After Planned Parenthood sting, Stalinist California seeks to criminalize investigative reporting

( It ought to be obvious by now that a majority of citizens living in California would feel perfectly at home in Josef Stalin’s USSR or modern-day China, because they keep electing authoritarian Democrats to office who are more wedded to their Left-wing ideology than they are to constitutional principles and freedom. That’s the only way to explain why Californians would agree to a law that essentially criminalizes investigative reporting.

As noted by AMI Newswire, a bill penalizing the dissemination of secret recordings of health-care workers is headed to the governor’s desk.

Assembly Bill 1671 passed the state Senate Wednesday on the last day of the legislative session. It would impose punishment only for the combined acts of both secretly recording and disseminating those confidential communications to others.

Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California, which spearheaded the legislation, said the bill is needed to protect health-care providers from violence and harassment – which is, of course, complete bunk, considering there is no widespread epidemic of violence being directed at health care providers or employees of Planned Parenthood.

Detractors, however, rightly contend the bill is constitutionally suspect and a threat to investigative journalism, and they say it panders to a single organization (Planned Parenthood).

The bill comes in the wake of a lengthy investigation into Planned Parenthood by the Center for Medical Progress, which is based in Irvine, Calif. The center, which labels itself as a group of citizen journalists, alleged that Planned Parenthood clinics were engaged in the illegal sale of fetal tissues collected from abortions. Planned Parenthood denies the charges, calling them malicious and reckless, but any reasonable person who watches the videos will conclude that PP officials most certainly were doing what the center alleges. And if the country were not being led by a man who opposed, as a state senator, a bill requiring babies born alive during an abortion to be given life supportive care, PP officials would be defending themselves in court today.

During its 30-month investigation, the center secretly videotaped people connected to Planned Parenthood without their knowledge. Under current California law, it’s a crime to eavesdrop or record confidential conversations without all the parties’ consent. But not so for investigative reporting, which is what the center was doing.

“This is being pushed by Planned Parenthood, and the California attorney general is working hand in glove with them,” attorney Steve Cooley told AMI Newswire.

Cooley, who represents the center’s lead investigator, David Daleiden, blasted the bill as deeply offensive to the First Amendment, as well as the California Penal Code.

“That the legislature thinks this way is reprehensible,” said Cooley, a former Los Angeles County district attorney. “Nothing would surprise me about the California legislature.”

Officials from the state’s Attorney General’s Office, which is headed by Kamala Harris, searched Daleiden’s apartment earlier this year and seized video files, which were collected during the center’s investigation, according to a post on the center’s Facebook page. Harris, who is now a U.S. Senate candidate, has not confirmed whether her office is investigating Daleiden.

The legislation serves the interest of a “selfish, narrow-minded group,” Cooley said. And it also puts the rights of all journalists at risk, he said.

“This is a threat to traditional journalists that use this technique … to expose fraud and malfeasance,” Cooley said.

He’s right, of course. Except in California.

Michael Carroll of AMI Newswire contributed to this report.

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