May 16, 2010

David Gregory and Chuck Schumer demagogue the Citizens United case on "Meet the Press" today.

If there's one thing you should know about Citizens United v. FEC, it's that it's not about corporate contributions to political candidates. It's about corporations engaging in their own political speech (and spending money in the process). Now, here's today's "Meet the Press" transcript. Chuck Schumer is in the middle of singing the praises of Elena Kagan.
MR. GREGORY:  ... What, what does she mean for the overall direction of the court? ... Is she a liberal or is she a moderate?

SEN. SCHUMER:  I--look, I think she's--she tends to be a moderate when you look at her writings.  But I think that's less important.  When the president called me and asked me what was the number one criteria [sic] for a nominee--this was before he chose Kagan--I said I think it should be somebody who will be in the majority of five rather than the minority of four; someone who'll have the--not only the intellect--and everyone says she's brilliant--but the force of personality, the practicality to try and create coalitions.  I think a lot of us, at least on the Democratic side, were shocked by the Citizens United case, for instance.  And...

MR. GREGORY:  Just remind people, this was about political contributions.
No, it wasn't!
SEN. SCHUMER:  This is the case that said unlimited corporate money could flow into our politics undisclosed in any way....
No, it didn't!
... and it's really--I mean, the First Amendment's important, but so is the sanctity of our political process, so that the average person has a say.  And I was shocked at this.  
And I am shocked at you and Gregory deliberately misleading viewers. Deliberately or ignorantly. I'm guessing deliberately. At least for Schumer. Gregory might be a dunce. I don't know.
Maybe a Kagan on the court could have persuaded a Justice Kennedy that the practical--you know, the abstract notion of First Amendment triumphs everything has a balance, and the balance is the practical effects of that. And my hope would be she would do it, and that's what I'm looking for.
What? I have this TiVo'd, so let me check. That is what he said, word for word. I think there should be another dash, after "triumphs," but it's still damned near incomprehensible. I'm guessing he meant: Justice Kennedy thinks the abstract notion of the First Amendment triumphs, but in fact, abstractions should always be balanced against real world practical effects, and if Kagan were on the Court she might persuade Kennedy to move away from abstractions and focus more on real-world effects.

That's something some people want to say about constitutional interpretation, and that's fine. Say it. But: 1. Say it clearly, and 2. Don't LIE about what the real world effects are.

139 comments:

Steve said...

"Shocked . . . Shocked"

campy said...

But– but– but Democrats have to lie to win elections.

Methadras said...

Schumer has always been a Demorgogue

lemondog said...

MR. GREGORY: Just remind people, this was about political contributions.

No, it wasn't!


Did you email Meet the Press/ Gregory to offer a correction of Gregory's mistake?

Ann Althouse said...

"Did you email Meet the Press/ Gregory to offer a correction of Gregory's mistake?"

He said it on the TV show. This is a transcript. There's no correcting to be done to the transcript which can only be what he said. As for communicating to him that he's made a mistake, this is my chosen method of communication: public criticism. Call it political speech. I have a right to do it... at least until these jackasses get enough of their judges on the Court and I find out that the real-world effects of my free speech outweigh the abstraction of my freedom.

edutcher said...

A woman who wants to 'redistribute' speech is a moderate? The weird part is that you really get the impression these people believe their lies.

Well, at least, Chuckie says he was shocked, too. Inspecteur Reynaud must have a full staff these days.

Ann Althouse said...

And I am shocked at you and Gregory deliberately misleading viewers. Deliberately or ignorantly. I'm guessing deliberately. At least for Schumer. Gregory might be a dunce. I don't know.

Might? Take a look at how he acted when he was the White House correspondent for the Peacock four years ago.

New "Hussein" Ham said...

Palin: "I mean, the First Amendment's important."

Schumer: "I mean, the First Amendment's important, but ..."

It's time to retire these motherfuckers one way or the other.

Kensington said...

Well, David Gregory is a professional television journalist, so a dunce level of incompetence wouldn't be at all surprising.

The Drill SGT said...

Tim Russert was a liberal, but he was a serious professional journalist when he did his weekly show. And he prepared well.

David Gregory is a tool.

Russert must be embarrassed at how they continue to use his reputation to sell this poor imitation.

-------------
t least until these jackasses get enough of their judges on the Court and I find out that the real-world effects of my free speech outweigh the abstraction of my freedom.

Wow, say something else in conservative :)

damikesc said...

Citizens United...a verdict so horrible that Dems must constantly invent what it was about. You would think it didn't center around a law forbidding the airing of a movie about somebody who wasn't actually a candidate for President close to an election.

Of course, our constitutional genius in chief believes the same thing, so one must wonder what Lefty blog serves as the provider of info for the entire Dem party.

New "Hussein" Ham said...

Here's what Schumer doesn't understand: The Supreme Court is protecting him from himself.

If Chuck Schumer was to actually, you know, get his way, blood would run in the streets. Does he think we won't rise up and smite his fucking ass? Because we fucking will.

And I think the Supreme Court understands the risk and wrote in their opinion how dangerous it was for Elena Kagan to even advance the arguments she advanced in the case.

The citizenry will not stand for the proposition that the elected get to decide which speech is to be protected. We'll die first.

That's the concept Chuck Schumer doesn't get that the Supreme Court does get. The Supreme Court understands the danger that Kagan's argument represented in Citizens United.

Has a Supreme Court ever - ever - cautioned a Solicitor General in its opinion about the mortal danger inherent in that solicitor's argument before the court? It was an unprecedented slap in the face to Elena Kagan and Barack Obama. And Barack Obama only nominated Kagan to hit back twice as hard at the court.

Her nomination is nothing less than a Presidental Temper Tantrum.

The danger isn't that corporations might gain outsized influence in elections (they already own all the politicians in our little former Republic - now turned into a completely corrupt Corporatocracy).

The danger is that the idiot politicians would win such a debate. The result would be blood running thick in the streets. They're drunk on their own power and the Supreme Court is merely reigning them in for their own good.

Lem said...

I mean, the First Amendment's important, but so is the sanctity of our political process, so that the average person has a say. And I was shocked at this.

Top Companies Contributors Senator Charles E Schumer 2005 - 2010

lucid said...

David Gregory generally trips over his own tongue to ingratiate himself to lefty guests and the lberal powers-that-be.

Back when he was a White House Reporter who would ask the Bush White House some hostile questions, hw was sometimes interesting.

Now he just panders to the left with a big silly grin on his face.

Curtiss said...

Well, it's not like they want to ban books or something.

Or pamphlets. Or movies.

Curtiss said...

Now, on the other hand, if they wanted to ban Sunday Morning News shows withing 30 days of an election, maybe they'd get some traction.

YoungHegelian said...

One of the stranger political turnabouts in the life of every baby-boomer is that in our youth it was the lefties who were the First Amendment absolutists.

Now, in our golden years, the lefties seem to take every chance they get to point out how nasty ole free speech is always just hurtful to someone's widdle feelings.

I once had someone from a progressive group ring the door bell to ask me to sign a petition and give money for a constitutional amendment to declare that corporations do not have the right of free speech. I told her that was the dumbest idea I'd ever heard, and to leave my property post-haste.

Quayle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Quayle said...

I agree with Schumer on this one.

I mean, free speech is great and all that, but what if someone says something I don't like?

That's not very practical to my purposes.

I'm sure Schumer feels the same.

EnigmatiCore said...

"Justice Kennedy thinks the abstract notion of the First Amendment triumphs, but in fact, abstractions should always be balanced against real world practical effects, and if Kagan were on the Court she might persuade Kennedy to move away from abstractions and focus more on real-world effects."

Is he saying that he wants Kennedy to move from his opinion on the right of everyone to their own fuzzywhateveritwashephraseditas?

vw: govex

This post is FULL of govex

From Inwood said...

