Open & Shut
From The News Media & The Law
A recent collection of funny, fascinating, nonsensical or just notable newsworthy quotations
"Thank God we have a press that at least tells us what the heck you guys are doing because you're obviously not telling us."
— Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales at a Feb. 6 Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the National Security Agency's surveillance authority.
"The First Amendment provides a guaranteed protection of free speech, but the press has an equally important responsibility to be accurate and deliberative, something that becomes increasingly challenged with the proliferation of information available in this new multi-media era."
— Paul J. Pronovost, editor of the Cape Cod Times, in a Jan. 29 column on a decision not to publish a story about or sell photos of an alleged illegitimate child of a prominent politician.
"You people ought to get a life. I mean, goodness, gracious, the questions you ask."
— Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld in a Jan. 12 press briefing in response to a question about whether he had read Ambassador Paul Bremer's "My Year in Iraq."
"If you are not as open as you can be it's going to look like you're trying to hide things."
— Army Maj. Jeff Weir, deputy public affairs officer for Joint Task Force Guantanamo, in a Jan. 9 article from the Armed Forces Information Service.
"Illegal spying and torture need to be investigated, not whistle blowers and newspapers."
— Jan. 4 New York Times editorial.
"In this case — I've been a reporter for about 25 years — this was the purest case of whistle blowers coming forward, people who truly believed there was something wrong going on in the government and they were motivated, I believe, by the purest reasons."
— New York Times reporter James Risen, who along with Eric Lichtblau, broke the story on Bush's warrantless domestic spying program, on NBC's "Today Show" Jan. 3.
"You just don't testify. It's a matter of civil disobedience."
— Scott Armstrong, a National Security Archive founder, at a Dec. 9 program observing the 20th anniversary of the archive.
"Even an imperfect journalist deserves protection of [the] First Amendment."
— Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) in a Nov. 16 article in The Hill.
"I think freedom of expression is the safeguard of all other freedoms. I consider freedom of expression the most important freedom of all."
— Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen in a Feb. 10 Washington Post article about a Danish newspaper's publication of cartoons depicting the prophet Muhammad.
"I was not looking for a First Amendment showdown."
— Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald in an Oct. 28 press conference after announcing the perjury indictment of White House aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby.
telephone (n.) 1. An instrument in which sound is converted into electrical impulses for transmission by wire. 2. A "fairly well known device ... . By depressing numbered buttons on this device in the appropriate order, the user may speak with a person at a distant location." See U.S. v. Kaufman 2005 WL 2465804 (Kan. 2005). Usage, in addition to 2, above: "For reasons which are unexplained, Channel 12 and its lawyers chose not to utilize this device [Footnote 1] or otherwise attempt to communicate directly with the court." In the footnote, the court noted that "Channel 12 is represented by lawyers from two — count 'em two — large law firms, one in Kansas City and the other in Florida. For future reference, there are many fine lawyers and law firms in Wichita which are acquainted with the use of a telephone."