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Sunday, August 12, 2018

Newspapers have failed the First Amendment

This week, more than 100 newspapers will hold a circle jerk decrying President Trump for daring to stand up to them by calling them out for disseminating Fake News.

Marjorie Pritchard, deputy managing editor for the editorial page of the Boston Globe, wants newspapers to denounce the president in editorials on Thursday. Denouncing President Trump is something they only do on days ending in the letter Y.

She told the Associated Press, the newspapers will "educate readers to realize that an attack on the First Amendment is unacceptable. We are a free and independent press, it is one of the most sacred principles enshrined in the Constitution."

Someone should educate newspaper editors like her first.

The First Amendment protects five God-given rights:

  1. Freedom of Religion.
  2. Freedom of Speech.
  3. Freedom of the Press.
  4. Freedom to Assemble Peaceably.
  5. Freedom to Petition the Government for a Redress of Grievances.

Thus freedom of the press is only one of five bedrock rights in America. Standing up for the one that you use to earn a living is easy. The test is how well you defend the other four.

When it comes to religion, newspapers are largely atheistic. One year, the local newspaper did not even mention Easter on Easter Sunday -- except in the paid ads.

9/11 changed newspapers slightly. They now defend Islam.

As for free speech, newspapers did not condemn social media for banning Milo Yiannopoulos and other conservatives; newspapers did not condemn college campuses for harassing and even banning conservative speakers; newspapers did not condemn ABC for firing Roseanne Barr over one bad joke.

Indeed, the Denver Post fired a sportswriter for tweeting, "Nothing specifically personal, but I am very uncomfortable with a Japanese driver winning the Indianapolis 500 during Memorial Day weekend."

The newspaper smeared him as racist for tweeting that on a weekend dedicated to the memory of our war dead he was uncomfortable with someone from a nation we fought in a war the Indy 500.

But the Denver Post is a weak newspaper that has decimated its staff through layoffs. The same editors who fired a man over a tweet months later bemoaned their own departures.

As for freedom of peaceable assembly, the anniversary of the Charlottesville, Virginia, riot is a fine example. People who support Confederate statues got a  permit to hold a rally. The local police failed to protect them. Months later, the police chief resigned in the wake of an investigation that verified this. Newspapers sided with the mob that attacked the peaceful assembly.

I'll skip the right to petition because newspapers are pretty good about supporting this.

Besides, the failure on the other three fronts is abominable enough. They have forgotten the post-war words of Martin Niemöller.
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out —
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out —
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out —
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me — and there was no one left to speak for me.
Journalism schools need to dust off that poem. Editorial boards, too. The First Amendment is more than freedom of the press. Far more.

###

Please enjoy my books in paperback and on Kindle.

Trump the Press covers the nomination.

Trump the Establishment covers the election.

Fake News Follies of 2017 covers his first year as president.

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33 comments:

  1. I've mentioned before that the hysterical actions of the press of late have reminded me of part of Tocqueville's notes for the planned second volume of The Old Regime and the Revolution, the volume left unfinished before he died.

    He says something to the effect that the press cries out most loudly just before it is silenced. I think he was mainly thinking about how the Jacobins shut down a lot of papers during the Terror, and about Napoleon. I think about our situation today as being the silencing of the papers by the fact that no one reads them.

    If a newspaper throws a fit about the loss of its freedom to publish and a TV station or radio station cries out about its fears about a supposedly fascist president and no one is there to read it or hear it, does it really make any noise?

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  2. Kessler wrote: “@SenatorReid I think you’re a guy who gets things done and I respect that but you need to support the assault weapons ban bc its now or never.”
    Another tweet, on Dec. 14, 2012, stated: “These gun nuts have bullied the American people for too long and enabled too many killers. #GunControlNow.”
    “Obama and Clinton just demolished the Republican arguments on consecutive nights with two of the greatest speeches of this generation,” Kessler tweeted.
    “Republicans in #cnndebate are grotesquely mesmerizing as an interview w/ a serial killer. @ least Dahmer couldnt wage war or starve poor ppl.”
    April 2, 2015, tweet: “@BarackObama’s Nobel-worthy ploy for peace comes to fruition & @JohnKerry cements his legacy as a historic Secretary of State. #IranTalks.”

