Sunday, April 2, 2017

Fake News and the First Amendment

Fake News and the First Amendment

President Trump commented on news that is fake news and the news media screamed they are protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.  Mr. Trump did not call all of the news media to be fake, he was critical fake news reported as real news.

The news media continues to cry there should be no criticism of them because they are protected by the First Amendment.  They continue with because of that protection they should be no attempt to regulate or interfere with the news media. 

There are a few protections in the First Amendment, however only the free “press” should never be regulated or place restrictions on, or criticized. 

The First Amendment:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Do not touch the news media.  But it is okay to regulated religion.  It is okay to restrict free speech, can you say “hate speech crimes?”  Okay to regulate “people peaceably to assemble.”  But never touch “the press.” 

In 1989 the U.S. Supreme Court in the case “Texas v. Johnson,” ruled burning a U.S. flag is an expression of free speech protected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Further examination:  Burning a flag involves no speech, no verbalization, just action.  Yet that non-verbal act is protected as “free speech.” 

Now explore this scenario:  A person with a baseball bat proceeds to beat another person of a different ethnic background repeatedly over the head.  While doing so the person committing the assault hurls verbal insults towards the victim about his/her ethnic heritage.

The assailant will be charged with assault for beating the victim with a baseball bat.  In addition the assailant will be charged with a “hate crime” to serve an additional punishment for the negative ethnic slurs verbalized (spoken) during the commission of the assault.

The speech of the assailant is not protected as free speech, while the flag burner not uttering a word is protected as free speech.  Go figure.

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