By Mr. Curmudgeon:
The elitists of America’s Fourth Estate are beginning to realize they aren’t so special after all. The Associated Press, Fox News and, possibly, CBS have been targeted by Attorney General Eric Holder’s Justice Department – in a fashion similar to the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of the Tea Party. At issue is national security, by which the Obama Administration means its own scandal-plagued backside. The Fast and Furious, Benghazi and IRS cover-ups have removed the bloom from the Rose that was once the Obama presidency.
Enter Illinois Senator Dick Durbin.
Speaking with Fox News host Chris Wallace last Sunday, Durbin floated a White House trial balloon he hopes will win back support of the waffling Obama media. Durbin will support legislation protecting the press from government harassment with one proviso: “Here is the bottom line,” Durban told Wallace, “the media shield law, which I am prepared to support … still leaves an unanswered question, which I have raised many times: What is a journalist today in 2013? We know it’s someone that works for Fox or AP, but does it include a blogger? Does it include someone who is tweeting? Are these people journalists and entitled to constitutional protection?”
White House spokesman Jay Carney seconded Durban’s motion when answering a question regarding the Justice Department’s seizing of journalist’s phone records and emails. “He [the president] is a strong defender of the First Amendment and a firm believer in the need for the press to be able to conduct investigative reporting and facilitate a free flow of information. He is also, as a citizen and as commander-in-chief, insistent that we protect our secrets. That we protect classified information and that leaks … can endanger the lives of men and women in uniform and other Americans serving overseas for our country. That is a balance he seeks, and it is reflected in the media shield-law that his administration negotiated with the Senate in 2009, and which the president is very happy to see the Senate take up again. That’s a balance that was endorsed at the time from media organizations to federal prosecutors. I cannot, of course, comment on a specific, ongoing criminal investigation.”
In other words, Durban and the White House will work to protect a dying mainstream media from government harassment if they get onboard with the administration’s agenda to delegitimize the free speech of alternative media– the ones that scooped them on stories like Fast and Furious. In the meantime, they should consider themselves part of an “ongoing criminal investigation.”
The president has stated in no uncertain terms he believes unalienable rights are privileges that “come with responsibilities.” Individual rights take second place to meeting the needs of “one another” and “to future generations.” That’s a roundabout way of saying he believes unalienable rights bind us together in a transcontinental chain gang. But our Washington overlords are willing to throw the occasional bone in the direction of a chosen few … provided they play ball.
Progressive authoritarians, which include many in the mainstream media, play fast and loose with our constitutional rights, parsing their meaning. Our Second Amendment right to bear arms, they insist, applies solely to a “well-regulated Militia.” How do they defend this claim? They say a comma separates the clause containing “Militia” from the one reading “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms.”
If a common comma strips law-abiding Americans of their right to bear arms, the same surely applies to a free press.
So, here’s the First Amendment as written: “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.”
Did you notice the individual’s freedom of speech comes first? A pesky comma separates us from the press. By a Progressive’s reading of the Bill of Rights, the citizen blogger’s right to free speech is sacrosanct, while the mainstream media can be regulated at the whim of lawyers from Eric Holder’s Justice Department.
That, of course, is a load of garbage.
Sen. Durban and President Obama would like nothing more than to issue royal charters creating a government-approved press – like China, North Korea, Iran and Saudi Arabia. There’s just one minor problem. The First Amendment begins with the five most beautiful words in the English language: “Congress shall make no law …”
Americans are so numb to the erosion of their liberties that Progressives can’t help but push the totalitarian envelope.
“President Wilson once said, ‘If you want to make enemies, try to change something,’” said President Obama. You see, the century old enemy of Progressives is your individual rights as protected by the United States Constitution.