Institutional Censorship & The First Amendment

May 2018
East Coast Of U.S.A.
Freedom of the press is a deadly drug, while censorship is the poison that permeates every institution. Every institution practices censorship. No government can, or will, use its police powers to prohibit institutional censorship:

The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution prohibits government from censorship. But suppose the threat of overt censorship doesn’t come from government action, but rather, as a result of government inaction?​

A lie of omission is censorship. The press engaged in censorship long before 1952:

"We are grateful to the Washington Post, the New York Times, Time Magazine and other great publications whose directors have attended our meetings and respected their promises of discretion for almost forty years.”

“It would have been impossible for us to develop our plan for the world if we had been subjected to the lights of publicity during those years. But, the world is more sophisticated and prepared to march towards a world government. The supernational sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers is surely preferable to the national autodetermination practiced in past centuries." David Rockefeller, Bilderberg meeting 1991​

I am 100 percent in favor of freedom of speech:

What it does not cover directly is the greatest threat to our nation’s commitment to protect freedom of speech, freedom of the press and freedom of religion.​

I am zero percent in favor of freedom of the press:

If Americans want to protect the First Amendment start by eliminating these four words ——“or of the press” —— so that it reads:
First Amendment​

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.​

Notice that the press would still enjoy freedom of speech like the rest of us, but they would have to defend freedom of speech as a matter of self-interest instead of only defending a constitutional privilege while they feed the rest us to Socialist/Communist wolves.

Print press is blameworthy for everything that went wrong in this country. Without our wonderful free press this country would not have open-borders, twenty to thirty million illegal aliens, sanctuary cities, socialized medicine, a Communist-controlled education industry, government unions, the United Nations, and world leaders.​

No private sector institution can deny freedom of speech, but they can punish —— discharge an employee, etc. Roseanne Barr is an example. Note that TV networks scream the loudest when their UNCONSTITUTIONAL freedom of the press is attacked, but ABC fired Barr because she exercised her freedom of speech. Conversely, the government is the only institution that has the power to deny and punish freedom of speech.

Is it important to tolerate even offensive speech and ideas expressed peacefully in the public square? Or should we yield to speech codes and restrictions of political and religious expression?​

Incidentally, I am not sure if Martin Niemöller spoke out from his pulpit, or on a soap box, but the press in Nazi Germany would never have published him if he did speak out:

In Nazi Germany, Martin Niemöller was a Lutheran minister and early Nazi supporter who was later imprisoned for opposing Adolf Hitler’s regime. He spent the last seven years of Nazi rule in concentration camps, and is best remembered for saying:​

“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.”​

Do you really care about free speech?
Posted By Joseph Farah On 08/05/2018 @ 5:13 pm
Freedom of speech was first attacked in this country when Associate Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. famously opined that it is not protected speech when you “yell fire in a crowded theater.” In fact, Holmes said “don’t FALSELY shout fire in a crowded theater” yet liberals repeatedly omit the word falsely whenever they cite Schenck v. Ohio (the United States) in order to justify limits on free speech.

NOTE: Schenck v. Ohio was overturned by Brandenburg v. United States.

How ludicrous it is to deliberately misquote Holmes (censorship by omission). When you omit the word “falsely” it becomes you cannot shout “Fire!” when the theater is actually on fire. Permit me to expound still further.

In the real world it is offensive speech that requires the most protection, not kissy-kissy, touchy-feely, sermons.

The things you cannot say, and the things you must say, is clearly an evolutionary step in America’s culture. In bygone decades the opponents of free speech confined their attacks to silencing average Americans.

The long-running debate used to be about the government shutting up people. Now, go back to Oliver Wendell Holmes’ often misquoted opinion: "Falsely shouting fire in a crowded theater.”, and come forward. You will see that before the Fairness Doctrine (1949 - 1987) was implemented no one was required to listen. Nowadays, freedom of speech is still as much as about making people listen as much as it is about shutting them up.

This one always gave me a laugh:

Freedom of speech is a contradiction in terms in today’s political climate because it is always about who controls freedom of speech. Proof: The folks in high places who wrap themselves in free speech whenever they need it never say there is NO constitutional Right to be heard. Failure to defend an important element in freedom of speech makes me wonder what this lady thought about it:​

I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it. Evelyn Beatrice Hall

Try it this way:​

I disapprove of your refusal to listen, but I will defend to the death your Right to not listen.​

Parenthetically, Holmes never told us how freedom of speech traveled from the year 1791 to the year 1919 without his opinion guiding the country. To me, “political freedom of speech” is absolute, or at least it should be. If an individual’s constitutional Rights are not as absolute as the government’s Rights the individual has no Rights at all. At best, an individual’s constitutional Rights become nothing more than lawyers' laws dressed up to look prettier than they actually are.

It is a bit of a stretch to say that falsely yelling Fire! in a crowded theater would cause thinking humans to trample one another their rush to the exits. Since the FIRE! ruling was overturned, I have not heard that millions of American theatergoers are trampled to death every year. As a matter of fact no one was trampled when they knew the Twin Towers were burning.

What protected theatergoers before 1919?

My understanding of the FIRE! restraint on free speech is that political free speech would remain absolute, but not all speech would be so blessed. At least that is what the High Court seemed to be saying at the time. That one prohibition appeared to be reasonable on the face of it. Since then political free speech is no longer absolute; right along with the other kind. Would the Nifty Nine from a bygone era have made that pronouncement had they known that Intelligent Design, campaign finance reform, and banning politically incorrect speech would follow? It is impossible to say.

