A pro-Joe Miller blogger is taking issue with Andrew Halcro s defense of journalist privileges regardingMiller s litigation with Halco over fallout from the 2010election. Attorneys for Joe Miller , erstwhile Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, have challengedthe refusal of Andrew Halcro, prominent political commentator andformer Alaska state representative, to name the source of rumors hepublished questioning the circumstances of Miller's departure frompart-time employment with the Fairbanks North Star Borough. The argument is a part of Miller's litigtation with the Boroughclaiming that elements of his employment record were leakedimproperly in the run up to the election. Miller's attorneysdeposed Halcro in February as part of those proceedings, and Halcrorefused to name his source, citing reporter privilege granted byAlaska's media shield laws. |
Miller's challenge seeks to compel Halcro to name names. Theargument rests on the claim that such laws don't protect people whoare unaffiliated with a standard media for a political candidate.Halcro supported GOP incumbent U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who wasvictorious as a write-in candidate. He is therefore a political blogger, not a news reporter, Miller's motion in part concludes.
He does not presentinformation to the public through a news organization, andtherefore cannot assert this statutorily based privilege." Halcro s lawyer responded , claiming that Halcro regularly acts in the capacity of ajournalist, and a journalist's right to protect his or her sourceshas long been established in courts. However, as Thomas Lamb points out in a recent piece onRedCountry.com, Halcro blogged in 2008 that as a blogger, hedidn t have the responsibility to act in ways that a traditionaljournalist would. That was in response to a panel Halcro sat on with among others,Alaska Dispatch editor Tony Hopfinger, who was arguing anonymity inblogging. (B)loggers aren't journalist, Halcro wrote in response.
Having a blog makes me no more of a journalist than shootinghoops in my driveway makes me Larry Bird. Having a blog simplymeans I'm a guy with time on my hands, thoughts on my mind and acomputer within reach. Halcro announced last week that he is not running for office this year because, in "additionto family and client commitments, I remain embroiled in a time-consuming, legal case litigating First Amendment rights ofonline journalists such as myself.".
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