Call it political speech. I have a right to do it... at least until these jackasses get enough of their judges on the Court and I find out that the real-world effects of my free speech outweigh the abstraction of my freedom.

In plain English: Elections have consequences.

weffiewonj said...

Tea leaves are an easier read, but I think he meant "the abstract notion of `First Amendment triumphs everything' has a balance."

AJ Lynch said...

I have heard that in Hawaii there was a Slap A Jap Day which was celebtated for many years after the dastardly Pearl Harbor sneak attack.

We could use a Slap A Journalist Day and Slap a Politician Day. How much fun would that be?

david7134 said...

Has it ever dawned on these talking heads that they work for corporations, that corporation's profits go into their pension plans, that the US is based on the principal of business (thus corporations), that as corporations go so goes the US?

Chase said...

We were having this discussion on your earlier post here.

What is it about corporations that so many people hate?

I keep asking one of the liberal commenters to be straight up about why corporations - as any group of people - should have more limits on their free speech than news organizations, churches, unions, Political parties, etc.

And I can never get a straight answer.

Which means the reasoning of liberals must simply be that they don't believe that corporations are likely to favor the liberal viewpoint as often as other groups, so please use the government to censor or limit the free speech rights of that particular group of people.


Astonishing that they cannot come out and just say it.

Diana said...

I think I understand the Schumer comment. Let me edit and punctuate, and then translate:

Maybe a Kagan on the court could have persuaded a Justice Kennedy that the practical notion – no, I mean, the abstract notion that "the-First-Amendment-triumphs-everything" has a balance, and the balance is: the practical effects of that. And my hope would be she would do it [that is, persuade Kennedy], and that's what I'm looking for.

Translation: Kagan's intellectual prowess could have flipped Kennedy, so he'd get away from his First Amendment absolutism, which has to be balanced with an understanding of the awful real world effects of corporations exercising free speech.

EnigmatiCore said...

I think it goes to show the disrespect there is for anyone considered 'centrist' or 'moderate'.

They are ones who apparently have not thought things through, and if ONLY the right person was there to talk to them, they'd see the light.

I bet they resent the hell out of that way of looking at them.

MarkW said...

...why corporations - as any group of people - should have more limits on their free speech than news organizations

But news organizations ARE corporations -- pretty much every damn one of them. So do those idiots believe the government should grant special rights only to officially designated 'legitimate' news corporations (and that the government should have the power to decide what is and is not a legitimate news organization)? Do such news corporations include any conglomerate that happens to own news organizations as subsidiaries (e.g. General Electric)? That is, does GE have free speech rights that, say, Boeing does not have? If so, why?

The Citizens United decision was, from my point of view, so right and those opposing it are so TOTALLY, frighteningly, wrong, that I'm having a hard time imagining how I'm going to vote for any Democrats at all for, well, who knows how long--regardless of how much Republicans piss me off and creep me out (and they do -- often).

Synova said...

"Has it ever dawned on these talking heads that they work for corporations,.."

It has.

Don't you recall that every outraged op-ed immediately following explained why their favored rules didn't apply to them?

A corporation formed as a media corporation has special protection.

A corporation formed as a media corporation that they don't approve of does not.

It's very simple, really.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Why don't you just be honest and admit that you'd prefer the corporation owned the airwaves entirely? Then the medium would be theirs to do whatever they want with it. Just like they could with Wall Street.

I don't know about you, but when I think of publicly-owned infrastructure, like roads, parks, the airwaves, etc., I think, some company ought to be able to do whatever it wants with that thing and TO HELL WITH THE PUBLIC INTEREST!!!

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

The inability demonstrated here of being unable to tell the difference between a news organization and Boeing or GE is an informative one.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Oh, and Tim Russert was a tool and a disservice to journalism.

Happy are the days when journalists stopped seeing a point in being an empty conduit through which two sides could just spew their talking points at each other.

Quayle said...

The inability demonstrated here of being unable to tell the difference between a news organization and Boeing or GE is an informative one.

What Brasil is saying is that he has great concerns about corporations and speech, but if Boeing or GE will just buy and run a newspaper that'll fix the problem.

Wow, that's really good news for Boeing because lately there are a lot of newspapers available at huge discounts.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

What is it about corporations that so many people hate?

Uh, I dunno. Maybe the fact that despite all their power to influence and corrupt our economy and political system they saw no point, until recently, of being anything other than avowedly amoral?

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

What Brasil is saying is that he has great concerns about corporations and speech, but if Boeing or GE will just buy and run a newspaper that'll fix the problem.

Actually I'm saying that journalists, like any class of professionals, have a purpose in a democracy and a code of ethics that should distinguish them from non-journalists. Not that you would know anything about that.

Synova said...

"What Brasil is saying is that he has great concerns about corporations and speech, but if Boeing or GE will just buy and run a newspaper that'll fix the problem."

Well, certainly. Because then they wouldn't be manufacturing anything, they'd be a media corporation and media corporations are entirely different.

Except for the ones that aren't.

And actually we probably shouldn't forget that the "corporation" in question was a corporation that was formed for the purpose of producing the documentary. So it's far more similar to CBS or CNN or the New York Times, than Boeing or GE.

But the big media corporations still couldn't see themselves in that, and still supported the idea that of all corporations, they were exempt, they had free speech, and that their free speech is essential to a free society.

Philip M said...

So isn't it a major diss to Steven's implying that Kagan could have flipped Kennedy somehow where Steven's obviously wasn't able to and that is who he'd be replacing.

Particularly since she obviously failed to change his mind when she happened to be the one arguing it in front of them both.

Seriously is there any worse argument for putting her on the Supreme Court to influence people's votes than a case she failed to do so arguing?

wv:dessenti

edutcher said...

Chase said...

...

Which means the reasoning of liberals must simply be that they don't believe that corporations are likely to favor the liberal viewpoint as often as other groups, so please use the government to censor or limit the free speech rights of that particular group of people.

First, Orwell nailed it with the concept that all animals are equal, but some are more equal than others. Everything is too important to be left to the people, or those who deal with it daily (war and the generals, etc.). The National Socialists (or Bolsehviks, if you prefer) are the only ones capable of deciding what is proper speech.

Second, to answer you properly would mean they would have to question all the canards on which the Left is built. If they do that, they'll see how they've been duped, so they're forever told how they're the elect and only ones who are fit to pass judgment. Few people will question that.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Why don't you just be honest and admit that you'd prefer the corporation owned the airwaves entirely? Then the medium would be theirs to do whatever they want with it. Just like they could with Wall Street.

I don't know about you, but when I think of publicly-owned infrastructure, like roads, parks, the airwaves, etc., I think, some company ought to be able to do whatever it wants with that thing and TO HELL WITH THE PUBLIC INTEREST!!!


Last I looked, no one owned the airwaves; they're certainly not infrastructure. More to the point, nobody even considered the idea until the Roosevelt administration wanted to control how much the public heard of the opposition's point of view. That's the Demos' concept of the public interest.

Old Chinese proverb: You can tell who's losing the argument, he's the first to raise his voice.

Synova said...

"a code of ethics"

LOL!

Oh, that is rich.

Synova said...

Who watches the watchers, Ritmo?

Who's free speech is unnecessary to a free society?

Who is a check on the power of the unelected?

Who speaks truth to power when who speaks is controlled by power?

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Last I looked, no one owned the airwaves;

Wrong. The people do.

they're certainly not infrastructure.

I'd like to see any country sustain itself without a system of broadcasting communication.

More to the point, nobody even considered the idea until the Roosevelt administration wanted to control how much the public heard of the opposition's point of view. That's the Demos' concept of the public interest.

This doesn't sound like a point but like an anachronistic analogy inverted into a talking point that you fantasize as somehow topical.

Old Chinese proverb: You can tell who's losing the argument, he's the first to raise his voice.

