Thursday, October 29, 2009

Free Speech; Fox News; Citizens United vs. FEC -- a truly weighty case for the Supreme Court

Fox News’ ratings have been off the charts lately, and it has the White House to thank for that. After the administration decreed that Fox is not a “legitimate news organization” and that people shouldn’t watch it, more people than ever are tuning in to see Glenn Beck and Bill O’Reilly fight back...But we shouldn’t be so entertained by this spectacle that we lose sight of why, at bottom, it is a disturbing one. It’s not just because, as many commentators have already observed, the president appears to be taking a page out of Nixon’s playbook. Fundamentally, it’s because the administration’s media war against Fox is but a minor display of the tremendous power the government has to stifle speech it views as illegitimate...With the Obama administration now arguing that Fox News is a partisan political group masked as a news outlet, expect politicians to call for the government to revoke the network’s media exemption and use the campaign finance laws to mute its speech. Other networks will be on notice that they could suffer the same fate if they are too critical of the administration...Of course, if the media’s speech becomes illegitimate — and thus subject to restriction — when it turns critical, then the same is true for everyone else...For example, take grassroots groups such as the tea party protesters...Looking for payback, politicians are now proposing to subject those groups to so-called “disclosure” laws that will discourage them from protesting by wrapping them up in miles and miles of red tape if they dare to continue to speak out.Is Dissent 'Legtimate'? Not According to Campaign Finance Laws, Bert Gall and Robert Frommer, Pajamas Media, 10/29/2009

Gall and Frommer blast the door open on the real objectives in White House vs. Fox. The Administration, in its pathological narcissism, wants to silence FOX while Congress wants to silence Tea Party protests. What stands between acting like a free American and tyranny?

Fortunately, it appears that the U.S. Supreme Court is about to remind politicians that free speech is a right, not a privilege subject to their mercurial whims. In the coming weeks, the Supreme Court will issue a decision in the case of Citizens United v. FEC. ...(Dissent 'Legitimate>', cont'd)

It's not often that a Supreme Court case holds the entire national life in thrall, but Citizens United vs. FEC (Federal Election Commission) is that vital, and that important. The issue here is the core of McCain-Feingold, the banana republic 'campaign reform' law passed some time back, a law that seems written to ensure that incumbents stay in office. It has already been partially overturned by a previous decision. This case goes right to the heart of that oppressive law. There isn't much to do but depend on the Court's Constitutionally protected objectivity. One hopes we can. Otherwise, there will only one voice allowed to speak in America, and we will have truly changed, from a free people to the servants of a tyrant.


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