News Column

EDITORIAL: Sunday pops

July 6, 2014

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

July 06--The Associated Press says it will begin using computer automation to write articles about companies' quarterly earnings reports. The wire service's Lou Ferrara says the move will allow journalists to use their "brains and time in more enterprising ways during earnings season." Never mind that some of the juiciest business tidbits many times are found buried in those earnings reports and require human "brains and time" to unearth them and to report on them. ... A federal judge in Manhattan necessarily struck back at the concept of "thought crime" when he overturned the conviction and life sentence of a former New York City police officer. Gilberto Valle was convicted of kidnapping conspiracy for Internet writings that, as The New York Times put it, subjected "women he knew to sex-related torture and, in some cases, murder and cannibalism." U.S. District Judge Paul G. Gardephe ruled that the "conspiracy" existed only in cyberspace as "fantasy role play," which certainly is not a crime. Here's to the "thought police" being put on firm notice. ... The same New York Times that railed against the U.S. Supreme Court for "imposing religion on workers" in its Hobby Lobby ruling praised, 21 years ago, passage of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act -- the basis for last week's landmark ruling. As The Times opined in 1993, "With the Restoration Act, Congress asserts its own interest in religious liberty." So, at least in The Times' mind, not all religious liberty is created equal?


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Source: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (PA)

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