Methinks whoever wrote down Chinese proverbs had a firmer grasp of satire than you do.

And to think you'd put yourself in a position of debating the role of communication.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Methinks that if "the press" could merit a distinct mention in The Bill of Rights, there is something distinct about just such an entity. But I digress, Syn. Bloviate away.

Who watches the watchers, Ritmo?

Given the recession brought on after private interests thought they could regulate the economy better than, you know, actual laws, I'm not sure this is the argument you want to make.

Who's free speech is unnecessary to a free society?

Certainly not the underfinanced speech, right?

Who is a check on the power of the unelected?

Who speaks truth to power when who speaks is controlled by power?


These last two sound more like the sort of revolutionary sloganeering
that would go over better at a Tea Bagger rally than an attempt at rational political discourse. Craft a more serious, topical and less generic line of socratic questioning and try again.

Synova said...

And then... but, but, but... corporations ARE power.

Well, yes.

And so is an ideology that raises journalists and media above the common man into a special protected category, a special unassailable power.

And very interested in protecting that power.

And so is government.

The idea that in order to protect the power of citizens that there can only be two categories of power and those two categories are "powerless individual" set up against media and government... how does that protect the power, protect the speech of citizens? It does not silence the media corporations. It does not silence government. It only silences those who might assemble similar resources.

Certainly we can say that an Army of Davids has more power than most people think, but the truth is that most people think they don't have any power at all.

So I sort of question the notion that the speech of individuals is being protected so that the speech of individuals remains strong and vital and powerful. Because the individual has never been any sort of threat.

Synova said...

"Methinks that if "the press" could merit a distinct mention in The Bill of Rights, there is something distinct about just such an entity. But I digress, Syn. Bloviate away."

A "journalist" is someone who writes and records a journal. A "correspondent" writes letters. A "press" is some guy in the back-room of his shop writing a gossip sheet and comparing George Washington to his horse.

There is nothing, not a thing, "distinct" about such a person or "entity."

I realize that some people simply require someone to be subservient to. I consider this an illness.

Chase said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chase said...

So if I get this from what Ritmo and other liberals/socialists and fellow travelers are saying:

Liberals believe that the American people are incapable of thinking and choosing wisely for themselves and therefore basically need to be told what to do and receive only approved messages.

Conservatives basically believe that you give someone as much freedom to decide as possible without harming others and basically be free to do it.

Reagan was so unafraid of free speech that he let the Fairness Doctrine die. Democrats are so afraid of free speech that they want to control what Americans can see and hear and have access to.

Democrats/Liberals want you to live in controlled environments (preferably urban and small) and tell you what to do with your body (damn you obesity) unless it has to do with unbridled sex and drugs (how curious) and control your personal environmental footprint.


I blame the public education system for the continued existence of liberals who learn absolutely nothing from history -even recent history (remember socialist nations, Communism, etc?) - and the attempts to control the lives and freedoms of others.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

You say an awful lot at 6:42, and I'd love to read it sometime after I finish a few other obligations. But in the meantime, the point to keep in mind is this:

Whether the medium over which a corporation wants to spend unlimited funds has monopoly power and is owned by the people (in the guise of that evil entity which nonetheless represents them called "the government").

Journalism is considered a profession with a specific code of ethics or standards - regardless of whether you'd prefer it didn't or not.

I'm not saying that journalistic enterprises shouldn't be owned by other enterprises, just like Halliburton could, I suppose, buy a health care company if it wanted to. But there are standards that those smaller companies must abide by regardless of whether or not they fit the financial mission of the corporation that has bought them.

Quayle said...

How is ownership of the airwaves at issue here?

The airwaves don't matter anymore with most data being transmitted via fiber.

Do you think the public owns the fiber that Verizon put in front of my house, and up my driveway to my home?

(BTW, Obama's FCC does.)

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

A "journalist" is someone who writes and records a journal. A "correspondent" writes letters. A "press" is some guy in the back-room of his shop writing a gossip sheet and comparing George Washington to his horse.

There is nothing, not a thing, "distinct" about such a person or "entity."

I realize that some people simply require someone to be subservient to. I consider this an illness.


Apparently the Founding Fathers "required someone to be subservient to" in your book. Nice logic, Synova.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Quayle, if you don't understand the obligations and role of a utility company then there's not much hope for improving your knowledge base on this one.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Chase blathers on about drugs, sex and hippies as if he believes he can distract everyone from the fact that he worships an older and more insidious form of idolatry: Mammon.

Why not create a visual avatar? A golden calf, perhaps?

Synova said...

"Craft a more serious, topical and less generic line of socratic questioning and try again."

No.

Because it's only useful when it's generic enough to plug any "entity" into any role.

Who watches the watchers? Is the press watching government? Is government watching the press? Is the press watching business? Is business watching government? Do the regulatory agencies do their jobs "watching"? I'd think that with just a little bit of thought it becomes pretty clear that everyone sort of sucks at "watching" and the appointed watchers are the worst of all and need the most watching of anyone.

So why do you value so highly the appointed watchers?

Who is a check on the power of the unelected? Well, who might that unelected be? Corporations, certainly. Businesses. The media, absolutely. Why does the power of Corporations, but only a certain type, need checking? What makes the others inherently trustworthy?

And who speaks Truth to Power, when Power determines who speaks?

That's the basis for free speech, isn't it? There can be no freedom at all if Power can determine who is permitted to speak. There can be only two sorts of speech... free speech and approved speech.

So we're told, now, that so many sorts of speech are not approved and that free speech does not apply.

Which simply means that free speech applies to nothing and no one, since only approved speech is allowed.

Dangerous speech, economically "loud" speech, all sorts of speech that is deemed damaging for one reason or another is not permitted.

Power controls speech.

The end.

Steve said...

Journalism is considered a profession with a specific code of ethics or standards

Ironic, in a post that highlights a blatant lie by someone in that profession. But it's a lie that furthers his and your interests (restricting speech you don't like), so that's OK, I suppose.

former law student said...

MR. GREGORY: Just remind people, this was about political contributions.
No, it wasn't!


Correct. No money flows from corporation to candidate under Citizens

SEN. SCHUMER: This is the case that said unlimited corporate money could flow into our politics undisclosed in any way....
No, it didn't!


Incorrect as far as I know:

Corporate speech is protected.

Political speech is the most protected.

Anonymous speech is protected.

Exelon could saturate the media with pro-Obama ads. Would they have to disclose that they were the source of the ads' funding? If so, would such a requirement be Constitutional?

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Oh, BTW Synova. Nice lie on how "the press" was a reference to a machine operated by anyone - rather than a distinct entity with a purpose in a society. I suppose when you actually get around to studying, you know, history, you might learn about something called "the fourth estate".

But I doubt it.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

So why do you value so highly the appointed watchers?

The assertion that someone appoints people who will voluntarily abide by basic journalistic standards when they decide to publish the news is so absurd it doesn't merit a response.

Synova said...

They appoint themselves.

Egad, Ritmo.

former law student said...

You would think it didn't center around a law forbidding the airing of a movie about somebody who wasn't actually a candidate for President close to an election.

It centered around that. "Citizens United" ginned up a test case that was the equivalent of an onside kick that they ran into a touchdown on the next possession. Had the holding not been extended from ten guys who formed a corporation to Exxon, I wouldn't have a problem with it.

Now we can have "the Senator from Enron" or British Petroleum, etc.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

They appoint themselves.

Egad, Ritmo.


As do the dodo birds who provide your preferred sources. Just because they decided, in the case of your media, to abandon any attempt at journalistic integrity or standards, doesn't mean they were any less appointed. Unless you mean appointed by Roger Ailes I guess.

former law student said...

s/possession/play/

Synova said...

