Durbin wonders: Does First Amendment apply to bloggers, Twitter?

posted at 3:01 pm on May 27, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Thanks to the Obama administration’s attacks on the Associated Press and its representation in federal court that Fox News’ James Rosen is a spy for asking questions, one has to wonder whether the First Amendment applies to anyone in the Age of Hope and Change.  Fox News host Chris Wallace asked Senator Dick Durbin whether Barack Obama’s promise to have Eric Holder look into cases of abuse that he personally approved represents a conflict of interest, but Durbin dodges that question and talks instead about the shield law proposed repeatedly over the last few years as the appropriate Congressional response to the scandal.  However, Durbin asks what exactly “freedom of the press” means in 2013, and wonders aloud whether it would include bloggers, Twitter users, and the rest of the Internet media:

Here’s what the First Amendment actually says: “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.”  Press at the time would certainly have meant newspapers, which were the high-tech information revolution of the day. It would also have included pamphleteers, perhaps even more than newspapers, as pamphleteers helped drive revolutionary sentiment.  Their modern-day analogs would arguable be bloggers and Twitter users, those who reported news and proclaimed opinions outside of the establishment press.

However, Durbin’s asking the wrong question.  The question isn’t who gets protected, but what.  Journalism is not an identity or a guild, but an action and a process — and anyone engaged in that activity must be treated equally before the law.  A shield law based on membership via employment in privileged workplaces or certified by guilds doesn’t protect journalism, it becomes rent-seeking behavior that ensures that only the large players get protected, as I wrote ten days ago.

Durbin’s question isn’t even the biggest non-sequitur in this argument.  The biggest non-sequitur is the shield law itself, which wouldn’t have even addressed the Rosen or AP situation.  And considering that the Obama administration ignored existing statutes in both cases, why should we believe they would obey a shield law when it got in their way?

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No guilds.

AshleyTKing on May 27, 2013 at 5:34 PM

If you publish a comic book that’s not journalism. But the comic book is protected under free speech, no?

SparkPlug on May 27, 2013 at 5:17 PM

Yes…and the artist can be considered part of the press. See James Gillray, Thomas Nast, and Michael Ramirez.

Resist We Much on May 27, 2013 at 5:37 PM

You couldn’t make this stuff up. Scary.

Ellis on May 27, 2013 at 5:40 PM

A survey of the history of socialist regimes reveals they always try to use the power of the government they control to suppress free speech, political opposition, and dangerous counter-revolutionaries.

In the US they have thus far been successful in their efforts on university campuses. They have been trying to shut down conservative talk radio for decades. And now they may take a shot at suppressing counter-revolutionary content on the internet, just like they do in China.

farsighted on May 27, 2013 at 5:43 PM

I’m confused. Waz I trained or edeumacated?

Apparently, there’s a difference.

wolly4321 on May 27, 2013 at 5:43 PM

I don’t know which is worse – This guy and his attitude;

Or the fact that Democrats Line Up in Droves to vote for him.

jaydee_007 on May 27, 2013 at 5:45 PM

Straight up NAZI. I fking hate this guys guts.

tom daschle concerned on May 27, 2013 at 5:48 PM

Horace Greeley quit school at 14 and never returned. He learned journalism on the job.

Benjamin Franklin had no formal education after the age of 10. He apprenticed to his brother, a printer.

John Peter Zenger, whose landmark case defended by Alexander Hamilton led to inclusion of freedom of speech and of the press as our FIRST Amendment, emigrated from Germany to the American colonies and was then trained by British immigrant William Bradford (the printer).

We used to have a great respect for those who were trained on the job to be something, be it printer, plumber, or draftsman.

I see no reason for a requirement that someone attend something called a “school of journalism” to be considered a great journalist.

Greyledge Gal on May 27, 2013 at 5:50 PM

Journalists and even imaginary ‘Journalists’ like CH don’t like blogging because they see it as an existential threat. It’s part of the reason why the mainstream press drug Barky across the finish line in the last election, to prove to themselves that they were still relevant. They like the power that is the 4th estate, and they are fighting tooth and nail these days to ‘discredit’, ridicule any and all of their competition. First Amendment be damned. The rhetorical contortions of CH illustrate this.

