Does the 1st Amendment Only Apply to the Media?

2021 January 27
by bc3b

People like CNN’s Brian Stelter and NBC’s Chuck Todd and many/most of their cohorts in the MSM seem to believe it does. The Missing Link (aka Brian Stelter) has gone so far as to accuse Donald Trump and anyone else who criticizes the media as being an enemy of the 1st Amendment.

I often refer to the annual Gallup Media Trust study. When you outboard Democrats and Republicans, 64% of independents have little or no trust of the media 35% have absolutely no trust and 29% have very little trust and for good reason. According to Gallup, a majority of independents haven’t trusted the media since 2004.

Like all of us, the media sees itself in a different light than others see it. In the 1950s and 1960s most Americans had no idea what the political philosophy Chet Huntley, David Brinkley or Howard K. Smith was or how they voted. All that has changed with the mainstream media becoming increasing partisan. While Huntley and Brinkley’s goal was to inform the American public, the goal of people like Fredo Cuomo and Chuck Todd is to control information (much like the Soviet-era Pravda) and silence all opposition.

A new generation of media crusaders clamors for government control over what you see, hear, and read—and for banning their competition

American journalism once thought of itself as being inherently and institutionally pro free speech. Visitors to the Newseum, the media industry’s temple of self-glorification on Constitution Avenue in Washington, were once greeted with the First Amendment inscribed across 74 vertical feet of lofty marble. The Newseum has been closed since late 2019, its operators having discovered the hard way that the public doesn’t share the media’s heroic level of regard for itself.

The museum was an anachronism in more ways than one: The idea that journalists themselves look upon the constitutional right to free expression with quasi-religious awe is nearly as quaint as the idea the media could be the basis for a major D.C. tourist attraction. A publicly beloved press that earnestly believes in free speech now feels like it belongs to some fictive era of good feelings. These days, the American public distrusts the media more than it ever has.

Confronted with this crisis of legitimacy, today’s corporate media increasingly advances ideas that would delight would-be power trippers of any party—like establishing novel forms of government control over what you can see, read, and hear and identifying people with a broad range of unpopular or unapproved views as domestic terrorists. Public discourse is now a “conflict space” with social media serving as an “information warzone,” the public intellectual Peter W. Singer declared in an essay published a few days after the alternately scary and farcical Trump riot on Capitol Hill, seamlessly adapting a framework of state-level physical violence to a discussion of constitutionally protected speech.

In recent years the United States has seen more severe acts of political violence and deadlier riots than the events at the Capitol—but American guarantees of free speech apparently should not survive the shocking image of Nancy Pelosi’s office being ransacked. The notion that free expression is sedition’s handmaiden or that the prevention of treason should be a higher goal than the open exchange or exposure of allegedly dangerous arguments are not controversial views anymore; they pop up frequently, among putatively liberal-minded commentators in The Washington Post and The New York Times.

Media skepticism toward free expression actually began long before the Capitol riot – and before Trump was elected. The New Yorker’s Kalefa Sanneh anticipated the rising ambivalence toward the existing First Amendment regime when he likened “speech nuts” to “gun nuts” in a 2015 essay. Today, support for the mainstream American free speech norms of earlier, less-Trump-addled times is increasingly cast as a kind of sinister eccentricity, as when Slate declared in the days after the Capitol assault that “We have come to a moment in which one half of the country is fighting to be free of crippling, life-ending acts of stochastic terror, while another half of the same country is chillingly preoccupied with their right to just talk shit.”

How chilling, to be preoccupied with one’s individual rights—or at least to not understand that the legitimacy of one’s constitutionally guaranteed freedoms depends on the “moment” that “we” might be “in.” Sanneh wasn’t quite so sneering, and in the end he predicted that custom would override any late-breaking sense of national emergency: “Perhaps America’s First Amendment, like the Second, is ultimately a matter of national preference,” he mused. In any case, Sanneh wasn’t calling for anyone to suffer criminal penalties for protected speech.

