The First Amendment of the United States Constitution states:
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.
One thing has become abundantly clear over these last, nearly two years that the Obama Administration holds a deep
disregard hatred for the First Amendment. From its demonization as "extremists" of American citizens who have exercised their right to peaceably assemble, to the pushing of the First Amendment-limiting DISCLOSE Act, as well as the war declared on Fox News, the Obama Administration has shown nothing but vile contempt for anyone who may be critical of its policies.
The latest example comes this morning as the New York Times just caved in to political pressure from the White House.
Following a story earlier today in which the White House was allegedly contemplating running ads (using Saul Alinsky tactics) to paint the GOP with the Tea Partiers-are-extremists brush [see earlier post here], the White House apparently carpet-bombed the editors of the NYT to the point that the Times changed its story [emphasis added]:
The White House is pushing back hard against a New York Times report that the president's political team is considering a national ad campaign that would cast the GOP as taken over by tea party extremists.
The story is “100 percent inaccurate,” a White House official told POLITICO.
Times Washington Bureau Chief Dean Baquet counters that the "piece is accurate.”
But White House complaints have had some effect. Although the Times has not posted a correction or otherwise acknowledged making changes to the piece, it dialed back its claims overnight, changing the headline and the lead sentence of the story to de-emphasize the notion that the White House is weighing an anti-GOP ad campaign.
The initial headline read, “Obama Advisers Weigh Ad Assault Against the GOP,” and the first sentence reported that “President Obama’s political advisers, looking for ways to help Democrats and alter the course of the midterm elections in the final weeks, are considering a national advertising campaign that would cast the Republican Party as all but taken over by Tea Party extremists, people involved in the discussion said.”
The Times subsequently changed the headline to: “Obama Aides Weigh Bid to Tie the GOP to the Tea Party.”
And the opening sentence now says that the White House is considering a “range of ideas, including national advertisements."
So, rhetorically speaking, if the story is "accurate" (as the Times Bureau Chief claims), then why would the New York Times change its story at all?
When politicians are granted the ability by journalists (or their editors) to re-write stories in the press, it becomes clear that there is no longer a free press.
Note to Journalists: One of the hallmark traits of any tyranny is a control of the press. And, for those journalists who have not learned their history, in every tyranny, it is a free press (and the writers critical of the tyrant) who are usually the first to fall.
“I bring reason to your ears, and, in language as plain as ABC, hold up truth to your eyes.” Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776
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