Corporal Tunnel on May 27, 2013 at 5:51 PM

The ultimate end of all socialists, liberals, progressives, Marxists, democrats, is to control all truth and all other’s behavior, that evil may prevail–until complete control is obtained, at which time bad behavior that hurts their new evil society will no longer be tolerated.
Durbin is merely being default…

Don L on May 27, 2013 at 5:55 PM

Under the pseudonym of Cato, John Peter Zenger wrote:

“But this doctrine (‘a lible (sic) is not less a libel for being true’) only holds true as to private and personal failings; The exposing therefore of public wickedness, as it is a duty which every man owes to the truth and his country, can never be a libel in the nature of things? It has been hitherto generally understood, that there was no other Libels but those against Magistrates and those against private men. Now to me there seems to be a third set of libels, full as destructive as any of the former can probably be, I mean libels against the people. Almost all over the earth, the people for one injury they do their governor, receive ten thousand from them. Nay, in some countries it is made death and damnation, not to bear all the oppression and cruelties, which men made wanton by power inflict upon those that gave it them.”

Greyledge Gal on May 27, 2013 at 5:55 PM

In Durbin’s world everyone has a place. Bloggers are a recent addition to this world and Durbin is just asking what shelf should he put them on. It would blow his brain up if he ever thought in a manner of free people.

Herb on May 27, 2013 at 5:56 PM

Durbin, Schumer, and Pelosi walk into a bar…

SouthernGent on May 27, 2013 at 3:13 PM

…and a pressure cooker goes off.

Nutstuyu on May 27, 2013 at 5:58 PM

T’s good that evil known as “the left” has finally come out of the closet to demand we submit ourselves to its superior being. Up till now it has pretended to seek the good–for the children, and now it is demanding that we either slaughter them or refuse to have them that we may pursue the hedonism gods while pleasing the eco-gods.

Don L on May 27, 2013 at 5:59 PM

Hey! I want to congratulate Capitalist Hog (CH) on his using Hot Air (HA) for his continuing education. It is a shame that HA won’t pay him then it would “earn while you learn” time. If you keep monopolising HA threads, you might find out that most folks don’t come here to argue with a pomposity, but to have fun, learn, and give an opinion (note opinions don’t have to be based on facts, but are generally based on the perception of facts.) Opinions are like anuses: everybody has one and most of them stink.

Old Country Boy on May 27, 2013 at 5:59 PM

John Stewart and The Daily Show are the only source of news for many on the left. Is Stewart protected?

InterestedObserver on May 27, 2013 at 6:00 PM

Hasn’t Obama and crew gone after every last part of the First Amendment?

Cindy Munford on May 27, 2013 at 6:00 PM

“Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press;

This is not complicated, Durbin.

“Speech” is what is spoken that others hear. “Press” is what is written that others read.

farsighted on May 27, 2013 at 6:11 PM

Hasn’t Obama and crew gone after every last part of the First Amendment?

Cindy Munford on May 27, 2013 at 6:00 PM

Yes.

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.

Between Obamacare, the AP and FOX news scandal, and the Tea Party, they’ve covered every phrase.

INC on May 27, 2013 at 6:11 PM

Durbin is older than me. Forgot the “Pentagon Papers” apparently. They weren’t declassified until June 2011.

His mind went so soon.

CW20 on May 27, 2013 at 6:12 PM

They’ve also gone after the 2nd.

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

INC on May 27, 2013 at 6:12 PM

I saw Dick Turban utter these inane words and it further solidifies my belief that we have elected the enemy. They will not be satisfied until the State confiscates all of our wealth and Constitutional rights and replaces them with redistribution and central planning. Government uber alles.

Philly on May 27, 2013 at 6:13 PM

And the 4th:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

INC on May 27, 2013 at 6:13 PM

Misapplied the 5th:

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

INC on May 27, 2013 at 6:14 PM

Acted with prejudice on the 6th:

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

INC on May 27, 2013 at 6:15 PM

I do believe that Newsweek is now an online-only entity. I guess they aren’t part of the press anymore — right?

unclesmrgol on May 27, 2013 at 6:15 PM

Laughed at the 9th:

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

INC on May 27, 2013 at 6:16 PM

And trampled the 10th:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

INC on May 27, 2013 at 6:16 PM

Del Dolemonte on May 27, 2013 at 5:17 PM

You’re Stupid. That’s my only credible response.

Capitalist Hog on May 27, 2013 at 5:29 PM

Edited for Accuracy.

Journalists may be biased. Journalism is not.

