We feel a little like Charlie Brown getting ready to kick the football again, but a federal shield law has passed the House of Representatives. This time, it had to be slipped into a mustpass appropriations bill, but we’ll take it. It does not exactly establish a protection of confidential sources in law, but it prevents the government from funding any efforts to compel journalists to reveal their sources. That is a bass-ackwards way to do it, but, again, we’ll take it until the real thing comes along.
Now it’s up to the Senate to follow through, which it has failed to do on two previous occasions when a stand-alone bill—the aforementioned “real thing”— passed the House. Forty-nine of 50 states have shield laws. It’s time for the whole country (“Paging Wyoming!”), and Congress, to get it together.