Limits on Reporting Smother a Free Press

The March 29 article, “Justices Refuse to Shield Reports of False Charges,” portends a major setback for freedom of the press. A reporter is just that, a reporter of events that occur in our country or town or to our people and politicians around the world. If somebody says something, it is in fact said, regardless of whether that statement in itself is true or false. To punish a reporter for reporting any statement that has in fact been said is the real crime and goes against the basic premise of our vaunted and essential freedom of the press in this country.

As your article pointed out, the Swift Boat issue may never have been exposed if this law had been in place. The next thing may be to try to keep reporters from reporting something stupid that was said by one of our politicians. Then we would really be in trouble because there would be nothing to report at all.

Robert Chickering

Laguna Beach