Capitalist Hog on May 27, 2013 at 5:21 PM

Journalism, not individual journalists, were biased enough to collectively demand George W. Bush’s military records during the 2004 campaign, to the point where the Associated Press (the journalism entity, not individual journalists) successfully sued the Bush White House to release those records.

As the very same time, the Associated Press (the journalism entity, not individual journalists) successfully colluded with the Democrat “candidate” that year to keep his military records a secret. We still don’t know what he’s hiding.

And even those with more than 2 functional brain cells knows that if journalism had done its job in 2008, Barack Milhouse O’bama would never have won the Democrat nomination, much less be elected President.

Del Dolemonte on May 27, 2013 at 6:19 PM

However, Durbin’s asking the wrong question. The question isn’t who gets protected, but what. Journalism is not an identity or a guild, but an action and a process

Sorry, Ed, but freedom of speech is for every American citizen, not only journalists.

The question IS who gets protected. We all get protected.

*wink* Nice try at making YOU specially protected.

ladyingray on May 27, 2013 at 6:20 PM

However, Durbin asks what exactly “freedom of the press” means in 2013, and wonders aloud whether it would include bloggers, Twitter users, and the rest of the Internet media:

Well first of all, only trained professionals should have access to media–you certainly don’t need any in your home. And no one needs more than 7 pages of media at any one time, and it sure as hell better not have any black plastic on it or anything else that would make it look scary.

Nutstuyu on May 27, 2013 at 6:21 PM

Our worst offenders in abuses of (and essential ignorance of) the Constitution are those who have been in Congress way too long. They are too comfortable in their sinecures and affronted if anyone dares to question them.

onlineanalyst on May 27, 2013 at 6:24 PM

Sorry, Ed, but freedom of speech is for every American citizen, not only journalists.

The question IS who gets protected. We all get protected.

*wink* Nice try at making YOU specially protected.

ladyingray on May 27, 2013 at 6:20 PM

He was speaking of “freedom of the press”, not “freedom of speech”. You are still right. The freedom of the press belongs to anyone that has one. And, today, you can have one if you have a smartphone or a computer. And, so many people have an even more traditional press sitting on their desks at home: a printer. If you can post it in public, or pass it around in private, it is “the press”!

GWB on May 27, 2013 at 6:29 PM

abridging the freedom of speech
that covers it all.

dmacleo on May 27, 2013 at 6:34 PM

Goodness, I keep losing my comments: Is it I or am I banned or something without notice or reason?

Don L on May 27, 2013 at 6:35 PM

Don, reload the page. That happens to me sometimes.

Philly on May 27, 2013 at 6:39 PM

Don, reload the page. That happens to me sometimes.

Philly on May 27, 2013 at 6:39 PM

Thanks I’ll give her the old try…

Don L on May 27, 2013 at 6:42 PM

I see no reason for a requirement that someone attend something called a “school of journalism” to be considered a great journalist.

Greyledge Gal on May 27, 2013 at 5:50 PM

Considering what passes as education at most J-schools these days, I would be tempted to support an amendment BANNING degreed journalists from publishing anything.

AesopFan on May 27, 2013 at 6:45 PM

Don L on May 27, 2013 at 6:42 PM

Hit the back arrow and your comment may still be around.

If you’re on Firefox you can prevent the auto-reloads.

INC on May 27, 2013 at 6:56 PM

Been reading along, needed to refresh, and noticed all of the bloggers linked to, in the righthand column.

The only possible reason I can think of to limit them is because of what they say …. AND LINK TO, FOR ACCURACY …that might be contrary to the regime and the left’s program.

Get real, Dick-head.

pambi on May 27, 2013 at 6:58 PM

Go to Tools

–> Options

–> Advanced

–> General

At the General box under Accessibility check:

Warn me when websites try to redirect or reload the page.

That should stop it.

You’ll have a bar at the top that will be there saying, “Firefox prevented this page from automatically reloading.”

INC on May 27, 2013 at 7:00 PM

Journalism is not an identity or a guild, but an action and a process

Press, as used by the Founding Fathers,is not an identity or a guild, but an action and a process. “Journalism” has become a joke.

VorDaj on May 27, 2013 at 7:05 PM

I have a Hi-Def file here at YouTube and at MRCTV:

http://youtu.be/Mf5YxhH5CZY

http://www.mrctv.org/videos/1st-amendment-dated-dick-durbin

papa_giorgio on May 27, 2013 at 7:10 PM

Capitalist Hog on May 27, 2013

…do you need some RectiCare ?…I’m headed to CVS in about 5 minutes…I can pick you up some!

