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Saturday, October 8, 2011

I want my free press back.



The First Amendment (Amendment I) to the United States Constitution is part of the Bill of Rights. The amendment prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, impeding the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances.


Regular readers know I started RedEye's Front Page when I was banned from Left in Alabama, and, that I've asked for reinstatement to no avail. Well, one of my fellow liberal Bloggers joined me in the banishment box when they were banned from another "progressive" blog last week because they posted a diary the "owners" didn't like, prompting them to ask "what kind of progressive blog is this?" Names redacted.

For the record, I agree with XXX that XXXXX XXX has the right to ban me or anyone else they so choose. Those of us on the outside have the right to ask: "What is this Web site really all about? Is it about progressive ideas or something else?'


And this
Again, XXX has every right to do that, but I question what kind of agenda they really have. Questioning authority, and reporting on misconduct, are fundamentals of liberalism and an aggressive press--as I see it. If XXX does not support such activities, I don't think liberals should look to that site to spearhead any meaningful change that will benefit regular folks.


This Blogger believes Blog owners have the right to ban people, just like ESPN had the right to fire Hank Williams, Jr. after his comparison of President Obama to Hitler on Fox and Friends. I vehemently disagree with both premises. I believe to ban people because they express a point of view owners and editors don't agree with is a violation of the First Amendment. If you can lose your job, or be banned from publishing because of something you write, do you have freedom of speech? I submit the answer is NO.

This is how another fellow Blogger interprets the First Amendment
Freedom of the press belongs to the owner of the press. Don't ask me, ask the SCOTUS. I put it on my business card because a keyboard and a camera are my press.


Oh really? Think about that first sentence. Freedom of the press belongs to the owner of the press. Are owners of the press free to suppress the opinions of those who aren't owners? Are owners of the press the only ones with freedom of speech? I HOPE not.

As for asking SCOTUS, need I remind readers of the Citizens United Ruling?
Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 558 U.S. _ (2010), was a landmark decision by the United States Supreme Court holding that the First Amendment protects corporate and union funding of independent political broadcasts in candidate elections. The 5–4 decision originated in a dispute over whether the non-profit corporation Citizens United could air a film critical of Hillary Clinton, and whether the group could advertise the film in broadcast ads featuring Clinton's image, in apparent violation of the 2002 Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act, commonly known as the McCain–Feingold Act, in reference to its primary Senate sponsors.[2]


I guess it's hard for people who haven't had to fight for basic civil and human rights to understand what is at stake here, but this freedom of the press belongs to the owner of the press meme is beginning to sound like the private businesses don't have to serve blacks meme.

The press is not a private business.
Freedom of the press or freedom of the media is the freedom of communication and expression through vehicles including various electronic media and published materials. While such freedom mostly implies the absence of interference from an overreaching state, its preservation may be sought through constitutional or other legal protections.


I want my free press back.
Fear of serious injury cannot alone justify suppression of free speech and assembly. Men feared witches and burned women. It is the function of speech to free men from the bondage of irrational fears.~Justice Louis D. Brandeis

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