Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

“Men are expendable; women and children are not. A tribe or a nation can lose a high percentage of its men and still pick up the pieces and go on, as long as the women and children are saved. But if you fail to save the women and children, you've had it, you're done, you're through! You join Tyrannosaurus Rex, one more breed that bilged its final test.”     Robert A. Heinlein,    Address at the U.S. Naval Academy April 5, 1973

June 16, 2009

Obama’s disdain for free speech

by Stephen Gordon

According to Drudge, President Obama plans to take a bigger step closer to totalitarianism regarding the separation of the media and the state.

On the night of June 24, the media and government become one, when ABC turns its programming over to President Obama and White House officials to push government run health care — a move that has ignited an ethical firestorm!

Highlights on the agenda:

ABCNEWS anchor Charlie Gibson will deliver WORLD NEWS from the Blue Room of the White House.

The network plans a primetime special — ‘Prescription for America’ — originating from the East Room, exclude opposing voices on the debate.

Of course, ABC promises to keep the coverage fair and balanced.

I sort of welcome this move, as it provides some the transparency Obama promised. If the mainstream media is to be Obama’s propaganda team, why not move their offices over to the White House?

However, Obama doesn’t treat the free speech rights of those he doesn’t like in the same manner.  Obama seems poised to sign a bill which will further erode the rights of tobacco companies to advertise:

The marketing and advertising restrictions in the tobacco law that Congress passed last week are likely to be challenged in court on free-speech grounds, but supporters of the legislation say they carefully drafted the law to comply with the First Amendment.

The law’s ban on outdoor advertising within 1,000 feet of schools and playgrounds would effectively outlaw legal advertising in many cities, critics of the prohibition said. And restricting stores and many forms of print advertising to black-and-white text, as the law specifies, would interfere with legitimate communication to adults, tobacco companies and advertising groups said in letters to Congress. [snip]

Opponents of the new strictures, including the Association of National Advertisers and the American Civil Liberties Union, predict that federal courts will throw out the new marketing restrictions. They point to a 2001 Supreme Court decision that struck down a Massachusetts rule imposing a similar ban on advertising within 1,000 feet of schools.

“Anybody looking at this in a fair way would say the effort here is not just to protect kids, which is a substantial interest of the country, but to make it virtually impossible to communicate with anybody,” said Daniel Jaffe, executive vice president of the Association of National Advertisers. “We think this creates very serious problems for the First Amendment.” [snip]

“The bill has been carefully drafted, and I am confident that the provisions will be upheld,” Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., a sponsor of the legislation, said in a statement Monday.

Matthew Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, an advocacy group that pushed for the law, said: “Frankly, the tobacco industry and the advertising industry have never heard of an advertising restriction that they thought was constitutional. In this case, great care was taken to permit black-and-white text advertising that permits them to communicate whatever truthful information they have.”

While Obama continues to destroy our economy, wreck the automobile industry and put our health care system on life support, he’s now taking swipes at the First Amendment.

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3 Comments

  1. I’m with you on the transparency bit. I don’t know what to make of the whole tobacco situation. They subsidize the farmers, gouge the manufacturers, force them to advertise against their product, limit their ability to advertise for it, and now they seem to want outright control of the industry. Will this make the government(taxpayers) liable for future deaths/illness?

    Comment by John222 — June 16, 2009 @ 6:57 pm
  2. “I sort of welcome this move, as it provides some the transparency Obama promised. If the mainstream media is to be Obama’s propaganda team, why not move their offices over to the White House?”

    If you think the media is only NOW starting to become Obama’s (and the DNC’s) propaganda arm, where have you been?

    I welcome it too. I welcome it because the more things like this happen, the less plausible it becomes for people to keep their blinders firmly in place about the ‘neutrality’ or objectivity of virtually every single National news outlet in this country – both print, and broadcast – which is not Fox News, the WSJ, or the entertainment political commentary found (for the time being) on A.M. radio.

    I want over the top stuff like this to increase and become even MORE in your face and over the top. I want the biased, agenda-driven, spin to become SO blatant, that denial of its existence can no longer be a topic of debate among sane people.

    Good step in that direction by ABC. Glad to see it.

    Comment by southernjames — June 17, 2009 @ 5:22 am
  3. Also glad to see this move by ABC and the Usurper. Anything to wake the people up. Do you know about the National Animal Identification System that would track every livestock animal in this country, including someone like me with a few hens, some pigs, and a horse. It is the biggest tracking of private property that this country has ever seen. See my blog to learn more about it. I mean, for heaven’s sake, a pedophile doesn’t even have to tell the gov’t when he leaves his home and when he returns.

    Comment by Henwhisperer — June 18, 2009 @ 4:22 pm

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