April 5, 2007 / 17 Nissan, 5767

A journalist in his own mind

By Debra J. Saunders

Debra J. Saunders
Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | There is an old journalist's saw that says you shouldn't let the facts get in the way of a good story. No wonder newspapers, including The San Francisco Chronicle, have referred to blogger Josh Wolf, 24, as "the longest imprisoned journalist" in America. There is, after all, nothing more seductive to those in this profession than a story about a plucky journalist who stands up to authoritarian power and goes to jail to preserve his right to protect his sources. So who cares if Wolf is not a journalist?

This story begins with a violent 2005 demonstration in San Francisco against the World Trade Organization. Wolf, who describes himself as "artist, an activist, an anarchist and an archivist," videotaped the melee and sold a "selected portion" of the tape. The feds subpoenaed the full tape and wanted Wolf to testify about what he saw. Wolf refused — on the grounds that, as a journalist, he needed to protect his sources. He went to jail.

This week, some seven and a half months later, Wolf was released after he posted the full video on his Website and signed an affidavit asserting that he did not know who attempted to torch a police car and could not help identify who fractured San Francisco Police Officer Peter Shields' skull.

Here's how you know that Wolf was an activist with a camera and not a journalist: Wolf did not care to chronicle the attack on Shields.

In a recent interview, Yahoo correspondent Kevin Sites asked Wolf, "If there had been a situation where you saw a protester beating up a police officer, or you saw them committing arson, would you have shot that?"

"I wasn't there to shoot that," Wolf answered. Pressed again, Wolf said, "That's a question I would have made in that moment."

You get the picture. Let me note that I think it was wrong — oppressive even — for the U.S. attorney's office to put Wolf in prison for months when he had committed no crime. While the U.S. attorney's office has argued that it was leaning on Wolf in order to find out who fractured Shields' skull, Chronicle staff writer Bob Egelko reported last month that no one in that office had bothered to question Gabriel Meyers, the only demonstrator charged by San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris in a related crime.

For his part, Shields is not happy with Harris, who dropped the charges against Meyers and has a weak record on prosecuting violent demonstrators. He believes the city should be tougher on those who trash neighborhoods and injure cops.

Shields saw Wolf on a local Tv station Wednesday morning, as Wolf said he planned on interviewing Tony Serra, the attorney who had just served time for his third tax-evasion conviction and is now suing to increase the wages of federal prisoners.

"I don't understand how people don't see this," Shields told me, "how they don't realize that Josh Wolf and Tony Serra can make rules up as they go along to fit their needs, while anybody else, we need to abide by rules."

When I read that quote to Wolf, his response was, "What does Peter Shields think about Henry David Thoreau?" Not, Wolf told me, that he was comparing himself to Thoreau. Wolf also evokes the name of pamphleteer Thomas Paine — not that Wolf is saying he is like Paine. Wolf says he just wants the same protection that Paine should have today. Thing is, Wolf has that protection. Like any citizen, Wolf has the right to express his opinion.

The issue here is whether Wolf should be protected by shield laws designed to protect real journalists who need to protect their sources. In Wolf's ideal world, he would qualify, not because he follows journalistic practices, but because he disseminates information to the public.

Of course, Wolf's cause appeals to the liberal sensibilities of the Special City. If a kid anarchist is willing to go to jail because he thinks he's a journalist, he must be a journalist. He feels so strongly about it. Damn the consequences.

Except a federal shield law that would protect Wolf also would protect an anti-abortion activist with a camera who attends an anti-abortion demonstration that turns violent and tapes activists as they pummel abortion clinic workers.

I asked Wolf: Should an anti-abortion blogger be able to use a shield law to protect the identity of an activist who beat up a clinic worker? He answered, "There should be some level of protection, yes."

And Ess Eff pols, including the district attorney, support Wolf. Be careful what you ask for, San Francisco.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment JWR contributor Debra J. Saunders's column by clicking here.

Debra J. Saunders Archives

© 2007, Creators Syndicate