About Peter Scheer

Author Archive | Peter Scheer
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David Snyder, Journalist and First Amendment Lawyer, Named to Head FAC

David Snyder, a lawyer and journalist who has worked at the highest levels of both professions, has been selected as the new Executive Director of the First Amendment Coalition. He takes over leadership of the free speech and open-government organization on January 1. Snyder is an attorney in the San Francisco office of Sheppard Mullin […]

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Can the First Amendment Survive President Trump?

BY PETER SCHEER—Freedom of speech is as fragile as it is precious. President-elect Donald Trump likes to talk about a future in which America will be great “again.” Freedom of speech—in particular, the right to criticize government without having to whisper and look over one’s shoulder—is why, frankly, America is great now. Freedom of speech […]

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Guest Commentary: Did the Media go too far in Disclosing a Secret Dossier on Russia’s supposed “kompromat” against Trump? Nyet.

BY PETER SCHEER—I share misgivings about the decision by multiple news organizations to go public with reports on rumors—all “unsubstantiated,” as they hastened to disclaim—about collusion between the Trump camp and Russian intelligence services; about compromising x-rated videos of Trump in the company of prostitutes during a 2013 trip to Moscow; about alleged financial inducements […]

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FAC Update

New ED Here at FAC we have been busy conducting a search for a new Executive Director. We received over fifty applications, the vast majority from highly qualified candidates in the areas of law,  journalism, public policy, business and nonprofit organizations. A committee of FAC’s Board, led by Board President Carol Melamed, has conducted dozens […]

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On Access by Peter Scheer

Putin plays the media like a violin

BY PETER SCHEER–Among the many “firsts” of the current election cycle is the disconcerting spectacle of a foreign adversary successfully manipulating the American news media. I’m referring, of course, to Russian leader Vladimir Putin. After government cybersleuths, at his direction, hacked the Democratic National Committee’s computer network and the email inbox of Hillary Clinton’s campaign […]

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On Access by Peter Scheer

Did NBC secretly hand over the Trump grope tape to the Wash Post?

If you were among the first people to listen to the Donald Trump grope tape, you did so on the website of the Washington Post. The Post had it first, which is interesting when you consider the tape was stored in NBC archives and was discovered by NBC personnel. And yet the Post beat NBC on […]

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Police are wrong: Cop-cam videos must be released as public records

BY SUSAN SEAGER–Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck’s release of security camera footage showing 18-year-old Carnell Snell Jr. moments before he was shot to death by LAPD officers in South Los Angeles on Saturday is a first step away from the department’s secrecy policy for tapes of fatal shootings. But Beck hasn’t moved far enough. […]

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On Access by Peter Scheer

FAC sues LA council over destroyed public records

A new lawsuit filed by the First Amendment Coalition against Los Angeles highlights local governments’ all-too-common—and illegal—practice of destroying public records. The suit, filed Thursday in Superior Court for Los Angeles County, focuses on documents that went missing when a termed-out council member, Tom LaBonge, left office in 2015. Thousands of documents about city business—”public […]

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On Access by Peter Scheer

1st Amendment fallout from Peter Thiel’s bankrolling of Hogan suit against Gawker

In an interview with Pacific Standard, I discussed the Hulk Hogan lawsuit against Gawker—or more precisely, the role of billionaire Peter Thiel, who financed the litigation even though he was not a party in the case and had no legal standing to be one. From the transcript: . . . . .  “I’m afraid that […]

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News and views from FAC's Executive Director.

IRS censorship of nonprofits must give way to the First Amendment

Because of legal restrictions on nonprofit, “charitable” organizations, I am not allowed to say that Donald Trump poses an existential threat to First Amendment freedoms. I believe it to be true.  But as executive director of the First Amendment Coalition, I am supposed to keep such thoughts to myself. The freedom to engage in public […]

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