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June 1, 2013

AP subpoena is just routine business

Good grief, ladies and gentlemen! Don’t get so exercised about a subpoena. 

The headline of your op-ed piece, "Record seizure is an insult to the free press," is misleading. Nothing was seized. AP’s reporters’ phone records were subpoenaed and the government got copies. This is no more than probably millions of Americans go through every day. It’s ugly and unsettling, but that is the nature of law enforcement.

Many people’s records are subpoenaed who had no inkling that they were even near any unlawful conduct. The AP reporters knew darn well that they were involved with a criminal enterprise. Journalists using their “loudspeakers” to try to intimidate law enforcement from doing what it does to protect other Americans is arrogant. Remember, journalists are just working stiffs like the rest of us and they should be subject to the same rules we all are.

Surely a free press is essential to a free society. But, a free press doesn’t mean freedom to ignore the law with impunity.

Robert J. Poulson Jr.


Poulson is a lawyer. 

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