KOOLAID2 on May 27, 2013 at 7:16 PM

Journalists may be biased. Journalism is not.

Capitalist Hog on May 27, 2013 at 5:21 PM

Journalism, not individual journalists, decided to ignore the Lewinsky story and the John Edwards adultery story, because they involved Democrats. Had the perps in both scandals been Republican candidates or incumbents, they would not ignore them.

Journalism, not individual journalists, also has encouraged the practice of ignoring the individual’s wrongdoing if that person is a Democrat, by either burying or totally censoring any reference to said person as having a (D) after their name. The NewsBusters blog has hundreds of documented cases of same.

And getting back to the New York Times, the journalistic entity itself, not individual journalists, decided to make abu Ghraib a Page 1 above the fold story for 31 straight days. Yet in 2012 and 2013, they buried the much worse Benghazi story on inside pages.

Del Dolemonte on May 27, 2013 at 7:22 PM

He’d have arrested Thomas Paine.

kurtzz3 on May 27, 2013 at 7:36 PM

What’s Nice is Dick “Head” Durbin will retire into a huge Government pension and hopefully forget how to chew very early on, very early on. It will be his way of giving back to the deficit to his lack of chewing ability. Think of the tax savings. Well, unfortunately they will force us to have a 2-3 hundred K parade for the piece of shitz…There goes the savings.

Tbone McGraw on May 27, 2013 at 8:24 PM

Journalism, not individual journalists, decided to ignore the Lewinsky story and the John Edwards adultery story, because they involved Democrats. Had the perps in both scandals been Republican candidates or incumbents, they would not ignore them.

Journalism, not individual journalists, also has encouraged the practice of ignoring the individual’s wrongdoing if that person is a Democrat, by either burying or totally censoring any reference to said person as having a (D) after their name. The NewsBusters blog has hundreds of documented cases of same.

And getting back to the New York Times, the journalistic entity itself, not individual journalists, decided to make abu Ghraib a Page 1 above the fold story for 31 straight days. Yet in 2012 and 2013, they buried the much worse Benghazi story on inside pages.

Del Dolemonte on May 27, 2013 at 7:22 PM

Other examples:
The Gary Condidit story — CBS refused to run any mention of that story until they could no longer avoid it, the rest of journalism always referred to him as Gary Condidit (Rep-CA).

Representative William Jefferson – Democrat, Louisiana who had $90K in his freezer after Katrina and was found to be involved in fraud and malfeasance.

/But according to CH, media bias only exists in our imagination

AZfederalist on May 27, 2013 at 8:40 PM

The “PRESS” refers to the 17th Century act of pressing the ”INK” on to the “PAPPER”. Durbin is not looking for open discussion of a contemporary problem he is looking for a “loop hole to close down and eliminate opposing views..

jpcpt03 on May 27, 2013 at 8:42 PM

Just another Democrat floating trial balloons for tyranny.

drunyan8315 on May 27, 2013 at 8:56 PM

The “crowded theater” analogy is dated.

Capitalist Hog on May 27, 2013 at 4:23 PM

The “crowded theater” analogy is incorrect and always was. Obviously so. Movie theaters are private property and the first amendment has NOTHING to say about what sort of speech property owners allow or disallow on their own private property.

I really get annoyed that people keep referring to the “crowded theater” nonsense with respect to the First Amendment when the private property of someone’s movie theater has no connection to the Constitutional right to free speech, at all. No connection. No relation. No point of intersection. You aren’t really allowed to talk AT ALL in most movie theaters … because the owners say so!

There is no First Amendment right to free speech on someone else’s private property.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on May 27, 2013 at 9:06 PM

Durbin’s question isn’t even the biggest non-sequitur in this argument.

Are kidding, Ed?

It’s EXACTLY the biggest non sequitur in this argument. By wondering aloud if there are limits on who can be considered a “journalist,” he sets himself and others of ilk up to be the arbiters of who receives journalistic credentials.

The implications are horrifying.

mintycrys on May 27, 2013 at 9:10 PM

We currently have a press shield law. It has worked great for 226 years so far unless @$$holes like this collectivist administration violate it. Durbin qualifies as one of the above. How stupid does he think we are ? and his arrogance knows no bounds.

hamradio on May 27, 2013 at 10:49 PM

Does the 4th amendment apply to scumbag Senators from Illinois?

mojo on May 27, 2013 at 11:16 PM

Durbin wonders: Does First Amendment apply to bloggers, Twitter?