Sanneh’s seeming lack of enthusiasm for fining or jailing people who disagree with him is getting less common among members of a media class determined to show that “enemies of the state” are its enemies, too. In a 2019 Washington Post opinion piece, Richard Stengel, the former managing editor of Time magazine and co-author of The Long Walk to Freedom, Nelson Mandela’s now-classic autobiography, argued that the U.S. was in need of hate speech laws, contending that “the First Amendment … should not protect hateful speech that can cause violence by one group against another.” As the Biden administration’s transition team leader for the U.S. Agency for Global Media, he will no doubt find plenty of support for his vision for state-regulated speech among a long list of regimes that journalists once professed to abhor.

Hat tip:

Chuck Todd Goebbels, Reich and Art | A R T L▽R K

The only difference is a clean shave and a spiffy uniform

47 Responses leave one →
  1. 2021 January 27 5:14 am
    bc3b permalink

    Normally I don’t mock people for their appearance (I do in posts), but Stelter was just too easy a target. I couldn’t resist.

  2. 2021 January 27 5:19 am
    bc3b permalink

    Republicans wonder is easing COVID-19 restrictions isn’t political. Suddenly indoor dining is no longer prohibited in Chicago, Michigan and Kalifornia:

  3. 2021 January 27 5:26 am
    bc3b permalink

    There was a time when ABC, CBS and NBC were in fierce competition. Today, as long as Americans receive their daily dose of propaganda, the networks don’t really care where they get it.

  4. 2021 January 27 6:08 am
    JimNorCal permalink

    A comment seen at TheNewNeo. I doubt this will catch on, folks will feel sorry for the poor staff who have to restock the goods. But it’s the right action, imo. As several here have said: boycott.
    We just need to all join on choosing one target.

    The Fightback Has Begun” to the Left’s takeover of government, law, and corporate persecution, says JoAnne Nova.
    She cites Sen. Rand Paul on the impeachment, a Judge who has blocked the Biden EO reversal of accepting violent illegal immigrants (thanks to Trump’s own EO wording], and an activist buy-cott of Bed, Bath, and Beyond for “cancelling” Mike Lindell for wongthink!
    “Bed Bath and Beyond stopped stocking the MyPillow range after the CEO openly supported Donald Trump. In reply, activists wandered through the store filling up their trolleys, then abandoning them with a note asking the store to Stop Promoting Cancel Culture, and promising not to shop there until they did:
    The Media Action Network has launched a Basket Boycott and petition against Bed Bath & Beyond after it announced it was pulling MyPillows due to CEO Mike Lindell’s politics.
    We’re encouraging patriots to visit their local Bed Bath & Beyond, fill up a shopping cart, then abandon it with our statement about free speech. And never shop there again until CEO Mark Tritton reverses his decision.
    “This isn’t about pillows. It’s about the continual punishment of conservative speech,” said Media Action Network founder Ken LaCorte. “And we’ve had enough.”
    “Every time we turn around, another conservative has been silenced under false pretences of ‘hate’ or ‘isms’ or the most recent offense-de-jour. We’re fighting back.”

  5. 2021 January 27 7:51 am
    justrand permalink

    Jim, I love the Bed Bath & Beyond “basket boycott”.

    We need more actions like that.

  6. 2021 January 27 7:55 am
    justrand permalink

    I gotta tell ya, folks, I really thought the Dems would spend the first month or two trying to lull the peasants to sleep…but they are doing the exact opposite. My estimate of mid-year being the timeframe for things accelerating downhill may indeed have been too optimistic.

  7. 2021 January 27 7:57 am
    justrand permalink

    Very funny…but only just barely satire since this shit really does happen

  8. 2021 January 27 8:08 am
    justrand permalink

    A very long, though excellent, article. I was reminded of the beginning of Asimov’s ‘Foundation’ trilogy, when Hari Seldon is banished for using logic.

  9. 2021 January 27 8:54 am
    PresidentRonaldPaul permalink

    I think the “bipartisan censure” plan is just to get lots of GOPers on record as opposing Trump. They can always do impeachment, sedition, and domestic terrorism agenda once they get more GOPers on board.

