“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”Although freedom of the press is not the first concern mentioned, it is in the Top Ten. Currently there has been concern expressed about this because the Department of Justice has evidently been seeking and obtaining the phone records of journalists in a quest to find out who was leaking information.
We are hearing a lot of breast beating about the Department of Justice obtaining the phone records for a bunch of spoiled brat reporters who think they are above the law and have the right to destroy the country for a paycheck. They get people to leak information that can damage our national security and claim it is for us. This is an ongoing saga.
What is the real issue here? I don’t think anyone questions the importance of a free press. I don’t see that being the matter on the table. Last I heard, no one was threatening to put any journalists in jail for their irresponsible behavior. I might like to see it but that is often my partisan concerns. I understand that the law is supposed to be blind. Again, “freedom of the press” is not the issue here.
Freedom of the Press is not the same as freedom of the snitch. That is what the journalists are concerned about. They are not worried about their right to publish what they want and have no responsibility for the help or harm that results. They are protected and if they would honestly do their job as watchdogs on government instead of cheerleaders for the administration the public would be totally on their side.
What they want is to get people to break the law, their oaths of office and promises they have made and not have to pay the piper. That is a different issue. If you want to “leak” half truths and selected information in order to destroy someone who you disagree with politically, go for it. But be prepared to pay the price if you are caught. That is also a part of liberty.
Since I know how the Camel’s Nose under the Tent works I am forced to side with the irresponsible journalists. If the government wins this they will come after us next. That doesn’t mean I must agree with the media’s methods, motives or mantras.
Liberty can be very complex. Tyranny is simple.
homo unius libri