Daily Archives: October 31, 2008

Freedom From the Press

Responding to Sarah Palin’s expressed fear that media criticism of her public comments amounts to suppressing her First Amendment rights, Glenn Greenwald gives a short lesson on freedom of expression as guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution:

The First Amendment is actually not that complicated. It can be read from start to finish in about 10 seconds. It bars the Government from abridging free speech rights. It doesn’t have anything to do with whether you’re free to say things without being criticized, or whether you can comment on blogs without being edited, or whether people can bar you from their private planes because they don’t like what you’ve said.

If anything, Palin has this exactly backwards, since one thing that the First Amendment does actually guarantee is a free press. Thus, when the press criticizes a political candidate and a Governor such as Palin, that is a classic example of First Amendment rights being exercised, not abridged.

So, yeah, she may have more “executive experience” than Barack Obama, but I think we can see why a constitutional scholar would be more prefereable. That is, if the last eight years of domestic espionage, secret detentions and torture were not enough.

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