  10. 2021 January 27 9:36 am
    JimNorCal permalink

    A test to see if Gab links work for non-Gabsters. Workee or no-workee?
    Should be a square box
    1) “this idiot lost her guns in a boating accident”
    with arrow pointing up to her name in the post
    2) “these idiots also lost their guns in boating accidents”
    with arrow pointing down the count of “Likes”

  11. 2021 January 27 9:37 am
    Eph permalink

  12. 2021 January 27 9:42 am
    JimNorCal permalink

    JR, 5: Jim, I love the Bed Bath & Beyond “basket boycott”

    Yeah, me too. BUT.
    You’re not gonna drive to Chico or Redding to do it, are you? If only because you’re not on board with making the clerks re-stock all the stuff.

    I’m more convinced every day that the next action “we” should take is a boycott to push back on all the conservative bashing corporations.
    So, we need a million people, better ten million. To make an impact on the target. To get the attention of the others.
    So we need a boycott that’s easy and a lot of people can join in. Because you know a lot of Dems will make a point of doing a shopping trip to “defend” the target. And we need some big name to launch it.

    I’ll be watching. Hoping that someone with influence will step up.

  13. 2021 January 27 9:45 am
    JimNorCal permalink

    Apparently Biden* has signed an order banning “China virus”.
    Hopefully it is just for federal documents, though even that is ludicrous.
    You know that Twitter, Facebook, NextDoor and so on and so on will join in.

    Somebody made a good point.
    We should avoid saying “Not my President”.
    When you win by fraud the correct statement is “Not a President”

  14. 2021 January 27 10:00 am
    drdog09 permalink

    From last post —

    “A quick update on my wife’s friend group.
    They’re investigating exodus from CA. They’ve got 2 accepted offers so far. One lady has bought in Allen, TX and the other in McKinney TX. Both are Collin County because one lady found a trusted Real Estate agent.
    A couple others have made offers only to shake their heads and say “There were two dozen other offers! The house went for $30K over asking price!” ”

    Perish that thought that things are going to cool down — Samsung has indicated they are going drop $2Bn into a fab plant in either the Plano area or Round Rock (aka Austin) area. Others are following. The whole area North Dallas/Collin County will not cool down for YEARS. DFW has been the Telecom hub of Texas since I have been here (circa 1993). Nokia, Motorola, Siemens, Level3, on and on have a presence here. Collin IS going to become Silicon Prairie and you know what that means for real estate.

    You want to buy some property at a reasonable price consider the following cities:

    Red Oak

    a bit more rural,

    They are all South of Dallas and so the price appreciation has been much slower. Midlothian houses a Google Center there. Waxahachie just built a brand new HS last year. Lancaster is being considered for an airport. Etc.

    The idea of ‘being close to the action’ is a misnomer in DFW. Damn near everything, everywhere is an hour away. That is how big this place is.

    Hope it helps.

  15. 2021 January 27 10:25 am
    bc3b permalink

    As I have said repeatedly, P&G makes a perfect boycott target because every household has the potential to use/boycott so many products:

    Tide/Gain/Era (P&G) vs. All/Purex (non-P&G)
    Cascade vs. Finish
    Bounty/Charmin/Puffs vs. Hefty/Scott/store brands (your ass won’t know the difference)
    Always/Tampax vs. Whatever
    Braun/Jill-ette vs. WaterPik, Philips, Schick, Bic and Barbersol
    Head & Shoulders/Old Spice vs. Right Guard/Axe/Degree/Speed Stick and dozens of shampoos
    Mr. Clean vs. Formula 409/Pine Sol?Ajax/Fabuloso
    Crest/Scope vs. Colgate/Aim/Aqua Fresh/Pepsodent/Close-Up & Listerine/Colgate/Act
    Pepto Bismal & Vicks vs. store brands and other cough and cold brands
    Ivory/Safe Guard Vs. Irish Spring/Dial/Soft Soap/Zest/ Simply U
    Dawn vs. Palmolive/Joy

  16. 2021 January 27 10:30 am
    drdog09 permalink


    Nice jesture but really not painful enough nor effective. BB&B will just consider the extra labor a sunk cost since their clerks do nothing anyway (management think). You want to really hurt them? Foster a stock revolt.

