Did you know that The Capital Times and The Nation are mentioned in The Constitution of the United States? Specifically, in the First Amendment?
Neither did I. Sorry for the trick question, but John Nichols thinks they are.
In a piece blasting (who else?) Donald Trump (“The enemy of the people …” blah blah blah), Comrade Nichols makes this remarkable assertion:
…that is why our press was protected by the First Amendment — the only business in America specifically protected by the Constitution …
The only “business”? You mean, haberdashers are left unprotected? Hod carriers bereft of the Constitution? HVAC contractors out in the unconstitutional cold?
Only “The Press,” aka the news media, enjoys that special status? Really, John?
It is typical of the Left to regard the term “the Press” to mean exclusively the institutional news media — the New York Times, CBS, CNN, et cetera. Corporations, all. Because the Left vigorously denies the blessings of free speech to us commoners, the deplorables!
The truth is that the basement conspiracy-monger, high on mimeograph fluid, has as much First Amendment protection as Chuck Todd. The fact is that Koch Industries has every bit of constitutional protection for its free speech as The Capital Times or, for that matter, Stately Blaska Manor. Because nothing in the Constitution singles out one “business” for more constitutional protection than another.
That is an absurdity, John, and you should know better.
Socialists want Citizens United repealed
Nichols is still fantasizing that McCain-Feingold remains the law of the land. That ill-conceived government over-reach DID grant the institutional press (good luck defining that!**) a generous carve-out from its top-heavy, government regulation of political speech. No wonder it was ruled unconstitutional in Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission (2010).
Nichols, the news media corporations, and the Democrat(ic) party itself, are adamant that the First Amendment should be gelded to limit free speech only for the credentialed experts in Press Row. Where is your journalism degree?! Papers!
Justice Scalia says the First Amendment means what it says:
The Amendment is written in terms of “speech,” not speakers. Its text offers no foothold for excluding any category of speaker, from single individuals to partnerships of individuals, to unincorporated associations of individuals, to incorporated associations of individuals … “All the provisions of the Bill of Rights set forth the rights of individual men and women — not, for example, of trees or polar bears. But the individual person’s right to speak includes the right to speak in association with other individual persons.
Surely the dissent does not believe that speech by the Republican Party or the Democratic Party can be censored because it is not the speech of “an individual American.”
Trump’s public approval ratings are historically under water. Even so, the American public remains down on the institutional news media (aka “The Press”). The Wall Street Journal/NBC poll says a majority of Americans surveyed, 51%, think the news media has been overly critical of Trump; 41% say the press is doing a good job.
(** In Citizens United, Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote that in age of blogs, tweets, and twitters, everyone is a journalist. Indeed, Madame Brenda Konkel, of all people, won a small victory when she insisted on being seated in press row at Madison Common Council meetings. She does blog, after all.)
Biased? Who? The news media? The Wall Street Journal notes that the New York Times “ran a front-page story saying that reporters who thought Mr. Trump was a dangerous demagogue “have to throw out the textbook American journalism has been using for the better part of the past half-century, if not longer.”
CNN happily broadcast repeated references to an accusation-filled “dossier” of negative rumors about Mr. Trump without bothering to confirm they were true.