By Inae Oh | Tue Jan. 19, 2016 4:04 PM EST
Perhaps inspired by Donald Trump’s recent call for a Muslim database, one South Carolina representative just introduced a measure to create a different kind of strange registry—this time to track journalists deemed "responsible" by the state.
The bill, proposed by Republican state lawmaker Mike Pitts, would establish vague requirements for journalists to submit to a registration process by the state. Journalists found in violation of the registry, by either not registering or breaking his rules, would be subjected to monetary fines and even criminal penalties—a lighter version of how the Kremlin treats its own pesky champions of free speech. As the Post and Courier reports, quoting Pitts, the Secretary of State’s Office would maintain a "responsible journalism registry" and create the criteria, with the help of a panel, on what qualifies a person to be a journalist—similar to the licensing for doctors and lawyers.
More from the very real "South Carolina Responsible Journalism Registry Law" proposal: