• Every time I get on a bus, I see the sign about how assault the bus driver is a felony. Then I think, “Assaulting me is just good clean fun.”


  • The real problem is that government gets to decide what is a “journalist”—and of course, that would just aid the government is restricting free speech, a subject which Andrew Cuomo knows all too well.

  • Isn’t assault a felony? So isn’t assaulting a journalist already a felony?

    When a journalist – or even a “journalist” – shoves their mike or camera in your face, shouts at you, or stalks you at your home or place of work, exactly how is that less reprehensible than the same behavior from a non-journalist? Is journalism to become a license to harass?

    I wonder if special penalties for assaults on journalists would be incentive for even more aggressive behavior from journalists – who might also be quick to lodge complaints if they “feel threatened”.

    (I understand there are already special penalties on the books (hate crimes, assaulting subway or train employees, assaulting police officers or firefighters, assaulting elderly, etc.)

    • In New York all forms of assault except for third degree are felonies, so the only effect of this law would be to make third degree assault on a journalist a felony rather than a misdemeanor.

      • I think you mean the only legal effect. There would be other effects, because Cuomo has in mind changing public behavior toward journalists. If it is capable of changing such behavior it’s also capable of changing journalists’ behavior toward the public. For example:

        Would journalists become even more aggressive than they are now?

        Would journalists make felony complaints against anyone whose political beliefs differ from theirs? For accidental contact? Or if they “feel threatened” by a remark – or even by a red baseball cap?

        Would journalism gradually become a license to harass?

  • Is the name of this law the Alex Baldwin Act ?

  • At this rate, everything will soon be a Federal crime. I’m just surprised he didn’t want to make it a Hate crime too.

  • One could argue that a journalist (whether officially recognized or not) wanting to claim the protection of such a law must be wearing an operating body camera, to prove they were not being a jerk.

  • some folks are more equal than others…