So the "fourth estate" are individual citizens who set up a press and start up a gossip sheet reporting on the government and George Washington's resemblance to his horse?

Or self appointed graduates from incestuous institutions where members of the fourth estate explain to new members of the fourth estate how special it is, how different they are from regular people, how vital and how much more free they are from the limitations others endure?

And to think. None of them have to be elected. They regulate themselves. They demand special treatment. And worstly, they assume the role of gate-keepers into their own profession.

EnigmatiCore said...

"Unless you mean appointed by Roger Ailes I guess."

Good lord, are you trying to be a caricature or are you really as two dimensional as you are appearing?

former law student said...

Professor: I'm thinking Schumer meant "trumps" instead of triumphs. See if that makes more sense to you. He's not really listening to what he's saying -- use of "criteria" instead of criterion is evidence of that.

Synova said...

"As do the dodo birds who provide your preferred sources."

And?

I really don't understand at what point you think I'd object to that. I'd expect you to object to that because you don't like what they say and you find it necessary to limit the speech you don't like if only you can find a reason to do so that sounds persuasive to you.

"But The Press is different and special" is the sum total of your argument and in order to be special The Press has to be an exclusive estate. It can't be an activity, it has to be an identity, else anyone could enter into the activity and as quick as that it's not exclusive and special any more.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Synova makes a criticism of journalists that could be made of physicians, engineers, accountants, or even lawyers for that matter. All have codes and standards they are expected to abide by and all have a system of education and/or apprenticeship by which they gain the knowledge to skillfully and ethically engage that craft. Lawyers, incidentally and not surprisingly, also often serve as the professional class that go on to serve on the bench or as public servants. I say "unsurprisingly" because - horror of horrors - the profession that is expected to know the law often comprises the class that goes on to interpret its application or even make it!!!

Now, unlike the others, no formal credentials are required to be an ethical, successful or responsible and respectable journalist. But Synova, until recently (and who knows? perhaps she still does), denied that standards even existed for the practice of journalism.

If that's the case, I somehow don't doubt that it would be a common sentiment on these pages.

Synova said...

Oh, I think that's a lovely idea!

Lets *license* free speech!

If we do that, we'll know who actually gets to have free speech and who doesn't.

Win! Win!

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

You think it's a lovely idea because you (either) don't (or are trying to pretend that you don't) understand the difference between speech and journalism.

You are also pretending to not understand the difference between standards and licensing.

Pretty swift, Synova. Are you trying to come across this badly and ignorantly?

Bruce Hayden said...

I think that we have seen, esp. with the election of President Obama, why a state sanctioned "Press", or in our case, MSM, is so dangerous.

The problem is that the MSM has been derelict it its duties, whatever RB thinks they are, unless those duties happen to be electing President Obama and a Democratic majority in Congress and maintaining them in power.

While Dan Rather ultimately lost his job for lying to the public and trying to throw a Presidential election to his preferred candidate, the vast majority of such actions rarely rise to the level of truly actionable. The NYT burying stories harmful to these parties, routinely using misleading headlines, and rewriting history is not actionable. But it would invariably violate RB's cherished journalistic ethics. Unless, of course, those cherished ethics did place influencing public policy through misreporting of the news.

So, you have GE owning one of the three major broadcast networks, having that network operate as an adjunct of the White House Press Staff, and then have them receive many billions of dollars in various types of bailout and "stimulus" monies. That is somehow ethical.

The question was asked, who watches the watchers? And the answer today is that they desperately need watching, and that it is being done by the alternative media, such as this.

Bruce Hayden said...

I too think Schumer the ultimate tool. I won't listen to him, because whatever comes out of his mouth has long been pure partisan spin, unleavened by any hint of honesty. While Al Franken is dropping fast in my estimation, he still has years to go until he can descend to the depths that Schumer has.

The only person I can think of who is so brazenly political is James Carville. Willing to lie through their teeth with a smile, knowing that they will never be seriously called on their falsehoods. And I don't think that Carville can approach Schumer here.

Synova said...

Hey, I've got a lot to live up to in the coming across as ignorant category. Sorry I'm a slow study.

You think that Journalism is a profession occupied by people dedicated to standards, and because of that we should trust them... like a doctor.

And you think that because they have standards and we can trust them, like a lawyer, that they have protections for exactly the same activities that other people do not have protections for.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

I too think Schumer the ultimate tool. I won't listen to him, because whatever comes out of his mouth has long been pure partisan spin, unleavened by any hint of honesty. While Al Franken is dropping fast in my estimation, he still has years to go until he can descend to the depths that Schumer has.

I'm so glad the entire states of New York and Minnesota have a self-appointed constituent from Colorado who has appointed himself the arbiter of the legitimacy of their choices for Senate representation.

This is an example of what's wrong with our politics.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ritmo Brasileiro said...

You think that Journalism is a profession occupied by people dedicated to standards, and because of that we should trust them... like a doctor.

I can only assume by this that you mean that journalism isn't or shouldn't be considered a profession occupied by people dedicated to standards, and that adherence to those standards shouldn't accompany a higher level of trust...

And you think that because they have standards and we can trust them, like a lawyer, that they have protections for exactly the same activities that other people do not have protections for.

I think that the public's need for information when it comes to the decisions they make, should be treated with respect for a certain level of standards when it comes to determining the truth - a certain level of standards that I'm not sure you care for.

EnigmatiCore said...

"You think it's a lovely idea because you (either) don't (or are trying to pretend that you don't) understand the difference between speech and journalism. "

In the eyes of the law, there should not be any difference.

That you think differently is revealing.

EnigmatiCore said...

"I too think Schumer the ultimate tool. I won't listen to him, because whatever comes out of his mouth has long been pure partisan spin, unleavened by any hint of honesty. While Al Franken is dropping fast in my estimation, he still has years to go until he can descend to the depths that Schumer has. "

Charles Rangle is even worse. Good ol' Charlie.

It's a New York thing.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

In the eyes of the law, there should not be any difference.

That you think differently is revealing.


I'm not sure that, in the eyes of the law, any private interest should be allowed to hijack the monopoly of a public airwave that is merely leased to a station so long as it fulfills its public obligations. The amount of money given, the message conveyed, whether or not there is any journalistic merit to it... these are all secondary to the fact that the airwaves are publicly owned and only leased to the networks so long as they fulfill their public obligation.

Your inability to see a difference between a public obligation and private interest is revealing of your lack of integrity and commitment to corruption.

However, I doubt you would have a problem if a listener of one of these stations wrote in to complain that they used one of the "seven dirty words" on their broadcasts and got the FCC to levy a fine for doing so. Or even threatened to revoke their license.

You are either insanely ignorant of how broadcasting works or are really just that corrupt* when it comes to respecting the distinction between the public interest and a privately held interest.

*Incestuous might be a better description.

JAL said...

... and it's really--I mean, the First Amendment's important, but so is the sanctity of our political process, so that the average person has a say.

Men and women have died because the First Amendment is a life or death proposition. Worth dying for.

News flash -- the First Amendment not only trumps "the political process" in fact, it MAKES it possible to have a political process in which the AVERAGE person (someone with whom none of these talking heads are familiar) has a say. (Tea Parties anyone?)

Please get rid of these people in November.

EnigmatiCore said...

Ritmo, is there any particular argument you have made in this thread that you think is your best one? That you think would be an example of your best? Persuasive, even?

Just curious.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Men and women have died because the First Amendment is a life or death proposition. Worth dying for.

Yes! Hear hear! People have died because they restricted their speech to their own channels or other privately-held media and did not use vast sums of money to bribe government-owned operations to carry their message for them!

Or something. Whatever. It sounds revolutionary enough.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Ritmo, is there any particular argument you have made in this thread that you think is your best one? That you think would be an example of your best? Persuasive, even?

Just curious.