    Those are the tweets of the guy who got the permit in Charlottesville. He went from a full-fledged Obama fanboy to a White Supremacist overnight. Weird, huh? Why, it's almost as it were an orchestrated Agit-Prop event, run out of the spare bedroom.

    But it's good to know the Poodle Press will take time off from not reporting on Bruce Ohr, burying soccer stadium protests in Iran chanting "Death to the Dictator! (hint: not President Trump) and hiding how the School-Shootings School in New Mexico is an Islamist Common Core production.

    After they tell us how they are war heroes who are above criticism on #DenounceTrump Day, maybe they could investigate how many of them are themselves on the Fusion GPS payroll.

    Because Democracy Dies in Yada Yada Yada.

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    1. "Democracy dies in Yada Yada Yada" Ha! Too funny. So very true. I grew up in D.C. reading that rag before finding out what a complete left wing fraud it was/is. Woodward/Bernstein got a Pulitzer for sitting in their office waiting for the phone to ring from a bitter disgruntled, passed over for a promotion, Mark Felt aka Deep Throat to call. Simpke question: How many times have they endorsed a Republican for President? Try never. Yet they claim to be independent and fair. What a joke.

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  3. So how many people are going to read these editorials in the 100 papers? Maybe 150 (I'm being generous)? Ho hum.

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  4. It's sad that you have to even point this out. You would think that the editors of these smaller market papers would be more grounded in reality because of their life experiences. Can't say the same for the agitators behind this anti-Trump idea, they've never matured past that point in their life when they received their liberal arts certificate of attendance from an institution of (alleged) higher learning.

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  5. First, how is this different from any other day?

    Second, and more important, Newspapers sided with the mob

    Haven't they for the last 50 years?

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  6. My experience watching news and opinion programs of late is that all of the "experts" seem to be young feminists with that annoying voice-thing.
    I'm sure most of the print reporters remaining are of the same age and challenged with the same vocal disability.
    Real News possibly never existed anyway. Leave us alone, let us decide - scary, isn't it.

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  7. I usually read Breitbart.com daily, but I am about to quit them. Their coverage of the 'antifa' (should read Domestic Terrorists) riots in the DC streets was beyond ridiculous. It was the Rightists fault; no, it was the Secret Service's fault; no, it was the police fault; no, it was anybody else but the domestic terrorists who call themselves antifa. Then there is whoever is Sarah D and her anti-republican posts. Thanks, Don, for giving space for my rant. I appreciate it.

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    Replies
    1. I see Antifa as being "Assault Democrats" - a more accurate name.

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    2. More like progressive stormtroopers.

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    3. More like progressive stormtroopers.

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  8. Newspapers vanished from the American scene long ago. Now they are mostly opinion papers. Reading the papers is a habit that's easily broken when editorial opinion entirely replaces information as the only product they are selling.

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    1. If I could only get the Wednesday and Sunday inserts without the junk they write and wrap around it I would be a happy man.

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  9. Trump: "Fake News is the enemy of the people"
    Democrat Media: "Fake News? He talking about us? I think he's talking about us!"

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  10. Today the media colludes in the open. How many years ago did they hide this? Their bias is so obvious now they NO longer feel the need to hide it. May they all go bankrupt.

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    1. Remember "Journolist" when the media set up a private off the record method for them to talk to each other and coordinate their attacks? I believe it was set up by Ezra Klein from the WaPo. These people are as thick as thieves and twice as dishonest. They got busted and called out and it was like a bunch of rats scurrying. The worst part is that now you see them get busted for fake news and they get all indignant and 1st Amendment with "You can't question us, that's un-American"

      The absolute worst part is when thay get busted by our wonderful Press Sec S.H.S. their face goes blank and they have no shame. No embarrassment. They act as if they haven't made a single mistake. If you or I got embarrassed like that at work or in life we would turn red, laugh at ourselves and apologize for being such an idiot

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  11. "educate readers to realize that an attack on the First Amendment is unacceptable."