    Do what the left does. Here are the largest holders of BBBY-

    Blackrock Inc.*
    FMR, LLC*
    Vanguard Group, Inc. *
    Contrarius Investment Management Limited
    Legion Partners Asset Management, LLC
    State Street Corporation
    Shaw D.E. & Co., Inc.
    Dimensional Fund Advisors LP
    Arrowstreet Capital, Limited Partnership
    Parametric Portfolio Associates

    *Combined nearly a 1/3rd of BBBY stock outstanding.

    Send letters to each that you will be advising your broker to remove THEIR ETF out of your portfolio since it holds BBBY stock. Look in your 401k statement to validate this. Done effectively we could crater their stock price by at least 25%.

    Second, they are running at a net loss for the last two years.

    So what you say? Spook their suppliers by pointing out that BBBY has been running without profit for two years straight. There is nothing that kills a retail business faster than their vendor credit lines drying up. Most run at net+90. If suppliers demand net+30 that creams BBBY’s cash position. Just walk into a BBBY store and write down the products. A follow on search on the Internet will get you that list. Send the vendors letters.

    Third send letters to the board of directors informing them what is going to happen. Sorry don’t have the list but here is a piece laying out the backstory of BBBY’s actions — They were already primed to do something like this back in 2019.

    Its corporate warfare at its finest. This is what is effective because it scares the sh#$ out of executive staff.

  17. 2021 January 27 10:56 am
    drdog09 permalink

    Thinking about what I posted in 16, it might be worthwhile to build an Media Matters like organization for this very purpose. A clearing house for having all that facts and figures to mobilize conservatives on companies like BBBY.

  18. 2021 January 27 10:56 am
    JimNorCal permalink

    bc “As I have said repeatedly, P&G makes a perfect boycott target”

    Yeah, I’m on the lookout for PG too. Still, to make an impact we’ll need more than the two of us.
    I have no clue how to launch such an effort …

  19. 2021 January 27 11:07 am
    JimNorCal permalink

    14, drdog, thanks for the further inside look at TX real estate 🙂 🙂

  20. 2021 January 27 12:13 pm
    Eph permalink

    “Wear not 1 … but 2(!) masks”


  21. 2021 January 27 1:18 pm
    JimNorCal permalink

    Eph, I saw a couple of memes, one was Fauci wearing about 20 masks. It stuck out so far he looked like an elephant.
    The second meme showed a guy saying “TWO masks? I bet I can get them to wear FIVE at a time!” and the guy is laughing uproariously.

    For myself … I may cut back on posting memes. This was posted as being from a guy named Robbie Starbuck.

    “Biden’s Department of (in)Justice has charged a Trump voter who had 58,000 followers on twitter with election interference because he posted a meme in 2016 telling Democrats to vote for Hillary Clinton via text as a joke. He’s being charged for a MEME! Unbelievable. The only people that should go to jail for this are the people dumb enough to have believed the meme.” … n-campaign

    Social Media Influencer Charged with Election Interference Stemming from Voter Disinformation Campaign
    A Florida man was arrested this morning on charges of conspiring with others in advance of the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election to use various social media platforms…

  22. 2021 January 27 1:51 pm

    The 1st amend is dead. We better just go ahead and shut down BJG before they take away our rat hind quarters, for all of our posting. They haven’t a legal leg to stand on, but they can bankrupt people ala Flynn for having to defend against this crap.

  23. 2021 January 27 2:31 pm
    bc3b permalink

    JimNorCal #18 –

    If your visits to the grocery store are anything like mine, you’ll see that P&G brands have greater shelf space than competitors as well as displays in mail aisles.

  24. 2021 January 27 2:37 pm
    Eph permalink


    Bring on 👠-Up!


  25. 2021 January 27 2:50 pm
    bc3b permalink

    I confess I did watch an NHL game last night as the Red Wings were playing the Dallas Stars. The Stars have Ty Dellandrea, who went directly from the Flint Firebirds junior team to the NHL, totally bypassing the minor leagues.