Well, seeing as how, unlike you, I'm actually capable of making a salient point and judging the points that others make on their merits, I'm not sure I feel qualified to engage in assessing the quality of arguments on the arbitrary basis of whether they meet the standards of a fallacious argument from personal belief, opinion, ignorance or whatever other bullshit basis you think arguments should be founded upon.

Address an actual point or just man up and admit that you can't help Oprafying your arguments and reducing them to matters of taste.

EnigmatiCore said...

"Well, seeing as how, unlike you"


Interesting. What have I typed that leads you to making a value judgment about my ability to argue?

The one where I talk about fuzzywhateveritwashephraseditas or the one where I say that the law should not be determining who is a journalist and who isn't, but rather that free speech is free speech?

Again, just curious.

"I'm actually capable of making a salient point"

Debatable, which is why I was asking for you to point to the one you think is an example of your best work.

"and judging the points that others make on their merits"

Again, debatable.

traditionalguy said...

After waiching an 18 year conspiracy by world Billionairs to create the Myth of CO2 caused global warming thru the speech of thousands of highly paid former scientists and educators turned conspirators and who actually reccomended jail sentences for free speech truth tellers, the issue of world propaganda monopoly is NOW the life and death issue for free men and women in this world. The legal theory of free speech is all we have to hold onto and it works when held onto. You younger folks need to get your asses in gear and come up on this hill and fight. The only thing the Democrat Conspirators have that you don't have is guts.

AJ Lynch said...

I had a typo up thread. I meant to recommend we have an annual "Slap A News Reader Day" since most of them are [like David Gregory] really just news reader and are not objective or skilled news reporters.

For the newspaper employees, we will have a "Slap A Stenogapher Day" since all they do is cut and paste Democrat party press releases.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

What have I typed that leads you to making a value judgment about my ability to argue?

Um, other than dismissing my arguments not on their merits, but on your opinion of their "persuasiveness"?

Well, nothing actually. But then, nothing more is necessary.

debateable

Which you decline to do.

After two rounds of listening to your preference for masturbation over actually rebutting a single point I made, I induce that you are probably incapable of doing so.

but rather that free speech is free speech?

Funny adjective for someone to use when they are defending the right to pay sums of money large enough to ensure that other, less well-financed speech is drowned out.

I suppose you and I (and Webster) have a different definition of the word "free" - at least when it comes to the cost of things.

Calypso Facto said...

Ritmo said: "The inability demonstrated here of being unable to tell the difference between a news organization and Boeing or GE is an informative one."

I see that Bruce already slipped this in, but as part of larger argument that may have led to it being overlooked: GE owned NBC from '86 to '09. So THERE IS (was) NO DIFFERENCE between a news organization and GE...they were literally one and the same (as long as you generously call what NBC does "news"). So how do we tell the difference, Rit? Rely on a politician to tell us which corporations get favored status?

EnigmatiCore said...

"Um, other than dismissing my arguments not on their merits, but on your opinion of their "persuasiveness"?"

Actually, I was dismissing them on their volume, which is an attribute that does speak to the quality thereof.

And if an argument is not persuasive, then it likely is not a very good argument, and could stand to be re-thought. Granted, that is a difficult thing to accept when you think that either (1) a point is too dangerous to let stand for a moment or two while a response is considered, which tends to suggest the aforementioned point is a powerful one, or
(2) that you are reacting reflexively, rather than out of rational thought.

"After two rounds of listening to your preference for masturbation over actually rebutting a single point I made,"

The thread that leads to a discussion about masturbation is two away from this one. So let's leave that aside, other than noting that you are suggesting that I make vacuous arguments while you are throwing out suggestions of my self-love habits.

Since my point apparently did not register, let me restate it more directly since either you were too emotionally involved to get it without it being said directly, or, regrettably, you are not too swift. Your verbosity and your inclination towards frequent posts lends itself towards skimming and/or complete ignoring.

So, again, what do you think is an example in this thread of what you think is your best argument? Give it a try. Step back, and make your case. It is really easy to ignore people on here, even without Google/Blogspot having a killfile. I skip over anything by Doyle, who hasn't been around. Anything by Cederford, from the other side. A few others go on and off the skim list.

You might not care if I ignore you, which is absolutely fine. However, it is very likely if I am ignoring you that many more people are ignoring you. Your call if that is what you want.

"Funny adjective for someone to use when they are defending the right to pay sums of money large enough to ensure that other, less well-financed speech is drowned out."

Excepting when someone is giving a speech and the crowd chants them down, I have rarely encountered speech being drowned out. Maybe you can give examples of where you think speech has been drowned out, so as to back up your assertion?

My prediction is that you will last about two weeks on this website, at most.

vw: spoin - Not quite sure of the definition, but it seems oddly apt.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Actually, I was dismissing them on their volume, which is an attribute that does speak to the quality thereof.

Volume says nothing about the quality of the argument. But it does say something about your inability to note the dozen or so posts by Synova that the majority of them were in response to.

Perhaps you need to get your eyes checked.

And if an argument is not persuasive, then it likely is not a very good argument, and could stand to be re-thought.

More opinion in place of examining the substance of the arguments you apparently couldn't read. Let alone figure out whose comments (a reader no doubt sympathetic to you) they were in response to.

Granted, that is a difficult thing to accept when you think that either (1) a point is too dangerous to let stand for a moment or two while a response is considered, which tends to suggest the aforementioned point is a powerful one, or
(2) that you are reacting reflexively, rather than out of rational thought.


This seems to be a very rude way of dismissing Synova's comments.

I like the enigmatic thing. It's sort of emblematic of your lack of substance. But don't be such an asshole to Synova. If you can help it.

"After two rounds of listening to your preference for masturbation over actually rebutting a single point I made,"

The thread that leads to a discussion about masturbation is two away from this one. So let's leave that aside, other than noting that you are suggesting that I make vacuous arguments while you are throwing out suggestions of my self-love habits.


Regarding my own thoughts and rebuttals, you make no real arguments.

Since my point apparently did not register,

Wait, you had a point?

let me restate it more directly since either you were too emotionally involved to get it without it being said directly, or, regrettably, you are not too swift. Your verbosity and your inclination towards frequent posts lends itself towards skimming and/or complete ignoring.

The funny thing about words is that, they actually have meaning. At least, they do for those of us whose intention is something other than mere verbosity.

So, again, what do you think is an example in this thread of what you think is your best argument? Give it a try. Step back, and make your case. It is really easy to ignore people on here, even without Google/Blogspot having a killfile. I skip over anything by Doyle, who hasn't been around. Anything by Cederford, from the other side. A few others go on and off the skim list.

I am so perplexed by your inability to judge my arguments with a substitution of my own self-assessment.

Well, actually not. I think it's kind of retarded. But what the hell.

You might not care if I ignore you, which is absolutely fine.

Actually, that would be great.

However, it is very likely if I am ignoring you that many more people are ignoring you.

Except Synova. Except Chase. Except Haden.

Your call if that is what you want.

You should be nicer to your ideological "colleagues". I don't think it's nice for you to pretend they don't exist.

"Funny adjective for someone to use when they are defending the right to pay sums of money large enough to ensure that other, less well-financed speech is drowned out."

Excepting when someone is giving a speech and the crowd chants them down, I have rarely encountered speech being drowned out. Maybe you can give examples of where you think speech has been drowned out, so as to back up your assertion?


Yawn. I'll use your tactic. Is this supposed to be persuasive? Is it your best shot?

My prediction is that you will last about two weeks on this website, at most.

You are too dumb and ignorant to even recognize who I am.

Kev said...

I'm so glad the entire states of New York and Minnesota have a self-appointed constituent from Colorado who has appointed himself the arbiter of the legitimacy of their choices for Senate representation.

Not quite. He's simply exercising his right to free speech on the subject--a right that you seem all too willing to squelch when the person speaking disagrees with you.

