Tag Archives: New York Times

Kinsley on The New York Times’ next First Amendment embarrassment

Originally posted 2005-10-21 13:08:48. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Not a lot of time to blog these days but this Slate piece from Michael Kinsley is a must-read. Excerpt:

[T]he Times believes that its First Amendment right to speak includes a right (for journalists only) not to speak when subpoenaed in a criminal investigation. Meanwhile, it cannot see how a right to speak includes the right to spend money on speech. . . .

One interesting revelation in that 6,000-word deconstruction of the Judith Miller affair in the Times last Sunday was the different ways the whole culture of anonymous sources leads to suppression of information. The identity of sources is just the beginning. Yet the Times believes that its First Amendment right to speak includes a right (for journalists only) not to speak when subpoenaed in a criminal investigation. Meanwhile, it cannot see how a right to speak includes the right to spend money on speech.

As many have pointed out over the years, the Times might feel differently about a law that limited how much any one person or organization could spend putting out a newspaper, although that too would reduce the “unfair advantage” of some players over others. As a matter of fact, various legislative attempts to limit campaign spending invariably include an exemption for the news media, just to avoid that whole thicket. But this would be an excellent moment for the Times (and the Post and the other MSM) to reconsider all their various pleas for special treatment.

Hat tip to Kaus.