Yes, if he agrees with the contents of those communications.

Odd how on holidays such as the one we just had we honor those who “fought for our freedoms” while those same freedoms are being eroded without firing a shot.

Wonder how long it will take many on the Right to wise up to that?

Dr. ZhivBlago on May 28, 2013 at 12:23 AM

One problem is that too many bloggers think that publishing their ideas equates to journalism. It doesn’t. Journalism may not require schooling but it does require training.

Capitalist Hog on May 27, 2013 at 3:20 PM

That’s ridiculous.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on May 27, 2013 at 3:22 PM

It’s extremely ridiculous.

Typical of the nonsense glorification of journalism we see all the time. If you can investigate a rumor, find sources, and publish the information, then you’re doing journalism. You don’t necessarily have to do any part of it well. There are plenty of journalists out there who seem to be dumb as a box of rocks — but they’re still journalists.

There Goes the Neighborhood on May 28, 2013 at 2:37 AM

BUT, you need trained to be a good journalist.

No. You need training to be a journalist. What your distinguish as “good journalism” is the baseline. Getting the facts right is impossible for the untrained.

Capitalist Hog on May 27, 2013 at 3:44 PM

Getting the facts right seems to be impossible for the trained journalist…..

There Goes the Neighborhood on May 28, 2013 at 2:48 AM

Getting the facts right is impossible for the untrained.

Capitalist Hog on May 27, 2013 at 3:44 PM

You mean facts like we have a deceit because we spend too much and not because we don’t squeeze enough taxes from Joe Average?

Yeah…real rocket science there…sure does require training.

MelonCollie on May 28, 2013 at 2:54 AM

Durbin’s question isn’t even the biggest non-sequitur in this argument.

Are kidding, Ed?

It’s EXACTLY the biggest non sequitur in this argument. By wondering aloud if there are limits on who can be considered a “journalist,” he sets himself and others of ilk up to be the arbiters of who receives journalistic credentials.

The implications are horrifying.

mintycrys on May 27, 2013 at 9:10 PM

The door to tyranny is first unlocked with well-planned questions–that serve to pave the way for tyrants to convert the question into fact.

Don L on May 28, 2013 at 6:25 AM

No. You need training to be a journalist. What your distinguish as “good journalism” is the baseline. Getting the facts right is impossible for the untrained.

Capitalist Hog on May 27, 2013 at 3:44 PM

You don’t need specific training (outside of normal K-12 type education) to be a journalist. Asking questions and then reporting the answers is not rocket science. One doesn’t need journalism school to ask questions, nor does one need journalism school to know how to investigate a subject. One doesn’t need journalism school to know how to analyze facts. One doesn’t need journalism school to “get the facts right”. Claiming otherwise is insane.

Seriously? Only journalists can “get the facts right” about something? So, a police detective, FBI agent, CIA agent, CPA, attorney, teacher, doctor, nurse, engineer, scientist, archeologist, physicist or any other person simply can never get the facts right about something they are investigating? Only a trained journalist can do it?

Why do we have police then? What purpose do they serve in terms of investigating crimes? Did all police officers go to journalism school before becoming police officers?

And even the premise that journalists regularly get the facts right is disproved by evidence. Most news articles are wrong on significant facts, let alone the analysis of those facts. Anyone who has ever been involved in a story that is reported experiences this firsthand – that reporters simply don’t get most of the facts right on any story. We can go through the past week’s major newspapers’ articles (The NYT, Washington Post, etc.) and find incorrect facts in almost every single story.

Journalism is not a profession. Asking questions and writing down answers is not some special skill that only a few elite have. It is an every day skill that everyone has. The vast majority of journalists are not particularly intelligent. Journalists are not the A or the B students of college. Journalism is not a difficult major. Journalism is even less rigorous a college major than education. Most journalists cannot write at even a 12th grade level. Most articles are poorly written and poorly edited. Most journalists have at best a superficial understanding of whatever they are covering.

To claim that journalists have some special skill or training that 99% of the populace could not replicate at any moment is absurd. Just about anyone with a high school education can replace the reporters at most news organizations today and there would be little difference in the quality of the product.

