The Limbaugh, Beck, Maher etc problem.
by Ziks511 - 3/7/12 1:34 PM
In the legal rules which apply to journalism, there is a thing called "fair comment". Typically with legal things it does not mean what it appears to mean. If a person is a private individual who is in the news for whatever reason, comment on that person is restricted. If, however, the person is a public figure like an actress, or a politician, the gloves come off. Rush and Glenn can say anything they like about Nancy Pelosi or Barack Obama, and have. Bill Maher can say anything about Sarah Palin or Michelle Bachman, or Rick Santorum or Newt Gingrich, and probably has. Because they have chosen to put themselves forward in a public role, they are fair game.
Ms. Fluke was testifying to her personal beliefs before Congress. This is her first appearance in the news, therefore she is not fair game. Until she takes on some public role, as Spokesperson for a registered or recognized group, or enters politics or journalism or acting, attacks beyond reporting what she said, and whether you agree with it or not are as far as the comments can go.
You can check this with any trained Journalist and get the same information.