This is an example of what's wrong with our politics.

How so? These people make decisions that affect us all, so we certainly have a right to criticize them when they screw up (which is, IMHO, pretty much anytime they set foot in Washington). Thanks to alternative media like these, people from anywhere in the country (or world, for that matter) can state their opinions, and people in New York or Minnesota can read those opinions and maybe even make more informed choices the next time these people come up for reelection.

With your continued attempts to put journalists up on some sort of pedestal, it sounds like you're pining for the days when nearly every bit of information we received was filtered through Old Media "gatekeepers." Me, I think that the current setup is far superior to those (not so) "good old days."

EnigmatiCore said...

"Volume says nothing about the quality of the argument."

Incorrect. More times than not, if a point cannot be made succinctly, it means that it is not a good point.

"Wait, you had a point?"

As far as you comprehended, no.

"Yawn. I'll use your tactic. Is this supposed to be persuasive? Is it your best shot?"

If it was my best point, I'll leave to the general audience to decide.

That you cannot, or are unwilling to, give an example of where speech was drowned out other than by an unruly crowd (generally leftist in nature, at Universities), I am comfy in thinking my point was made.

EnigmatiCore said...

Ritmo, I'll ask my question in a different way.

You have posted a significant number of comments here, with many being quite long.

Can you summarize your arguments, briefly, in the way that you think best portrays them, without resorting to insults?

Again, just curious.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Since fascists are fond of making rules for others to follow, I'll let you wallow in the self-glorification of meeting your own (arbitrary) definition of succinct by not challenging it. Despite the fact that it is condescending to Synova, who obviously needed those points to be made.

That you cannot, or are unwilling to, give an example of where speech was drowned out other than by an unruly crowd (generally leftist in nature, at Universities), I am comfy in thinking my point was made.

That you cannot, or are unwilling to, comprehend how a monopoly in a market for broadcast media can drown out others' voices by virtue of the size of the monied interests that supply it, makes me feel comfy in concluding that you are incapable of comprehending the valid objections to your shallow point of view.

Hope that wasn't too long for you. We know how difficult it is for you to understand the meaning of sentences that consist of more than two clauses.

But I tried to copy your own sentence structure. Maybe if I had used grunts, barks and whistles you would have felt even more at home.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Ritmo, I'll ask my question in a different way.

You have posted a significant number of comments here, with many being quite long.

Can you summarize your arguments, briefly, in the way that you think best portrays them, without resorting to insults?

Again, just curious.


I'd have tried refraining from insults, but with each successive insult you throw at Synova, I get more and more pissed.

So I'll just say it this way: What kind of a dumbfuck needs me to summarize every twist of a dialogue when nearly each comment was merely a response to the dozens of comments that Synova and others posed to me?

A "Find" function shows that Synova's name is mentioned 24 times on this thread. Mine is mentioned 26 times, and some of those are probably just references in others' posts. But they generally reflect the number of times we posted comments.

You do the math, imbecile.

And stop insulting Synova.

EnigmatiCore said...

"Since fascists are fond of making rules for others to follow,"

You know who else was fond of making arguments like this?

Hitler.

"That you cannot, or are unwilling to, comprehend how a monopoly in a market for broadcast media can drown out others' voices by virtue of the size of the monied interests that supply it"

A supposed monopoly in the media could not drown out an argument, but rather could prevent an argument from being voiced.

I think that is pretty self evident. Your mileage may vary.

But I will give you a chance to make your counter-argument. Please give an example of an argument you feel has not been able to be aired due to some media monopoly.

"But I tried to copy your own sentence structure. Maybe if I had used grunts, barks and whistles you would have felt even more at home."

It would have reminded me of that time with your mother, without a doubt.

Grow up.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

The monopoly in this case is the visually broadcast public network. There are only three or four usually in each market. Perhaps that is technically an oligopoly, but whatever.

The biggest contributer to that oligopolist's broadcast stream for political content (i.e. advertising) will obviously have a disproportionate effect. Maybe that doesn't bother you. But maybe you think that elections should be decided on the basis of the amount of money contributed rather than on the quality and content of the message provided.

Then there is the fact that public airwaves are only leased to broadcasters provided they fulfill public obligations. I fail to see how allowing a better-funded political operation to have a disproportionate voice on a public channel fulfills a public mission, but you are free to disagree - the fact that you can't give a good reason for doing so notwithstanding.

I fail to see how one can allow the FCC to regulate which words are "too dirty" to be broadcast on these public channels without violating "public standards" while preventing the FEC from determining that political speech (which is clearly in the public interest) is being tilted too heavily to the better financed advertiser.

I'm sure these problems will fly miles above your head, though.

I have no problem with people broadcasting as much political content funded by as unlimited an amount of funds as possible on a private medium, or on a medium that doesn't exercise the power of a monopoly or oligopoly, like an individual website (there are billions of them at least on the web). But I'm sure you'll fail to appreciate that distinction.

Most wingers are too corrupt to even understand the concept of a public interest, let alone how a the intrusion of a powerful private interest can erode its integrity. Unless the name of that interested party belongs to "George Soros", of course. Then y'all go nuts.

Fen said...

so horrible that Dems must constantly invent what it was about.

And thats different how?

The Dems know that if they repeat the Lie long enough, it will become Myth. They'll keep doing it because it WORKS - and we let them get away with it.

Fen said...

RitmoLibtard: Most wingers are too corrupt to even understand

omg you are such an idiot.

One can only hope you don't really believe your own bullshit.

EnigmatiCore said...

If I cross Synova, she lets me know it. That is a daunting argument to have, from experience.

"The biggest contributer to that oligopolist's broadcast stream for political content (i.e. advertising) will obviously have a disproportionate effect. Maybe that doesn't bother you. But maybe you think that elections should be decided on the basis of the amount of money contributed rather than on the quality and content of the message provided. "

Now you are arguing not that an argument got drowned out, but that other arguments get more of an airing than you are comfortable with.

I hate to be stubborn (which is a lie) but perhaps you can give an example of an argument that you feel just needed to get aired more and then it would have certainly resonated with people?

My experience is that most arguments get voiced, pro and con. I am open to the idea that due to a media ogliarchy there are arguments I have missed and now you are my only hope. Help me, Ritmo. You are my only hope.

You seem to have a problem with the FCC. What do you think about abolishing it? I would be for that. How about you?

former law student said...

Men and women have died because the First Amendment is a life or death proposition. Worth dying for.

I'm not going to die for the right of Halliburton to make pro-Bush commercials. Sorry.

Synova said...

"I can only assume by this that you mean that journalism isn't or shouldn't be considered a profession occupied by people dedicated to standards, and that adherence to those standards shouldn't accompany a higher level of trust..."

Yes.

On account of I'm having to "trust" in the adherence itself. Act of faith there.

And the "trust" you're asking for is greater than the trust I have of doctors or lawyers or clergy.

So, yes, you are correct. I really do not think that Journalists deserve a special level of trust simply on account of they say they're people without sin.

Synova said...

It's the "holy calling" thing.

Gets my back up like nothing else when it comes to teachers and journalists.

It's the "you have to look up to this person" thing, the assumption of unearned virtue by individuals simply by career choice.

I have the same reaction (development of a rash) when it's Mother's Day.

Not even all people who claim a religious "holy calling" act that way, and certainly the doctors and lawyers of recent example do not.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

So, yes, you are correct. I really do not think that Journalists...

I'm glad you remain so keen on abandoning the whole discussion of principles, standards, ethics and cut right back instead into that idea of a class of persons and their institution. So much easier to hammer on that and avoid the idea of principles altogether. Attack a group of people, Synova, and avoid a discussion on what constitutes journalistic standards at all costs. I think you may be onto something here...

Daniel said...

This is the case that said unlimited corporate money could flow into our politics undisclosed in any way.

