Despite the topic’s seeming importance and the massive amount of media coverage it has been getting, news that the U.S. government is spying on Americans seems to have been met with mostly a ho-hum reaction from the general public. Recent polls indicate that the majority of citizens are reasonably okay with the idea of their phone and internet habits being tracked if it makes all involved safer.
While most people haven’t reacted particularly emotionally to Edward Snowden’s revelations one way or the other, the same can’t be said for politicians. Over the past few days, D.C. lawmakers have essentially been scrambling to one-up each other on the outrage meter regarding what a traitor Snowden is.
On Tuesday, Rep. Peter King decided to take things on step further. While appearing on Anderson Cooper’s show, the New York lawmaker suggested that not only should whistleblowers/leakers be punished, but so should the journalists involved in their leaks.
“Actually, if they–if they knew that this was classified information–I think action should be taken, especially on something of this magnitude,” Rep. King said. “I know that the whole issue of leaks has been gone into over the last month. I think something on this magnitude, there is an obligation, both moral but also legal, I believe, against a reporter disclosing something which would so severely compromise national security.
“As a practical matter, I–I guess it happened in the past several years, a number of reporters who have been prosecuted under us, so the answer is yes to your question.”
You can check out Rep. King taking a sledgehammer to the First Amendment in the video below.