Regardless, journalists should not have any special constitutional standing. The First Amendment protects speech AND the press. Meaning that every single person’s speech is protected. The press does not have some special right of free speech that you or I do not have. Therefore, any argument that tries to parse whether a Blog has more or less rights to free speech than the NY Times is based on ignorance. They have the exact same rights to free speech.

Yes, the Courts have made some silly distinctions over the years seeming to give news media greater first amendment protection than the average person, but I believe those are erroneous decisions. I’m not sure I agree with the idea of the press having some special privilege to “protect a source”. If person X breaks their oath to not disclose national security concern Y and they do disclose it to a reporter and the reporter publishes it – then the First Amendment protects the reporter’s speech. However, nothing should protect person X from being prosecuted for breaking the law. These are 2 different things that are being conflated into “the press”.

Breaking the law and disclosing something to the press that you should not have disclosed should not shield you from prosecution. Yes, what the press does with that information should be protected under the First Amendment. But your action in breaking the law should not be privileged because of who you disclosed to.

Same thing with any crime. If you report information to a reporter about a crime that demonstrates you can help the police prosecute, your identity should not be privileged.

We are conflating 2 different concepts when we create the idea of telling the press something with the press’s reporting of something.

Look at it this way. A gov’t employee takes oaths, signs waivers, etc. stating they will not disclose national security secret X, and to do so is a crime.

That gov’t employee discloses the secret to a reporter. And our biggest concern is protecting that person’s identity because they told a reporter? What if they had simply told a Chinese agent? How is who they told the secret to important? Why is the reporter’s “confidential source” more important than national security?

Despite what some try to claim, freedom of speech does not mean freedom from any and all consequences of that speech.

Monkeytoe on May 28, 2013 at 8:02 AM

Just coming into Hot Air this morning, and still bothered by the asinine Capitalist Hog from yesterday. I was perusing another thread about train wrecks (no, Ed was not talking about Capitalist Hog). The following is Eds excerpt from a newspaper, ostensibly written by a PROFESSIONAL Journolist:

A Missouri highway overpass that partially collapsed when rail cars smashed into one of its support pillars after a cargo train collision was about 15 years old and in good condition but just couldn’t withstand the impact, a sheriff said. …

A forty word, one sentence paragraph. No commas, no sentence break, no quotation marks about the sheriff’s statement. I think the ellipsis was Eds because it was a quote. Also note, this professional journolist called the freight train a “cargo” train, as opposed to what? All trains carry cargo. Sometimes the cargo is passengers, coal, petroleum, grain, boxes, machinery… Remember, CH thinks these are thy type of journolists we must depend on for news. Oh, I also forgot, these journolists also call every warship that floats a “battleship,” even the pros from the NYT. The only battleships we have are sitting in floating museums..

Old Country Boy on May 28, 2013 at 8:13 AM

I refuse to let the missed blockquote stand in the interest of leaving myself open to some of CH’s mistakes. However, I can’t seem to make the correction work. Please consider the quote to end after the first ellipsis.

A Missouri highway overpass that partially collapsed when rail cars smashed into one of its support pillars after a cargo train collision was about 15 years old and in good condition but just couldn’t withstand the impact, a sheriff said. …

A forty word, one sentence paragraph. No commas, no sentence break, no quotation marks about the sheriff’s statement. I think the ellipsis was Eds because it was a quote. Also note, this professional journolist called the freight train a “cargo” train, as opposed to what? All trains carry cargo. Sometimes the cargo is passengers, coal, petroleum, grain, boxes, machinery… Remember, CH thinks these are the type of journolists we must depend on for news. Oh, I also forgot, these journolists also call every warship that floats a “battleship,” even the pros from the NYT. The only battleships we have are sitting in floating museums.

Old Country Boy on May 28, 2013 at 8:23 AM

If we apply the same standards to the First Amendment that the Left wants to apply to the Second Amendment what we get is that the Founding Fathers could not have possibly foreseen the Internet, blogs, Twitter, television, radio, etc. Therefore Constitutional guarantees of free speech only apply to public addresses, newspapers, and pamphlets.

Rip Ford on May 28, 2013 at 8:32 AM

And you are the face of modern tyranny Mr. Durbin.

No longer is it a king or sovereign who seeks to enslave us, but a hapless, whimsical bureaucrat who wields power, a power temporarily lent to him by the people that own it, like a reckless despot.