No, it didn't!


I didn't see the show. But your quote doesn't support your objection (maybe others do, I don't know). Gregory screwed up, yes, and I'm sure it's because it's his job to "know" things only superficially. But Schumer said "flow into our politics". He didn't say "flow to our politicians." Ann, not every disagreement with Citizens United is based on a misunderstanding of the case. You got this set in your mind early and can't get off it.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

As you are my only hope, EnigmatiCore, to accepting that the amount of advertising coverage to one campaign in an oligopolistic market is trivial to whether the other side got to make their argument at all.

Which is kind of like saying that Citizens United should have lost because, hey, even if they didn't spend more money and gain access to more coverage than anyone else, that wouldn't have prevented their message from getting out.

You are making this easier than you know.

Amount of coverage and the tone of the coverage is as important as any message or argument the candidate conveys. To propose that abstract arguments matter more than the tone and quality of the coverage they receive or pay for is ludicrous.

Synova said...

Journalistic standards are a separate, totally separate, issue from the question of who counts for the Constitutional definition of "the press."

Because the Constitution applies if "the press" has any standards or no standards at all.

It doesn't say... freedom of speech and the press, so long as the press adheres to this set of standards and this definition.

It doesn't say that.

The Press is some malcontents publishing a gossip rag and discussing George Washington's horse.

Dispute that.

*Ought* the press have standards? Do you want me to say that, yes, journalists and the press really *ought* to behave professionally and follow standards of truth, that opinion and bias should not be presented as neutrality? Sure, why not?

But what this has to do with viewing "the press" as a separate, protected, self-appointed fraternity deserving of the public trust such that "the press" although a corporation with a global and overwhelming voice, somehow gets to say which other corporations who decide to "speak" don't have the required decoder ring and thus do not get to speak.

Because I just really can't see "opinion" as disqualifying "the press" from Constitutionally protected speech. If it's an op-ed about George Washington's horse put out by the local broadsheet or a pamphlet paid for by the carriage maker who didn't get the contract for the Army.

EnigmatiCore said...

I am absolutely shocked that Ritmo did not give an example of an argument that did not reach the people due to being squeezed out by opposing speech.

I was in the mood for hearing a new argument about something.

Oh, well.

AllenS said...

I was in the mood for hearing a new argument about something

That's the whole problem, trying to figure out what that something is.

Fen said...

former law student: I'm not going to die for the right of Halliburton to make pro-Bush commercials. Sorry.

The Constituion is not a buffet line, fls. Maybe thats why you failed law school.

Jason said...

Ritmo's argument fails.

There is no qualifier in the first amendment, and short of libelous content, the first amendment applies to good reporters and bad reporters alike.

There is no uniform 'code of ethics' in the field of journalism, and never has been. Each organization sets its own code of ethics.

There is no self-policing regulatory or pseudo-regulatory industry organization to enforce any such code of ethics as Ritmo fantasizes.

Obama's own solicitor general, Elena Kagan, did not restrict her fascist argument to content broadcast over the airwaves. Indeed, she personally argued that the government could and would move to ban the publication of written pamphlets, if they fell afoul of the law. This was the death warrant to the administration's case.

Ritmo reminds us each day of the truism I've been saying for years: Scratch a libtard, you'll find a fascist.

damikesc said...

Ritmo, as was pointed out, its not like standards for the profession are listed in the Constitution. If an entity, repeatedly over decades, violates the most basic concept of impartiality as the NYT has done...do they lose all First Amendment protections?

And who determines who is and who is not a journalist? The WH? What makes Citizens United different than, say, MSNBC in their coverage of Obama to date? Outside of GE getting massive benefits for its coverage, while paying no taxes, of course. CU certainly didn't get a ton of money and, amazingly, zero tax burden.

You're not a Free Speech absolutist. Nice to know. What other rights will you forfeit to hopefully spite your foes?

Oberon said...

Althouse,

I'm not so sure Schumer's wrong in his characterization of what CU is about. He corrects Gregory without getting too technical (a no-no on these programs) and gets the basic point across: corporations have a way to spend unlimited amounts of money on political advertising. Schumer fails to note the distinction on restrictions to direct contributions to candidates (which wasn't at issue) but the only thing that really matters to "the masses" is that, say, NBC could spend millions in ads on Obama's next campaign if they did it in-house and outside the candidate's campaign. Call me crazy, but that sounds like "unlimited corporate money could flow into our politics undisclosed in any way". Now, if he had said "into our candidate's political campaign war chests" you'd have a point. But he didn't.

HDHouse said...

Ann says: "it's that it's not about corporate contributions to political candidates. It's about corporations engaging in their own political speech (and spending money in the process)."

Just a couple observations Ann - I missed your pontifications "But: 1. Say it clearly, and 2. Don't LIE about what the real world effects are." regarding any number of things, from the marriage act to the death panels. Perhaps you wouldn't get so bent out of shape if you were consistently bent out of shape.

Second, yes their observations were not accurate and you can say lie all you want. The effect is, however, exactly as described. It is the opening for unrestrained issue money that effectively replaces money a candidate would normally have to spend in support of or opposition to an issue. It is surrogate money put up not by people but by things... a debate in itself.

I realize you have to toss red meat to the right wing fringe who has a perception of media as being leftist when all the numbers show plainly it is not, but why do this? over this?

Fen said...

Libtard: perception of media as being leftist when all the numbers show plainly it is not

Disqualifier.

Anyone who still maintains that the MSM doesn't lean left is not to be taken seriously.

Fen said...

How far the Left has fallen:

1980's Liberal: "I may not agree with what you say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it"

2010 Libtard: "I'm not going to die for the right of Halliburton to make pro-Bush commercials."

Hoosier Daddy said...

Seems like liberals don't like corporations having free speech but had no problems with Kelo.

Funny that.

Hoosier Daddy said...

2010 Libtard: "I'm not going to die for the right of Halliburton to make pro-Bush commercials."

Someone needs to tell FLS that Bush isn't President anymore and to try and catch up with the rest of the class.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I realize you have to toss red meat to the right wing fringe who has a perception of media as being leftist when all the numbers show plainly it is not, but why do this? over this?

What numbers are those? Gregory sits there like a bump on a log while Schumer just makes shit up and from that you conclude the media isn't in the lap of the lefties.

I bet you think the moon is made of cheese.

sonicfrog said...

Lem, I'm posting that list.

Ritmo said:

"Why don't you just be honest and admit that you'd prefer the corporation owned the airwaves entirely?"

Excuse me, but the air waves have ALWAYS been owned by a major corporation? Since when have the networks NOT been afraid of alienating their sponsors? The only reason the 1950's and 60's seems like "the golden era" of journalist, especially TV journalism, is because there was no one around to challenge them.

Brian said...

@Ritmo:
So much easier to hammer on that and avoid the idea of principles altogether. Attack a group of people, Synova, and avoid a discussion on what constitutes journalistic standards at all costs. I think you may be onto something here...

I'm late getting into this argument, and I'm trying to get caught up on it but here goes. Forgive me if I oversimplify your position. Synova's main arguments are:
(1) Journalists haven't earned special status on the basis of their profession. The rights they exercise belong to all of us.
(2) Corporations that own media companies don't have a license to free speech that other corporations don't have.
(3) The government shouldn't be in the business of deciding who's a valid journalist, who's a valid news outlet, etc. Therefore the CU case was decided correctly because it erred on the side of free speech.

Ritmo's main points:
(1) We need ethical standards, a morality, for journalists and news organizations to follow, that filters out the noise & bias, and gets to the truth because this is a public good.

(2) It is not good for corporations to be able to spend their money on issue ads on the public airwaves, or pretend to be news organizations to serve their own interests. It is the use of public-owned resources for the narrow interests of corporations that can run counter to the public good.

