Sorry I have been slacking of late. Illness, getting ready for the yearly Samhain bash, and issues with the child and his schoolwork have kept me swamped. I would promise to do better, but I know Me so I will just say, I will try. Now on to the fantastic world of ‘progressive media’ and ‘network neutrality’.
Alright, let’s start by saying, right now there is nothing currently in congress that I know of that will take away your right to freedom of speech or free press. What we do have though, is more and more people in and around the administration that openly believe that free speech is too free, free press is too free, and internet isn’t free enough. Let’s start with the first two, because they are interconnected.
From Mark Lloyd, FCC diversity czar…
“It should be clear by now that my focus here is not freedom of speech or the press. This freedom is all too often an exaggeration. At the very least, blind references to freedom of speech or the press serve as a distraction from the critical examination of other communications policies.”
Now, we have talked about his views on the fairness doctrine, and how ‘it isn’t enough’ so I won’t revisit. Bottom line, when ANYONE in government, or a government agency says that ANY right is an exaggeration we should be leary. Will some creative people abuse a right, or misuse the constitution to their own ends? Yes. That is beside the point though, these rights protect vastly more Americans than those that take advantage of them.
How bout from Cass Sunstein?
“A legislative effort to regulate broadcasting in the interest of democratic principles should not be seen as an abridgment of the free speech guarantee.”
–Cass R. Sunstein, Democracy and the Problem of Free Speech, The Free Press, 1995, p. 92
“I have argued in favor of a reformulation of First Amendment law. The overriding goal of the reformulation is to reinvigorate processes of democratic deliberation, by ensuring greater attention to public issues and greater diversity of views. The First Amendment should not stand as an obstacle to democratic efforts to accomplish these goals. A New Deal for speech would draw on Justice Brandeis’ insistence on the role of free speech in promoting political deliberation and citizenship. It would reject Justice Holmes’ “marketplace” conception of free speech, a conception that disserves the aspirations of those who wrote America’s founding document.”
–Cass R. Sunstein, Democracy and the Problem of Free Speech, The Free Press, 1995, p. 119
“Consider the “fairness doctrine,” now largely abandoned but once requiring radio and television broadcasters: …[I]n light of astonishing economic and technological changes, we must doubt whether, as interpreted, the constitutional guarantee of free speech is adequately serving democratic goals. It is past time for a large-scale reassessment of the appropriate role of the First Amendment in the democratic process.”
–Cass R. Sunstein, Democracy and the Problem of Free Speech, The Free Press, 1995, p. xi
“A system of limitless individual choices, with respect to communications, is not necessarily in the interest of citizenship and self-government.”
–Cass Sunstein, arguing for a Fairness Doctrine for the Internet in his book, Republic.com 2.0 (Princeton University Press, 2007), p.137
Heard enough? Yeah me too. What don’t these people understand? Have they read the constitution? It is pretty clear…
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise therof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peacably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
What is so hard to understand about that sentence? Do they need clarification?
“Without Freedom of Thought there can be no such Thing as Wisdom; and no such Thing as Public Liberty, without Freedom of Speech.” -Benjamin Franklin, writing as Silence Dogood, No. 8, July 9, 1722
“Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and cannot be limited without being lost.” -Thomas Jefferson
Pretty simple if you ask me. Now the last thing I mentioned was Network Neutrality. If you don’t know what that is check out Free Press and their site. When you do you need to ask yourself a few things. You see, they want the government to take control of the internet and make it free to everyone. They think that content should be ‘fair’ and ‘balanced’ (have we heard this before? Oh yeah, the fairness doctrine). Free Press believes in another welfare handout for everyone, the internet. Now ask yourself, has any amenity that is offered free to everyone, ever been any good? How do they think that the internet, and network technology has advanced as rapidly as it has? It is because there is profit to be made. Yeah I know, some people would like you to believe that profit is bad, and those who seek it are evil, but profit is also what drives innovation. Does anyone really think that faster internet was developed out of the kindness of someone’s heard? Does anyone believe that the personal computer was developed because a couple of geeks wanted to give everyone in the world a free computer? If Network Neutrality is realized the government will have control over the internet. This may give them the power to control what you see, what you can read, what you can post. It will also put telecom companies out of business, and no matter how much we hate paying those bills, those bills are the reason that we have faster and faster internet. One sure way to make internet a shining symbol of mediocrity is to make it free, and give control to our government.
Keep your eyes open, the more control we allow government to take, the more liberty we throw away.