Shield law escapes committee


The effort to pass a federal reporters shield has been ongoing during the last couple of years. The measure has enjoyed bipartisan support, but is not popular in the Bush White House. The issue came to a head during the investigation of the outing of CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson by US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, and former New York Times reporter Judith Miller wound up doing jail time for refusing to divulge a source, even though in her case she never even wrote a story on the topic. A shield bill has been approved by a 15-2 Senate Judiciary Committee vote. The Associated Press says it is likely to run into trouble on the Senate floor, where numerous tactics to amend, stall or kill it are available.