He is not grounded in Constitution, law or even common sense. But he is more so a creature of politics and liberal predilections which supplant the very Constitution he dubiously swore to uphold.

When such personal fancies do not comport to the citizens and he is called on it, we have this type of dishonest demurral and personal redefinition of our founding documents. Of such actions are heresy and treason borne.

Every last person who speaks in such a warped and subversive manner needs to be removed from our government and relegated to the dust heap of history. For they do not speak “of” or “for” the people, but against them. It’s about time we took back our government from this contemporary liege of petty despots.

Marcus Traianus on May 28, 2013 at 8:37 AM

The Constitution only protects The New York times, muskets (for hunting only), and abortion.

MPan on May 28, 2013 at 8:41 AM

Gotta hand it to mister dick.

He doesn’t even pretend anymore. They just come out and say and do it.

Even in Stalin’s russia and Hiter’s Germany as well as most other totalitarian regimes the fear is what keeps people’s mouth and pen’s shut down.

This regime and the 30 years preceding have dumbed down the sheeple to the point that most don’t even react.

As long as they gets theres gubmint checks ands obamaphones they are happy.

Meanwhile the religion of peace and the chinese keep working it hard.

acyl72 on May 28, 2013 at 8:49 AM

If you want to get technical about it, the journalists of the Revolutionary War era looked (and behaved) a lot more like the bloggers and Tweeters of today than they did of the corporation-infused businesses we see now that call themselves the $th Estate.

(Sorry, that should have been 4th, not $th. Fruedian slip.)

Thanks for listening,
EB

EdmundBurke247 on May 28, 2013 at 9:04 AM

Getting the facts right is impossible for the untrained.

Capitalist Hog on May 27, 2013 at 3:44 PM

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!

Is that like “legions of fact-checkers”? Or, as OldCountryBoy noted, is the training in learning how to spell and use proper grammar? There is one and only one bit of training I think you need to be a “journalist” and that is how to cite your source. (On the internet, that would be with this complicated doohickey we techies like to call a “link”.) Too bad “real” journalists don’t get trained in that anymore, either.

GWB on May 28, 2013 at 9:44 AM

These people are parsing in Clintonesque form:
“That depends on the what the definition of ‘is’ is.”

Durbin and company take an oath to uphold the Constitution and then work every day to shred it by virtue of definition parsing.

Treason has a definition, also.

Carnac on May 28, 2013 at 9:47 AM

Considering what passes as education at most J-schools these days, I would be tempted to support an amendment BANNING degreed journalists from publishing anything.

AesopFan on May 27, 2013 at 6:45 PM

Personally, I’d like to ban anyone with a Law degree from holding elected office. Only a lawyer could love a law that requires hundreds of pages just to describe the intent of the law, while leaving the actual rules and regulations for someone else to make up.

I also would like a ban on all Bills longer than 50 pages (single-sided, double-spaced, 10 pt font) and on any Clause the enables someone else to make up the rules and regulations (delegation of Congressional lawmaking authority). If the actual rules/regulations aren’t included in the law, they are not valid.

dominigan on May 28, 2013 at 9:51 AM

Getting the facts right is impossible for the untrained.

Capitalist Hog on May 27, 2013 at 3:44 PM

And apparently for the trained…

CBS Anchor: ‘We Are Getting Big Stories Wrong, Over and Over Again’

“These have been a bad few months for journalism,” he added. “We’re getting the big stories wrong, over and over again.”

Funny how those untrained (or is that “unwashed”) bloggers keep getting it right and your trained (or is that “indoctrinated”) journalists keep getting it wrong…

dominigan on May 28, 2013 at 9:56 AM

Getting the facts right is impossible for the untrained.
Capitalist Hog on May 27, 2013 at 3:44 PM

I beg to differ.

You’re an idiot.

See how easy that was?

Akzed on May 28, 2013 at 9:56 AM

“Unfortunately you’ve grown up hearing voices that incessantly warn of government as nothing more than some separate, sinister entity that’s at the root of all of our problems. Some of these same voices do their best to gum up the works. They’ll warn that tyranny is always lurking just around the corner. You should reject these voices. Because what they suggest is that our brave and creative and unique experiment in self rule is somehow just a sham with which we can’t be trusted.” -Jackass, Ohio State U Commencement Address

Akzed on May 28, 2013 at 10:02 AM

the freedom of speech, or of the press

PRetty fracking obvious to me.
What part of obvious don’t douchebags like this don’t get?
Really? This has to be discussed?

