Journalists' Sources Restrictions, Big Box Books & Gays on the Colbert Report | Hits & Misses | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

Journalists' Sources Restrictions, Big Box Books & Gays on the Colbert Report 

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Protected Sources
After trying to place restrictions on the ability of journalists to protect their sources, the Obama administration changed course recently on a federal shield law and agreed to a compromise to help ensure that important anonymity. While there is still enough ambiguous language to allow abuses by government officials, the bill seems to provide an important balance between government and journalists. The Senate Judiciary Committee, on which Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, sits, still needs to move it forward, but that should happen soon because of support from key committee Democrats. As an added bonus, certain types of bloggers would be protected. What was not clear was whether Fox News reporters would also be protected.

Big Boxed Books
New releases from authors such as John Grisham, Stephen King and Sarah Palin have hit the bargain bin before being released. Those books, and many others, are being sold by mega-retailers like Amazon, Wal-Mart or Target at deep discounts. The below-cost prices are an attempt to lure customers to the big-box stores, but those slashed prices are not Christmas carols for independent booksellers, many of whom are barely surviving in the poor economy. The American Booksellers Association— which includes local independent bookstores—sent a letter to federal officials arguing that the discounts are predatory pricing. While it may be difficult to prove that claim, it carries logical weight. Local, independent bookstores provide more than just shopping. They are staffed with passionate readers, offer cozy nooks for lingering and actively engage the community. Try finding those in a big-box store or at an online retailer.

Colbert Reported
It’s a headache the LDS Church can’t shake: City Weekly account manager Derek Jones and his partner, Matthew Aune, who church security detained for kissing on the Main Street Plaza this summer, were in the spotlight again Tuesday, Nov. 3. This time, they were guests on The Colbert Report, aired on the same day that voters in states such as Maine and Washington were voting on gay-rights ballot issues. The episode aired after press time, so it was unclear exactly how host Stephen Colbert would handle the interview. However, it would be interesting to see how LDS Church security handled leg-wrestling between Jones, Aune, Colbert, and Rep. Jason Cahefftz, R-Utah.

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