    OK, when one of these editorialistas has to type out his column while in a jail cell, get back to me. Until then I'll keep the imaginary outrage on hold.

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    1. Personally and frankly, snowflake editors, I could not give a single shit. Ya coulda done your jobs and kept me on your side, but no, ya hadta go to the dark side. Hope ya have a really cool reunion in the unemployment line.

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    2. My Give-A-Shit meter just pegged at zero.

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    3. My G-A-S. meter pegged at zero. Hysterical! Got to remember that one.

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  12. Good job, Don, but I think you missed on #5: Freedom to Petition the Government for a Redress of Grievances.

    To Petition is peaceful. Newspapers are also pretty much in favor of riots, when the riots are against the conservatives. That's not peaceful assembly nor petition.

    The Tea Party folk were petitioning -- and were mostly ignored, tho often a bit libeled by the Fake Press.


    I wish there was even more complaints about specific Fake News articles, to start getting the papers more concerned about it and about cleaning up their act.

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  13. To those 100 newspapers I say, obviously you’re seeking applause, so here’s hoping you get all the clap your deserve.

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    Replies
    1. Ahh yes, Dave, that drip drip drip...

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  14. The press does not believe in the spirit of the 1st amendment they believe it exist to ensure their claims to elitism and to guarantee that there power is exempt from the law.
    Think of things the press does daily false claims, libels and suppression if done by a citizen would be punishable, but to the media no proof or evidence need be presented, they can even withhold where and how they got the information and tell in their bias opinion that they believe it to be truthful and that is the end of the conversation.
    So they lie and cheat and cover up corruption without penalty. They perform action that are detrimental to society, security and the country and smile into the camera.

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  15. What is strange is that the 1st. amendment was designed to limit the power of government through freedom of the press. Isn't it ironic (or sad really) that this freedom allowed the government to grow into the behemoth it has become, infiltrating itself into every aspect of citizens lives? That's why I believe the press (media) should be criticized; because it failed to do its one simple task: protect the American people from an overbearing government. Failed miserably and deserves our scorn every day, every way. All of them.

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  16. Freedom of the press is not the same thing as freedom to lie their asses off.

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  17. I live by the words of Martin Niemöller. I defend anyone's freedom of speech when not given in an in-your face, semi-violent method.
    All the Bill of Rights were only applicable to the federal government not state and local governments. Thus it wasn't until the 14th Amendment and the 1930s that the freedom of the press was nationwide; being incorporated in all states and local governments. The 2nd Amendment being the last one incorporated. Most people don't know about incorporation.
    That is why there was so much injustice until the 14th Amendment was used to incorporate the Bill of Rights. Why is it that the media back then took over 50 years to gain 1st Amendment protection? And now after that fight for their freedom, they misuse and abuse it. So sad.

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  18. Recently a friend in England asked me for a link to the LA Times, to corroborate something I'd said about crime in big cities here. He told me that all the big newspapers have "fact-checkers," who could verify what I'd said. SMH!

    I'm still laughing about that, but it makes me sad. There are still lots of people who believe the garbage carried by the Fake News Media.

    It reminds me of that old Cold War joke, that there are two newspapers in the USSR: Pravda and Izvestia. Pravda means "truth," and Izvestian means "news;" but "There is no truth in News, and there is no news in Truth."

    Now we have "news" outlets that masquerade under lots of different names, but they all tell the same lies. Ain't progress wonderful!

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  19. The failing newspaper business has one foot in the grave today. This stupid editorial idea will cause both legs to collapse into the grave. Prepare to start shoveling in the dirt in a few days.

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  20. Six god-given rights - the right to freedom from religion as important as the right to freedom of religion.

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    Replies
    1. Interesting, I never saw that one. Is there a new copy available or something?

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  21. I rather like the "Lockhorns", sometimes "Overboard"

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