According to the drama queens at CNN, Trump is endangering their lives by telling the truth about them. At that Trump rally where the audience was standing in line to mock and jeer at Jim Acosta, it seemed to me that Costa was hoping there would be an incident.
To hear Democrats in and out of the media tell it, Trump’s rhetoric is unprecedented. They also seem to believe that Freedom of the Press is the most important civil right we have.
I say poppycock and bullfeathers.
Here is an interesting article about the history of journalism in America
Journalism in America began as a humble affair and became a political force in the campaign for American independence. Following independence, the first article of U.S. Constitution guaranteed freedom of the press and speech and the American press grew rapidly following the American Revolution. The press became a key support element to the country’s political parties but also organized religious institutions.
Newspapers flourished in the new republic — by 1800, there were about 234 being published — and tended to be very partisan about the form of the new federal government, which was shaped by successive Federalist or Republican presidencies. Newspapers directed much abuse toward various politicians, and the eventual duel between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr was fueled by controversy in newspaper pages.
By 1796, both parties sponsored national networks of weekly newspapers, which attacked each other vehemently. The Federalist and Republican newspapers of the 1790s traded vicious barbs against their enemies.
Some of this sounds downright familiar.
By the time of the Civil War, many moderately sized cities had at least two newspapers, often with very different political perspectives. As the South began the task of seceding from the Union, some papers in the North recommended that the South should be allowed to secede. “The government, however, was not willing to allow ‘sedition’ to masquerade (in its opinion) as ‘freedom of the press.’” Several newspapers were closed by government action. After the massive Union defeat at the First Battle of Bull Run, angry mobs in the North destroyed substantial property owned by remaining “successionist” newspapers. Those still in publication quickly came to support the war, both to avoid mob action and to retain their audience.
There a couple things I want to point out.
First of all, our Founding Fathers never imagined the modern media. They were so enamored by the printing press because it was the smartphone of the 18th Century. It was cutting-edge technology that could print a hundred pages a day! But they operated manually and were usually published weekly or biweekly.
But the press of that era didn’t publish much in the way of news. They printed up letters and essays supporting and defending issues of interest to the colonists. The political parties used newspapers, and so did some churches. Newspapers did not start to become independent and neutral until the mid-19th Century.
The rotary press and the telegraph gave papers the ability to publish news stories from around the world. By the late 19th Century most papers had switched from paid subscriptions to advertising as their source of income. This was the era when the newspaper industry began its rise to power.
Eventually, radio came along. Then along came television, computers, social media and smartphones. The dead tree media is dying. But never fear, SCOTUS decided years ago that you didn’t need a printing press to be a member of the “press.”
Nowhere in the Constitution does it define the press, nor does it give them any special powers or protections. At the time the Constitution was written, signed, and adopted,no one could have predicted that journalists would shout questions at a POTUS and demand asnswers. Teddy Roosevelt was the first POTUS to hold press conferences.
Other than the fact that one is written and one is spoken is there any difference between freedom of speech and freedom of the press? Where does the news media get off arrogating themselves new powers and privileges?
I think the power of the media is overrated.
And with that I have to flea.