Friday, January 22, 2010

With all the hysteria about the recent Supreme Court decision opining that the First Amendment actually protects political speech, I found this summary the easiest to get my arms around:
The 1st Amendment doesn't just protect freedom of speech. It also protects freedom of the press.

In the late 20th century, a concerted effort was made to create a mythology that "the press" is somehow synonymous with "journalism as taught at Columbia". And it's not. "The press" is actually synonymous with "any group of assholes banded together to provide any information or opinion content whatsoever to the public".

The state has no right to declare what organizations are and are not the press. If the corporation that publishes the New York Times can engage in political speech, so can every other corporation. The SCOTUS specifically endorsed this argument in its ruling today.

Update: The Wall Street Journal sums it up nicely
The Court's opinion is especially effective in dismantling McCain-Feingold's arbitrary exemption for media corporations. Thus a corporation that owns a newspaper—News Corp. or the New York Times—retains its First Amendment right to speak freely. "At the same time, some other corporation, with an identical business interest but no media outlet in its ownership structure, would be forbidden to speak or inform the public about the same issue," wrote Justice Kennedy. "This differential treatment cannot be squared with the First Amendment."


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home