In a story titled "New Obama Initiative Tramples First Amendment Protections," Byron York writes at the Washington Examiner:
The First Amendment says "Congress shall make no law
. . . abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press
. . ."
But under the Obama administration, the Federal Communications Commission is planning to send government contractors into the nation's newsrooms to determine whether journalists are producing articles, television reports, Internet content, and commentary that meets the public's "critical information needs."
Those "needs" will be defined by the administration, and news outlets that do not comply with the government's standards could face an uncertain future. It's hard to imagine a project more at odds with the First Amendment. . . .
Advocates promote the project with Obamaesque rhetoric. "This study begins the charting of a course to a more effective delivery of necessary information to all citizens," said FCC commissioner Mignon Clyburn in 2012.
Clyburn, daughter of powerful House Democratic Rep. James Clyburn, was appointed to the FCC by President Obama and served as acting chair for part of last year.
The FCC, Clyburn said, "must emphatically insist that we leave no American behind when it comes to meeting the needs of those in varied and vibrant communities of our nation -- be they native born, immigrant, disabled, non-English speaking, low-income, or other." (The FCC decided to test the program with a trial run in Ms. Clyburn's home state, South Carolina.)
Nice try, Ms. Clyburn. But what you "emphatically insist" on is emphatically rejected by the rules of freedom, as set forth in the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.
It is an extremism set against the mainstream of the ethos of freedom.
It is a path that leaves every American behind, except perhaps those like Ms. Clyburn, who are in the one percent of the one percent who would impose power over all the rest.
The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects human freedom by telling the federal government to keep its big intrusive, taxpayer-funded nose out of the news business.
A "core value" of freedom is that the federal government stays out of our business. The federal government is a creation of the states, not the Lord of the States. Just who do these people think they are? We literally pay their salaries. They answer to us.
A free people needs a free press to guard against government oppression, which after all, characterizes about 150% of world history.
And then there is the Declaration of Independence, which counsels the total rejection of what Clyburn insists upon.
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness," the Declaration states.
And what, according to the Declaration, is the point of government? "To secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men."
What are a people of freedom and dignity, living in community with their Creator, to do when that freedom and dignity is insistently attacked by a federal government?
"Whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government," the Declaration states.
The human spirit rightfully rises up against those who organize against human freedom. Love of neighbor entails the rejection of tyranny over the neighborhood.
The people of South Carolina, and liberty-minded people across the United States, would do well to take whatever legal and moral means necessary to remind federal operatives that the state was created for man, and not man for the state.
With people like Clyburn running loose in Washington, and federal operatives running roughshod across the land, America needs a free, strong, and vibrant press more than ever.
Information is power. News gathering is power. It is too important to be placed in the hands of Washington politicians. This is doubly so when those politicians insist on imposing extreme ideological agendas that war with the rules of freedom and the dignity of the human being.
Let's repeat what is at the core of mainstream America: "Whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government."
It's time to rise and shine, America. Rise and shine.