Tuesday, June 27


Not Even Wrong

Bill Keller, editor of the bleedin' New York Times:
It's an unusual and powerful thing, this freedom that our founders gave to the press.
The founders did no such thing.

The founders recognised a pre-existing freedom, and wrote the Bill of Rights to protect that freedom:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
The founders gave no special freedom to the press at all. What they did was to forbid Congress to legislate against freedom of speech, and freedom of the press.

That pillock Keller again:

The power that has been given us is not something to be taken lightly.
You haven't been given anything. You have arrogated power to yourself, and hold yourself unnacountable.

Draping yourself in the Constitution at this point is not going to convince anyone.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 10:16 PM | Comments (3) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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1 More to the point, "The Press" isn't/aren't the only people who get to exercise "freedom of the press". Every citizen has that right equally. The First Amendment <i>does not</i> sanctify "The Press" as any kind of fourth establishment of government in the US, or in fact recognize "The Press" as an institution in any way, shape, or form.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at Wednesday, June 28 2006 02:33 AM (+rSRq)

2 Good point.

When they say, "freedom of the press", they are talking about the use of printing presses.  That is, individuals are free to speak what they think, and free to publish what they write.  This
indicates that the use of "the Press" to mean the journalistic community is a 20th century development.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at Wednesday, June 28 2006 04:00 AM (FRalS)

3 Tom Paine, for instance, was a pamphleteer, the 1700s equivalent of a blogger, not a newspaper.  The Founders certainly understood the distinction.

Posted by: TallDave at Sunday, July 09 2006 04:04 PM (H8Wgl)

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