(3) The CU case was wrongly decided because it allows corporations to spend money during elections that attempt to sway voters, which leaves the political process open to the corruption of corporate influence.

Is that a fair assessment?

Jason said...

Fen, at 9:18, nails the difference between a true liberal and a libtard.

FLS is not a true liberal, but a libtard.

Jason said...

WV: extessi.

Just throwing that out there.

former law student said...

Someone needs to tell FLS that Bush isn't President anymore

That was just the most heinous example I could think of to demonstrate why Citizens was such a bad idea.

But, there are plenty of Bushes in the pipeline -- Jeb doesn't have much on his plate right now. Jenna and Barbara will be ready in five to ten years or so. I'm sure whatever big-oil bidness beneficence that flowed towards GHW and GW Bushes would still be available for years to come.

former law student said...

The Constituion is not a buffet line, fls

The Constitution was devised to limit the power of government against the states and the citizenry.

Non-human entities were not contemplated by the founders. None of the corporate forms extant at that time had a legal personality separate from their owners.

Citizens United overreached the facts -- a small group of people who chose the corporate form for their enterprise -- to the modern multinational.

What country is British Petroleum a citizen of? Are their interests aligned with ours? Why allow them to meddle in our national elections?

Further, if corporations can exercise a human right like freedom of speech, what would prevent them from voting?

former law student said...

FLS is not a true liberal, but a libtard.

The weaker the reasoner, the sooner he resorts to name-calling.

damikesc said...

Hd, we just watched, in 2008 and 2009, GE basically function as Obamas mouthpiece through their media holdings. Shall we go into how much money their laughable coverage and basic fellating of Obama was worth?

Why does GE deserve protections other corporations do not? The media, as it stands, is less trustworthy than most other institutions.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Non-human entities were not contemplated by the founders.

True. I don't think the Founders ever conceived that the SEIU and Big Labor would ever be able to influence elections the way they have.

Jason said...

FLS...

You convict yourself with your own words, libtard.

I'm just pointing out the obvious.

You couldn't grasp real liberalism if it bit you on the ass.

miller said...

"I'm actually capable of making a salient point and judging the points that others make on their merits..."

Funniest.
Line.
EVAH!

MUL/BSR/RB, you win with the most hilarious statement showing your utter & unconscious lack of awareness about yourself.

Now carry on, and let's hope I'm not left crying real tears of laughter again.

WF: meaffes, muffs for meat-lovers

Brian said...

@FLS:
You've raised good questions, but simply restoring the corporate limits to BP or other egregious corporations simply means big multi-nationals can do like Citizens United can form a smaller advocacy corporation that gets their message out. So BP can't write a check directly to some ad agency to do a political infomercial - they write a check to this other corporation that can, because it gets the governments official "corporation organized for political advocacy" seal of approval.

After all, corporations lobby congress all the time. It seems the main objection is we don't want corporations to lobby the voters. Is this because we trust voters less than congress?

Jason said...

Here's a clue, libtard...

Any time you are trying to suppress the freedom of expression, whether it's by individuals or nonprofits or corporate entities or newspapers or bloggers, or trying to set a few of your fellow libtards in the preass apart in a 'protected class' so as to roll back first amendment protections for the people, you are being a libtard. And you are no liberal.

c3 said...

Lets *license* free speech!

YOUR PAPERS PLEASE!

(Being from Arizona I couldn't resist.)

Blue@9 said...

Ritmo, journalists can say they aspire to a set of standards and ethics, but no one licenses journalists. Unlike doctors and lawyers, they aren't required to take tests or enroll in continuing education. In other words, its a "profession" in name only. Is there anyone who has the authority to certify or decertify someone's standing as a "journalist"? No.

Is a "journalist" for the Workers' World any less "legitimate" than one for the NYT? No, despite the fact that the former doesn't adhere to the same journalistic ethics and standards. Is Michael Totten less of a journalist than was I.F. Stone? Funny how many liberals today would say the latter was a journalist and the former is not, even though Totten adheres more closely to "journalistic ethics" than Stone ever did.

So really, anyone can be a journalist. You certainly don't have to go to journalism school. You don't have to take journalism classes. As others have mentioned, at the time the Constitution was written, "the press" was anyone who owned a printing press (or more appropriately, anyone who could pay the press owner). If typewriters and computers existed at the time of the Founders, anyone who owned one of these tools would be considered "the press."

You can talk all you want about the relative values of certain speech, and you can even argue that, as a policy matter, some speech is more important to a democratic society, but from a legal standpoint there's no special distinction to be made between my written words and those of a NY Times reporter.

c3 said...

And Ritmo, I'm not interested in participating in this argument but (not to pile on) what the hell are you saying?

I keep hearing that famous line from Sgt Pepper's (movie) in my head:

BLUE MEANIES, BLUE MEANIES!!

HDHouse said...

Fen said...
"Anyone who still maintains that the MSM doesn't lean left is not to be taken seriously."

As you chose to fight this fight on a turf I know a lot better than you do, have at it Fen.

let's hear the numbers and evidence ... and please refrain from writing "well everyone knows..."

HDHouse said...

damikesc said...
"Hd, we just watched, in 2008 and 2009, GE basically function as Obamas mouthpiece through their media holdings."


Well thats a piece of horseshit. CNBC left wing? 30 minutes of national news a day with what? an audience of 6million homes giving politics 3-4 minutes of airtime budget compared to El Gasbo at 3hours of non-stop bullroar 5 days a week with 20 million listeners?

I must of missed all this MSM crap because Faux Noise was spilling over on the other networks.

If you have nothing the wisest thing to do is say nothing. Got that pardner?

damikesc said...

You missed the HOURS of glowing coverage by MSNBC, every single day, for months on end now? NBCs hours long day at the WH? MTP where Gregory lies about a case Obama opposes? GE has been in Obamas back pocket.

So, using your logic, their blowing of Obama...and subsequent generous govt money given to them...means NBC has no free speech rights.

And what of the NYT?

My, who WOULD have free speech in your ideal world? Aw helll, who needs free speech, right?

Free speech is so passe, right?

damikesc said...

Can anybody explain the benefit of the media now? They are little more than readers of press releases.

How many question anything?

"Man is causing the ice caps to melt? Let's run that!"

"Sure, those Tea Party protests have never been violent before...but its inevitable. Hmmm, a political hack claims they used epithets at him but has no proof? He's a hero, so he dont need no proof"

"Well, those Duke lacrosse players were accused of raping a woman who has no apparent signs of being raped. Good enough for us to run with"

"Increased unemployment is good because it means more people are looking for work...and, no, it does not mean the problem was much worse than we claimed all year."

"A jobless recovery doesn't occur under a Democrat with 10% unemployment...just a Republican with 5%"

Would we miss them if they weren't here?

Ann Althouse said...

"The effect is, however, exactly as described. It is the opening for unrestrained issue money that effectively replaces money a candidate would normally have to spend in support of or opposition to an issue. It is surrogate money put up not by people but by things... a debate in itself."

1. Things don't do a damned thing without people. People form groups to do things. It's a way of being powerful and effective, for example, to make a movie, which is what the group called Citizens United did.

2. These groups are delivering their own message about politics, and are not "effectively replacing" the candidates' message. The candidate may very well object to the message or the way it is delivered.

3. Newspapers, magazines, radio stations, TV networks... they are all corporations. They get to speak. Thy have free-speech rights, so why not other organizations of people who have opinions to express.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Wow. So many comments ushered in late the next day. So few of them actually read what they were posted in response to.

miller said...

Amazing how libtards are OK with shutting down speech, and how easily they contort themselves to believe it's a good thing.

First Amendment: Congress shall make no law...

means what it says.

You libtards who want to shut down free speech - what will happen with the EVIL REPUBLICANS get into office and shut your speech down? Will you still be ecstatic?