The White House is threatening to veto the recently passed (HR 2102) National Shield Law which protects journalists and their confidential sources from overzealous federal prosecutors.
The Bush administration has strongly opposed the shield law since its introduction in May of this year. One Justice Department witness stated that the department was not out to get the media, but that the law was too burdensome given the fight against terrorism.
This law is fundamental to our democracy because a free people cannot exist without a free press. Generally, sources will provide more information and act with more candor when telling journalists of very real concerns about consumer safety and governmental abuse - IF they can be guaranteed anonymity. Without an assurance of anonymity, many conscientious citizens with evidence of wrongdoing will stay silent.
They would rightly fear for their jobs, their reputations, and in even in some cases, their safety.