Saturday, November 01, 2008


I know that no one's defending Palin on her stunning amendment views, but I just can't get over my horror, so I'll offer more on on the topic. This is A. Serwer writing at Tapped who says it better than I can:

"If [the media] convince enough voters that that is negative campaigning, for me to call Barack Obama out on his associations," Palin told host Chris Plante, "then I don't know what the future of our country would be in terms of First Amendment rights and our ability to ask questions without fear of attacks by the mainstream media."
This understanding of the First Amendment, not as freedom of speech, but as freedom of speech limited to me and those who share my political views, coupled with a freedom from criticism of those views, is the most frightening interpretation of the Constitution I've ever heard in my life. Those "attacks" from the MSM are protected under the Constitution, Palin's "right" to be "free" from such "attacks" (read: critical coverage) is most definitely not.

But this bizarre interpretation is at the core of the right's complaints about unfavorable media coverage. Rush Limbaugh typically invokes this "understanding" of the First Amendment when criticizing groups like Media Matters, accusing them of being "Stalinist" for recording his nationally broadcast programming and calling him out on inaccuracies or flagrant bigotries. In Limbaugh and Palin's minds, the First Amendment protects not only their speech but shields any criticism of said speech.

And as Ben Smith points out, the First Amendment exists to protect people from government, not the other way around, which is what makes Palin's interpretation of the Constitution so deeply alarming.


Michael said...

Maybe Mac can hire Hewitt as a con law tutor before the inauguration.

Michael said...

Wait a minute. Barry taught con law and he'll have some free time...

Stephanie said...
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