Freedom of the Press

Gorsuch: Supreme Court’s rejection of Metro ad ban case won’t be last word on religious speech

The Supreme Court on Monday refused to hear the Catholic Church’s demand to display pro-Christmas ads in the D.C. metro system, but one justice warned that this would not be the high court’s last word on this religious speech issue. Justice Neil M. Gorsuch said it was a clear-cut case of viewpoint discrimination when the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority put the kibosh on the church’s Christmas ad. He said the ad would have been allowed without question had Macy’s sponsored it. “Once the government allows a subject to be discussed, it cannot silence religious views on that topic,” Justice Gorsuch wrote in a statement joined by Justice Clarence Thomas. If Macy’s or Amazon wanted to run a Christmas ad with silhouettes of reindeer and the words “Find the Perfect Gift,” that would have been permitted, the archdiocese argued while noting that its 2017 advertisement depicting shepherds could not be placed on the sides of buses. Justice Gorsuch reasoned that the government can’t permit a forum for art and music but then forbid Handel’s “Messiah” or Michelangelo’s “David.” “And once the government declares Christmas open for commentary, it can hardly turn around and mute religious speech on a subject that so naturally invites it,” he said. The Archdiocese of Washington brought the case after WMATA rejected its 2017 ad with the shepherds and sheep. The transit agency cited a policy that barred it from promoting or opposing religion through advertisements.

FEC war: Dems reject call to protect Internet news, talk radio from regs

In the latest partisan escalation on the Federal Election Commission, a top Democratic commissioner has ripped a Republican commissioner’s bid to protect books, radio and Internet media from regulation as “pitiful.” Ann Ravel, a former FEC chairwoman, joined other Democrats at a meeting this month to block Republican Lee Goodman’s proposal to explicitly expand the “press exemption” from regulations to books, satellite radio and Internet-based news media. In pushing his plan aside, Ravel said that she didn’t have enough time to consider Goodman’s proposal. Goodman noted that the proposal has been under consideration for a while. That prompted Ravel to mock that Goodman’s public argument was meant to feed a story to the Washington Examiner, which has covered his concerns that FEC Democrats are trying to regulate conservative media, especially news outlets and news aggregators like the Drudge Report that are online. “I presume you’re just trying to utilize this argument for the Washington Examiner,” she said. That comment was tweeted by Dave Levinthal, a senior reporter for the Center for Public Integrity, who follows elections and the FEC. Ravel later tweeted a correction. “@davelevinthal @dcexaminer @FEC actually I was wrong, Dave. He chose the Daily Caller instead. Pitiful.” Goodman told Secrets that the latest attack on his proposals again show that Democrats are hostile to free press rights generally and in the past he has noted their antagonism to conservative media which is heavily internet based and on the radio, including Sirius/XM. Ravel’s “pitiful” comment appeared to refer to conservative news attention to Goodman’s proposal. “Once again, Commissioner Ravel has chosen to inject divisive ad hominem rhetoric into an honest debate about the scope of press freedom in America,” he said. “Instead of name-calling, Commissioner Ravel should explain why she wants to assert the power as a government official to ban books and motion pictures. She also owes an explanation for what appears to be a prejudice toward press organizations like Fox News, Washington Examiner and Daily Caller.”

Agreed!!  Just another example of the fascist attitude of Democrats.  They’re all for freedom of speech, and freedom of the press…as long as its media and speech they agree with.  Those media outlets, and speech they don’t agree with are targeted for censorship by their pc police and speech nazis.  Nothing new here..

Fox News blamed for stoking ‘racism’ in city’s spring break crackdown

PANAMA CITY BEACH, FLA.— The actual bacchanalia is still to come, but the underside of spring break in this party mecca has produced heated council meetings, attempts at a crackdown and court proceedings on whether Fox News is to blame for the town’s purportedly racist crackdown. Laws limiting alcohol consumption and scooter rentals have divided businesses and residents of this rural county which, for the past 20 years, has been transformed by hundreds of thousands of young visitors who spend tens of millions of dollars in a raucous six weeks. Beach businesses and patrons upset with laws meant to crack down on the rite of spring have been suing the city, accusing local lawmakers of illegal and prejudiced actions, which they blame on Fox News coverage. A federal judge with the Northern District of Florida has agreed to let a jury decide whether they are right. “Plaintiffs’ characterization of the Fox News coverage as focusing disproportionately on African-Americans at Spring Break is probably a stretch, but it is by no means ‘objectively false,’” Judge Mark E. Walker wrote in a four-page order this month denying the city’s request that Fox News’ spring break coverage be withheld as evidence of racial animus. “Particularly where issues of race and gender are involved, the same video footage may be interpreted quite differently by different people. For this Court to decide that the Fox News coverage did not, as a factual matter, focus disproportionately on African-Americans would be an inappropriate usurpation of the role of the jury.” After last year’s eventful spring break, which included a gang rape on the beach and a house party shooting that left seven people injured, city and county officials enacted laws aimed at bringing the partying under control. The city legislation passed last summer includes: no drinking on the beach or in commercial parking lots during March, increased fines for open-container offenses, no alcohol sales after 2 a.m. during March, minimum age of 21 to enter bars after midnight, no parking on rights of way after dark, no after-hours parking in business parking lots and a prohibition on balcony climbing. An ordinance limiting scooter rentals was passed in the fall. Bay County requires that patrons be at least 21, with the sole exception being those in possession of a military ID, to enter bars after midnight. But Panama City Beach does not, though some of the affected businesses in the county were recently annexed into Panama City Beach itself. While most of the beach falls within city limits, some of it extends into Bay County, which crafted laws similar to those created by Panama City Beach. Three businesses popular with spring breakers and locals alike teamed up in October to sue Panama City Beach. Clearwater-based lawyer Luke Lirot is representing those businesses, along with several patrons who claim they were victimized by racist actions on behalf of the city.

