Making Journalism Illegal

Friday, May 27, 2011


In The Jungle Upton Sinclair went undercover and exposed the horrors of the meat packing industry in turn of the century America. Countless journalists have since employed the same tactics. Now, two states – Iowa and Minnesota – are considering legislation that would effectively criminalize such reporting. Will Potter, author of Green is the New Red, talks about the proposed legislation.

Comments [6]

Tammy Kloeckl from Illinois

Gerry Mander - you are right on about Will Potter. He is not only biased, he misleads throughout the entire interview. I am an animal lover and also an agricultural expert, former farm girl, and granddaughter of farmers. I have visited dozens of slaughter plants and hundreds of farms. The practices video taped by investigators or investigators posing as employees are NOT industry standards as he says. Moreover, those who are trying to prevent activists from getting on their farm and intentionally harming animals or misprotraying production are NOT paid lobbyists for ag groups. Ag groups work with animals every minute of every day and have for hundreds of years in some families and on some family farms (what is a "factory" farm anyway) - we know what we're doing, we're caring for animals.

Jun. 01 2011 12:34 PM
Will Potter from Washington, DC

"Gerry Mander": You're absolutely right, I am completely biased in favor of the First Amendment.

Jun. 01 2011 10:04 AM
Gerry Mander

I am disappointed that you would use Will Potter as the sole interview for this segment. Despite his self-posturing as a journalist, Potter is an animal rights extremist who has gone on record numerous times in support of those convicted of federal terrorism charges for targeting agriculture and biomedical research. While Potter's views certainly are relevant to the topic, he is not an independent legal expert, and you should have at least described his bias, and ideally sought out someone in the agricultural field to lend balance to his opinions and to respond to his specious claims about 'industry'.

Jun. 01 2011 08:21 AM
Leah Kopperman from Brooklyn, NY

Thanks for this story on Ag-Gag legislation attempts, I was pleased to hear it.

One thing that wasn't mentioned is that there is a stealth Ag-Gag bill in New York State right now. In May, NYS Sen. Patty Ritchie (R) of the 48th district introduced "An act to amend the agriculture and markets law, in relation to unlawful tampering with farm animals." The bill's title is Orwellian; "tampering" is defined later in the bill as "any interference with a farm animal or farm through the injection of any unauthorized substance, the release of a farm animal, the unauthorized feeding OR UNAUTHORIZED VIDEO, AUDIO RECORDING OR PHOTOGRAPHY DONE WITHOUT THE FARM OWNER'S WRITTEN CONSENT." Punishment includes up to a year in jail and responsibility for Attorney’s fees.

Will Potter has a post about this on his blog:

I hope you can do a brief follow-up the show to bring this stealth bill to light.

Thank you.

May. 31 2011 04:01 PM
Morris Townson from United States

And, the book "Into the Buzzsaw". Into the Buzzsaw edited by Kristina Borjesson .

May. 29 2011 10:58 AM
Morris Townson from United States

I would enjoy hearing an interview with the editors of "Project Censor" They have been doing "fact checks" on news media for over 30 years.

May. 29 2011 10:57 AM

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