Jul
01
2014

The Deeply Held Religious Principle Hobby Lobby Suddenly Remembered It Had

hobbylobby-e1396012499468

Coverage of the Hobby Lobby Supreme Court ruling should note that the company used to provide the kind of coverage it now deems a violation of its religious beliefs.

Apr
03
2014

The Point of Limiting Donations Isn't to Make Elections Cheaper or Less Irritating

Money as speech

The point of contribution limits isn't to make elections cheaper; it's to limit the ability of the very wealthy to dominate politics.

Sep
10
2013

Barrett Brown Can't Talk About Why the Government Wants to Jail Him for a Century

Barrett Brown

In the US government's campaign against journalists, Barret Brown is one of the lesser-known victims. And now even less will be forthcoming about his story, as the Texas-based writer, satirist and Internet activist is under a federal court gag order, forbidden to talk about his case.

Aug
20
2013

When the State Attacks Journalism

greenwald-miranda

Attacks on journalists should outrage every reporter–and anyone who cares about a free press.

Jul
03
2013

Dick Durbin Wants to Stop You From Being a Journalist

Sen. Dick Durbin (cc photo: Center for American Progress Action Fund)

Sen.  Dick Durbin (D.-Ill.), writing in the Chicago Sun-Times ("It's Time to Say Who's a Real Reporter," 6/26/13), says it's time to stop letting just anyone call themselves a journalist. Everyone, regardless of the mode of expression, has a constitutionally protected right to free speech. But when it comes to freedom of the press, I believe we must define a journalist and the constitutional and statutory protections those journalists should receive. By this he means, basically, that the First Amendment's guarantee of freedom of the press probably don't apply to you: Not every blogger, tweeter or Facebook user is a […]

Jun
30
2013

Chalk Another One Up to Free Speech Hypocrisy

Prosecuting chalkers, not banksters.

It seems inadequate for U.S. media outlets to critique the level of free expression in the country where NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden is seeking asylum without comparing it to the level of free expression in the country he is seeking asylum from. While the United States has on paper some of the best guarantees of the right to speak in the world, its practice is considerably more chilling.

Jun
25
2013

People Who Urge Calm Over NSA Spying Make Me Nervous

Hendrik Hertzberg (cc photo: Spencer Selvidge/Texas Tribune)

It's as if it's not possible for the government to violate people's Fourth Amendment rights (to be protected against "unreasonable searches and seizures") unless it violates their First Amendment rights at the same time.

Jun
24
2013

David Gregory Doesn't Understand David Gregory's Snowden Question

gregory-greenwald

NBC's David Gregory didn't just "ask a question." The question as posed assumed that the Guardian's Glenn Greenwald was involved in a crime–aiding and abetting–and the question Gregory was pondering was the extent of his wrongdoing.

Jun
05
2013

Brian Williams Makes the Case for Putting NBC on Trial

NBC's Brian Williams called Bradley Manning "the man who may have put U.S. military secrets in the hands of Osama bin Laden." But giving classified information to the public is something that news outlets–including NBC News–routinely do, and each time they do it they too could be accused of "aiding the enemy."

Jun
03
2013

Did Obama Flip Flop on the War Against the Press?

gregory-mtp-flip

While Meet the Press's David Gregory is playing "gotcha" by selectively editing Barack Obama's speeches, the real story here is that the administration's record of targeting investigative journalism is all too consistent.

May
23
2013

Yes, You Can Be for Press Freedom and Still Think Journalists Ought to Do Their Jobs Well

Kirsten Powers

The reality is that it is possible to both protest government intrusions on press freedom and to condemn bad journalism of the sort practiced by Jonathan Karl. It's important for protect journalism from official control for the same reason that it's important for media outlets to do a good job.

May
16
2013

The Supreme Court Is an Ass

The government attacking press freedom.

From Free Press's helpful explainer of the AP phone records scandal, noting the legal background: Smith v. Maryland — In this 1979 decision, the Supreme Court found that people have no expectation of privacy when it comes to the numbers they call because they understand it has to be transmitted through a third party (telephone company). Thus, the [Digital Media Law Project] notes,  "the government can obtain that information simply by issuing a subpoena to a telephone company or other third party." As Mr. Bumble says, "If the law supposes that, the law is a ass–a idiot." Everyone who wouldn't […]

Dec
04
2012

Julian Assange, Erin Burnett and the Battle Over Press Freedom

burnett-assange

There seems to be an expectation in the Assange case that a dissident must take refuge with a government with a sterling human rights record. This message is conveyed by journalists whose own country has detained, harassed and killed their journalistic colleagues.