Wow..  Whatever happened to that pesky First Amendment “freedom of the press” thing??!?  SO WHAT if there was a spin in some of the reporting by Fox News?  What about the extreme liberal New York Times, Washington Post, ABC News, CBS News, NBC News, CNN, NPR, PBS, and the worst..MSNBC?!?  Just imagine if it were one of those news organizations, which have very clear agendas, that was under attack?  The other liberal news organizations would be circling that wagon BIG time!  This is insanity!!  Personally, I don’t see what all the fuss is about.  During Spring Break college kids go to Florida..  I know I did one year while in college.  That’s been going on for decades.  Nothing new.  It’s just gotten a little crazier over time.  And THAT is why Sean Hannity, and other Fox News personalities take their cameras down to talk to the kids and show what’s going on.  How on EARTH is that remotely controversial, and how did we get to a point where a news organization, which is simply doing it’s job reporting the news, is being put on trial for how it reports?!?!  Again, for those who didn’t take American Civics in school..  We have this thing called the First Amendment…and “freedom of the press” is part of that.  So, get over it!

Washington Times settles case with Homeland over improper seizure of reporter’s notes

Documents improperly taken in raid on Audrey Hudson’s home identified confidential sources

Glad the courts were able to provide this reporter some restitution of her notes and such. But, this is yet another example of this Obama administration overstepping its authority. DHS had NO right whatsoever to confiscate this reporters notes and materials.

White House warns reporter not to talk to attendees at first lady’s campaign event

A journalist covering first lady Michelle Obama’s campaign appearance in Wisconsin said a White House aide told her that she wasn’t allowed to talk to people in the crowd.

Another example of the fascist, Chicago-thug like tactics used by Obama, his administration, and now the First Lady…to silence dissent. Its clear that Michelle Obama is now part of the White House attack machine. So, that makes her fair game in the contact sport that is election politics.

In America the press enjoys very specific First Amendment protections. Assuming this really happened… Whoever this White House thug is that told this female reporter to not talk to folks at this campaign rally in Wisconsin, should be publicly identified and humiliated. Not only should that person be fired… BUT, a Congressional investigation should be convened, as this is hardly the first time this White House has threatened or intimidated those in the media. Just ask James Rosen, the senior Washington correspondent over at Fox News. Obama had AG Eric Holder and his Justice Department target James Rosen as a co-conspirator in some fictitious federal crime…just to shut James up. James is an outstanding reporter who is a consummate professional.

Anyway, there is very definitely a culture at the White House that targets opposition media personnel, and conservatives in general. As an example, currently there is Congressional investigation under way investigating the IRS (an executive branch agency that reports to AG Eric Holder and the Justice Dept) for its unconstitutional, brazen, abuse of power in targeting conservative organizations, many of whom are Tea Party affiliated, for excessive audits and so on. For over 5 years, the IRS has been going after certain organizations (primarily conservative, or Republican) because of their political ideology or affiliations. That’s completely illegal and a brazen violation of the U.S. Constitution. The primary person of interest there is Lois Lerner, a political appointee, who has thus far invoked her 5th Amendment rights, and has refused to testify under oath before Congress. She, of course, should be held in contempt of Congress, and thrown in jail. But, I’m thinking this goes MUCH higher.. So, again, Congress (after the November elections, of course) should convene an investigation into how the White House has been targeting certain members of the media, and has used almost mafia-like tactics against those news sources and persons. And people still ask me why I refer to people like Obama, Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) who wants to do away with the First Amendment altogether and has said as much, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) who wants to take away our guns (something that Hitler did..gun confiscations), AG Eric Holder (who is a full blown racist fascist), and others as “Nazis.” You have to be a total Obama-zombie to not understand why, lol. In the meantime, I hope Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) is re-elected…along with others whom the White House has been targeting and campaigning against. That’d be poetic justice.