Mr. Kosner was must have cut those "History of Journalism 101" lectures
Hard to imagine someone can make that print/web argument if they've EVER been exposed to Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst, the emperors of "yellow journalism". Complaints of Internet superficiality, flash-and-trash, shallow reporting, clickbait... they're all mirrored precisely in those early, populist, "penny press" newspapers. This was not an Internet invention.
The sweetest irony? That those who tout their formal, traditional journalism educational credentials could forget their own profession's earliest history... and its darkest moments.
The ultimate irony is that retransmission is a dead issue, in the most-deadest division of the content delivery universe. The ability to retransmit local OTA television is valued by fewer and fewer people every month, even while retransmission fees become an increasingly greater proportion of network revenue -- witness Les Moonves' public shit-fit over Aereo for no other reason than lost retransmission fees. So... take your weakest, most trivial, soon-to-be-dead issue, and wave it in the public eye... brilliant.
I've heard this repeated for at least twenty years... that it doesn't matter an awful lot who gets elected, since policy is effectively shaped by tens of thousands of mid-level bureaucrats, and they pretty much don't care who got elected, what party and what their campaign promises were. I haven't seen it disproved yet... bad news for progress, but good news in the sense that dimwitted partisans can't get much done to advance their agendas either.
I wish I could take heart from a ruling like this. But it mostly serves to point out the schizoid break between rational, well-thought-out logic like this opinion -- the world we were told to expect, as idealistic youth -- and the harsh reality of a world where monied interests can effortlessly enact self-serving laws like those that will surely come in response to this ruling. Lobbyists and SuperPacs fill the roles vacated by spats-wearing robber barons and carpetbaggers in a previous century; what will it take for the wheel to spin 'round yet again?
"For the last 30+ years, the United States has been in a "state of emergency."
That explains it -- that's why, for at least the last ten years, CNN, Fox News and the rest have reported a 24/7, non-stop stream of "BREAKING NEWS"... the only kind of news, apparently. It ain't news if it ain't breakin'.
... that's the operative phrase here. Is there, as you suggest, an existing law? Or are we talking about taking a characteristically-British in-person mark of disapproval... such as tossing a saucer full of clotted cream at someone, or soiling their spats... multiplying by "the Internet", and totaling up with time spent in the hoosegow? (Forgot the "quadruple" part.)
60 Minutes was delighted to expand the story... because that means that next week, CBS can tell the story (true story!) of how supergenius Walter O'Brien, the legend behind their "Scorpion" series, was able to look down an AT&T transatlantic fiber bundle in New York, decode the optical bitstream on-the-fly using magic sunglasses he invented, and discover a large shipment of hummus headed to Pakistan to a certain "Mr. B. Inladen". The rest, of course, is history... how O'Brien led the helicopter attack squad, and, to this day, enjoys wearing a souvenir pair of Osama's red boxer-briefs.
And thanks to Comey, he did it all without a warrant.