Tag Archives: Justice William Brennan

Campaign spawns threat to press freedom

The press doesn’t stop publishing, by the way, in a fascist escalation; it simply watches what it says. That too can be an incremental process, and the pace at which the free press polices itself depends on how journalists are targeted ~ Naomi Wolf

If one can have a favorite Constitutional Amendment, mine would be the First Amendment, which affirms the fundamental right of every American to speak and to know what’s going on. Though I often rail against the flaws of the press – everything from corporate overstretch to lousy grammar to editorial posturing – it’s because I care so much. So, when a presidential candidate calls out a respected journalist, who happens to be a woman, it is not anger, but pain, that erupts. (http://mediamatters.org/video/2016/11/02/trump-attacks-nbcs-katy-tur-during-florida-rally/214253)

The pain is exacerbated by the realization that the candidate in question is building an information arsenal, aided by his donors, so that he can shape both the message and the medium of distribution. On the one hand, my limited knowledge of media bears the indelible mark of Marshall McLuhan’s prescience. More to the point, life has taught me that the congenital disposition to silence one member of the press will not cease when the last vote is cast and counted.

Life has also taught me that the dictionary definition of bully is “a person who uses strength or power to harm or intimidate those who are weaker…”

Freedom of the press has been tested in the courts since before the ink dried on the Bill of Rights. The candidate in question seems generally unfamiliar with the document and/or the concept. With impunity he expels, excoriates, attempts to embarrass and thus intimidate the press. His legendary “good brain” apparently does not store the words of Justice William Brennan who ruled that “public discussion is a political duty, and that this should be a fundamental principle of the American government.”