Incidentally, how many times did the words “limited speech” appear in print, commentaries, High Court decisions, etc., prior to 1919? How many times did James Madison invoke those words?

It is no secret that all governments just love protecting meaningless speech, while all governments claim the absolute Right to define “clear and present danger.” In every form of government do not falsely shout FIRE in a crowded theater becomes do not shout FIRE in an empty theater. Then it becomes do not shout FIRE! And finally do not speak at all.

Finally, one unshakable fact about speech is universal. All speech, by its very nature, is most closely related to “Let the buyer beware.”
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May 2018
East Coast Of U.S.A.
I am zero percent in favor of freedom of the press:

If Americans want to protect the First Amendment start by eliminating these four words ——“or of the press” —— so that it reads:​
The only justification for a free press is when it maintains an antagonistic relationship towards government; every government —— liberal and conservative, democracy and dictatorship. America’s free press has not been antagonistic toward government in more than a century. Television actually promotes government as well as glorifying government scum regardless of what they do; hence, freedom of the press is the one First Amendment freedom that is not worth defending.

Incidentally, decades before television replaced print it was Hollywood propagandists who told Americans that a free press and those rummies in Washington have an antagonistic relationship when the exact opposite was true.

A. Dru Kristenev is much kinder than me:

Interesting how the press will call upon the Constitution when its suits their purpose but manages to miss the point entirely.​
James Madison, in a speech before the First Congress, June 8, 1789 stated, “The people shall not be deprived or abridged of their right to speak, to write, or to publish their sentiments; and the freedom of the press, as one of the great bulwarks of liberty, shall be inviolable.” (boldface added)​
First Amendment was never intended to give the press elite status or guarantee that its rights overshadowed those of other citizens​
NOTE: The press promoted itself from elitist to elite.

Freedom of the press was intended to be protected in that the practices of the British Crown at the time was to silence voiced and printed opinion by jailing the dissenters. However, the First Amendment was never intended to give the press elite status or guarantee that its rights overshadowed those of other citizens.​
The First Amendment guarantees a right to free speech however unpopular the speaker’s or writer’s words may be. It did not give representatives of the press a superlative right to hinder private citizens’ and public officials’ customary activities or duties.​
In this country, the press has been encouraged to inquire about and report events, and throughout our history it has questioned the actions of individuals and corporations, private and public. The press has a duty to faithfully investigate issues that affect the public and report upon them but it has never been given a free hand to trespass, violate and trample the rights of others. That includes those in the public eye.​
For some reason, especially over the last 50 years, members of the press have been encouraged to be aggressive and confrontational, believing that their “right to know” supersedes every other citizen’s rights.​
Not so.​
A free press operates with respect for the rights of others because it has a responsibility to protect those rights by publishing corroborated facts, which is the opposite of how many in the media now conduct their business. What occurred at the White House, where a member of the press corps’ pass was revoked, is an example of just how unconscionably disrespectful the press has become of others’ rights by taking license to act the boor. The CNN correspondent’s aggressive refusal to relinquish the microphone was, in itself, enough of a transgression of the rules to warrant his removal from the premises.​
When I served as a reporter, it was understood that you applied for press credentials which had to be earned. Press passes weren’t handed out to anyone who identified themselves as a journalist. Both the media outlet (print, web or broadcast) and the individual were verified as legitimate, including a track record of accurate reporting and circulation numbers. Even a reporter from a high school newspaper could gain eligibility to receive a press pass if the venue could accommodate them. And accommodation is a major issue when addressing the limited size of a venue such as the White House press room.​
Every time a reporter crossed the line of basic courtesy when posing tough queries (which were and are anticipated from an adversarial press, a role the Founders wished it to fill), they could expect to be shown the door. Hostile questions are one thing, combative attitudes and behaving contemptuously are quite another. No member of the press has the right to abuse their station any more than a government official may abuse theirs.​
Should a member of the media be ejected from their privileged position due to inappropriate actions, it is not for the judiciary to jump in and restore the reporter’s good standing. Why? Because they lost that standing by abusing their favored position.​
Acosta has lost his hard pass for despising the privilege with inappropriate conduct.​
In the circumstance of CNN’s White House rep, the attempt by a judge to make his banishment from the press corps a Fifth Amendment issue proves how the judiciary has misapplied the Constitution. Jim Acosta lost the privilege of covering the White House as a member of the elect press corps because of his abusive actions. For a judge to stretch the meaning of the clause by ruling that the reporter didn’t receive due process is a gross perversion of law:​

“...nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law;”​
This is not a criminal case nor is the reporter being deprived of life, liberty or property. Acosta is not barred from plying his trade, which he can do anywhere other than at the White House. He has lost his hard pass for despising the privilege with inappropriate conduct. Like too many journalists, he believes that working for media gives him the right to enter premises simply because he is a member of an exclusive club.​
That is not the case. Any beat reporter will tell you that playing by the rules of civility (despite what democrats say) is more effective than conflict in obtaining an accurate story. Abuse your position and the source will clam up and/or throw you out. Acosta deserved to be thrown out.​

Founders wanted a protected press, not an elitist class​
By A. Dru Kristenev​
November 18, 2018​