    Last night he led the Stars in the number of shifts (27) and was second in total ice time in just his third NHL game. Saw him once bat a mid-air puck into the net while falling down. He’s so clean cut that you want to puke. Spent spare time visiting children in hospitals in Flint.

  26. 2021 January 27 4:23 pm
    justrand permalink

    IP is correct…the 1st Amendment IS dead. Over 4 years ago this guy shared some memes…and now the rapacious Biden* Regime is taking revenge for Hillary.

  27. 2021 January 27 4:59 pm
    drdog09 permalink

    Well shucks BC come on down, there is plenty of room and we will vouch for ya.

    Can you imagine what this would do to the GOP if TX left? It would be dead. They would never win another POTUS race again. Full stop.

  28. 2021 January 27 5:03 pm
    drdog09 permalink


    I have never understood how DoJ in NY figures they have jurisdiction every where in the US. They do this constantly outside of their AO.

  29. 2021 January 27 5:07 pm
    mulletover permalink

    There is a new Covid test that involves a gentle swab up Uranus. For conservatives, the method is the same. The gentle swab, however, is replaced with a doubled-over strip of razor wire.

  30. 2021 January 27 5:11 pm
    drdog09 permalink

    Here is what I mean by hitting those bastQ#$ where it hurts — — FacistBook taking it in the shorts for the second straight quarter. Keep pounding them by staying away.

  31. 2021 January 27 6:15 pm
    JimNorCal permalink

    A sad story from the Motor City.

    “The day after the election, a Detroit man was heard cursing out his mother for voting for Biden.
    Then he left flowers at her grave, where she was buried in 1999.”

  32. 2021 January 27 6:27 pm
    JimNorCal permalink

    Leader of Proud Boys was FBI informant? Ai yi yi.

    Coming soon.

  33. 2021 January 27 7:34 pm
    justrand permalink

    If Texas does secede we will move there as soon as we can…though the PRK may “disagree”

  34. 2021 January 27 7:45 pm
    drdog09 permalink


    Its an entertaining thought that is for sure. This idea seems to pop up every 5 years or so and to date has never come up for a vote. It would be a lot more ‘doable’ if TX could drag NM, MO, ARK, LA, MS & AL with them.

  35. 2021 January 27 7:46 pm
    drdog09 permalink


    That is an admirable photo-shop job.

  36. 2021 January 27 8:04 pm

    I think you’re right IP (22).

    I have my doubts that Texas will secede.

    I think being patient and devoting yourself to the duties appropriate to your current life situation is the best you can do.

  37. 2021 January 28 5:26 am
    drdog09 permalink

    One last bit on Texas. All the other attempts have failed to came to a vote for various reasons. I would love to see the referendum come to the ballot. I don’t expect it to pass, but I think it would, even in its failure, send a message of “don’t do something to make us change our minds.”

    Hope everyone has a glorious day.

  38. 2021 January 28 5:33 am
    drdog09 permalink

    Wall Street short sellers — — Got their heads handed to them “…by the littlest of things…”. And now they want to cry to the SEC. It the continuing gamestop saga.

  39. 2021 January 28 6:31 am
    mulletover permalink

    Hedge funds want a bailout for market losses?

    Okay. I’ll take my bailout from 2000, 2008, and 2020. Can I expect that in the next few days?

  40. 2021 January 28 6:37 am
    drdog09 permalink

    If I be FacistBook I would be very afraid — — The ability to share data/services in a decentralized way is coming.

  41. 2021 January 28 7:11 am
    justrand permalink

    Drdog, I consider Texas the bellwether for secession talk…or even action. Like you I would love to it at least make it to the ballot. The Biden* Regime may be able to make that happen.

  42. 2021 January 28 7:16 am
    justrand permalink

    Excellent article…and 100% accurate conclusion:

    The mania for perfect equality of results and conditions is never to be satisfied. It provides a permanent rationale for perfect tyranny.

  43. 2021 January 28 8:46 am

    Preparing dinner for hut 1369

  44. 2021 January 28 9:47 am
    drdog09 permalink

    Squirrel is reserved for the camp guards are they not?

  45. 2021 January 28 11:39 am

    True, the nuts are for the inmates.

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