CCRKBA BLASTS WASHINGTON POST FOR HYPOCRISY ON INDUSTRY PROTECTION

Tuesday, July 26th, 2005

BELLEVUE, WA – The Washington Post editorial board is staffed with world-class hypocrites who demand a federal shield law for journalists, while at the same time condemn the idea of legislation that would shield law-abiding firearms manufacturers from junk lawsuits, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA) said today.

In a Tuesday editorial, the Washington Post whined that the proposed Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act would provide an “unfair and irrational special-interest shield from civil justice.”

“Many American citizens, and at least one federal grand jury, might argue that a shield law to protect reporters from disclosing sources, even in criminal investigations, is also an unfair and irrational shield for a special-interest, in this case, the press,” observed CCRKBA Chairman Alan M. Gottlieb. “Yet the Washington Post recently editorialized that ‘Almost all states recognize some form of privilege for reporters.’ It clearly appears that the Washington Post is quite comfortable with a special privilege for the media industry that it does not care to share with the firearms industry.

“For too long,” Gottlieb continued, “our friends in the press have been deliberately blind to the fact that the Second Amendment is just as worthy of protection as the First. When you cut through all of the rhetoric, that’s really what this is all about. These harassment lawsuits against law-abiding gunmakers have been mounted to destroy an industry, because anti-gun zealots have been unable to legislate gun ownership out of existence. Destroy the firearms industry and you seriously cripple the public’s ability to exercise a civil right, namely, the right to keep and bear arms.

“The same logic applies to shielding reporters from legal fishing expeditions,” he added. “If you make it difficult, if not impossible, for reporters to protect confidential sources, the press is crippled in its primary watchdog role, and the result is that American citizens’ right to a free press is seriously eroded.

“Shame on the Washington Post,” Gottlieb concluded, “for pushing such a double standard. If it is so noble an undertaking that reporters be shielded from prosecution, then it can be no less important to shield firearms manufacturers from a political war of financial attrition mounted by extremists who have endeavored for years to crush the Second Amendment.”