Badger40 on May 28, 2013 at 10:19 AM

Blogging is publishing. If you’re not publishing news you’re publishing gossip or opinion. If you want to blog news, learn to write news.

Here’s another thread wherein those who have always complained about journalism and journalists will chime in as if they agree all of sudden.

Capitalist Hog on May 27, 2013 at 3:20 PM

IT does not matter how a person puts their speech out into public.
What part of

or abridging the freedom of speech

don’t you get?
This isn’t recognizing just the press having free speech. It is talking about speech in general for everybody.
Why is this so hard to understand?

Badger40 on May 28, 2013 at 10:22 AM

This isn’t recognizing just the press having free speech. It is talking about speech in general for everybody.
Why is this so hard to understand?

Badger40 on May 28, 2013 at 10:22 AM

They have no trouble at all understanding it;

The problem is, they cannot Accept it!

jaydee_007 on May 28, 2013 at 10:29 AM

dominigan on May 28, 2013 at 9:56 AM

Well done!

tomshup on May 28, 2013 at 10:42 AM

Democrat Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) questions who is really a “journalist.” And should the 1st Amendment cover bloggers?

“We know it’s someone that works for Fox or AP, but does it include a blogger? Does it include someone who is tweeting? Are these people journalists and entitled to constitutional protection?” Durbin asks.

Mr. Durbin: You’re CONFUSING “freedom of speech” and “freedom of the press!” People who tweet, blog, and comment are “expressing their personal thoughts”—the words of their thoughts—it’s known as FREE EXPRESSION, and has nothing to do with freedom of the press! Of course they should be protected by the 1st. Amendment, whether they’re a “journalist” or not! HOW DUMB OF YOU TO EVEN SUGGEST OTHERWISE!

DixT on May 28, 2013 at 11:04 AM

It applies to pamphleteers, and protest shouts, so yes, it applies to bloggers and twitter.

hawksruleva on May 28, 2013 at 11:05 AM

Short answer: yes.

Bob's Kid on May 28, 2013 at 11:22 AM

It applies to pamphleteers, and protest shouts, so yes, it applies to bloggers and twitter.

The 1st Amendment applies only to whom the Left wish it to apply when they have their way such as on school campuses or government offices.

It irks them to no end that conservatives otherwise expect to, and too often do, take full advantage of it, when allowed, to communicate pride in our Republic, or derogatory things about those on the Left.

hawkeye54 on May 28, 2013 at 11:23 AM

Twitter is a lot like in old days posting you broadsheet on a post in town.

Fleuries on May 28, 2013 at 12:07 PM

a little bit of punk music for the purpose of anger management:
http://youtu.be/T-tLEpT_6-E

hurricain on May 28, 2013 at 12:28 PM

Getting the facts right is impossible for the untrained.

Capitalist Hog on May 27, 2013 at 3:44

Yea, that’s why the so-called trained journolists get the facts right so often :)

jimver on May 28, 2013 at 12:36 PM

Yea, that’s why the so-called trained journolists get the facts right so often :)

They’ve been such good subjects of indoctrination.

hawkeye54 on May 28, 2013 at 1:18 PM

Durbin is someone who has forgotten what libery stands for. Like many in his party, he embraces tyranny.

zoyclem on May 28, 2013 at 1:34 PM

Dear Mr. Durbin ……………. read the damn first Amendment!!!!!!!! It means just what it says, you darn idiot.

SC.Charlie on May 28, 2013 at 1:36 PM

Hey! Fat Capitalist Hog. What is so hard about Who, What, Where, When, Why, How? Oh, I know. You and your journolist friends don’t know how to spell those words.

Here are the answers for obama:

Who – anybody but obama, preferably Bush.
What – It isn’t illegal if a progressive does it.
Where – in a little bistro across from the White House.
When – any time but 3:00 am.
Why – to advance the socialist/marxist agenda
How – Any which we the progressives can, they will cover for each other and obama.

wher

Old Country Boy on May 28, 2013 at 1:38 PM

“Dear Mr. Comrade Durbin ……………. read ignore the damn first Amendment!!!!!!!! It means just what it I tell you it says, you darn idiot.”

Your Imperial President,

Barry

FIFY

hawkeye54 on May 28, 2013 at 2:22 PM

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