Labels a Method of Silencing Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

If the impact was the result of government collusion against Hatfill, then many might believe that actual freedom can only be guaranteed by forcing the press to reveal those sources, so that corruption could be eliminated from the government. However, Martin does not even mention arguments like those found above. Instead, she touts the ideals of the free press, without any mention of who the press is meant to serve, the people, and without any look into the history of journalistic freedom in the United States.


I. Introduction: Martin's fails to adequately support her thesis, which is that the courts are using a new method, financial compulsion, to silence and intimidate journalists.

Martin's describes Toni Locy's predicament.

1. Judge Reggie Walton, the judge from the Scooter Libby trial, is presiding over Hatfill's lawsuit.

2. Walton has held Locy in contempt for failing to divulge sources.

3. Hatfill's sued the government for linking him to anthrax.

4. Walton has threatened Locy's with the following financial sanctions for failing to cooperate with subpoenas:

a. $500 a day for seven days;

b. $1,000 a day for the following seven days; and c. $5,000 a day for the seven days after that.

5. Walton may bar any others from paying Locy's fines.

II. Martin is personally biased, having spent time in jail to protect her sources. This bias leads her to make several crucial errors in her argument, including: logical fallacies, emotional appeals, failure to identify sources, the use of biased sources, and the failure to present the opposing side's point-of-view.

III. It is a logical fallacy to assume that the government's efforts to compel journalists to divulge sources are part of a plan to silence or intimidate journalists, without providing any proof of governmental motives to silence the press, or even providing proof that allowing the government to use criminal or civil sanctions to compel a journalist to divulge sources has the practical impact of silencing the press.

IV. Martin uses an emotional appeal by using the example of Scooter Libby to bolster her argument.

V. Martin references "journalists," but fails to identify the individuals or group in question.

VI. Martin only references groups or individuals that share her own bias and does not question their conclusions.

VII. Martin fails to consider the…

Sources Used in Document:

Works Cited

Miller, Judith. "Journalism on Trial." The Wall Street Journal 21 Feb. 2008: A16.

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