Anecdotal Evidence .

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Freedom of The Press

After 240 years of history, after too many wars and too many killed and wounded and missing in action on countless battlefields and oceans, after too much evidence of the natural tendency of government to overstep its boundaries, are we as a people really still arguing about the wisdom, the effectiveness, the necessity of a free and healthy and active press? Certainly, there is a fringe element with a knee-jerk reaction against the press. I suppose in a country as large and diverse and imaginative as the United States of America, there is undoubtedly a fringe element pro or con every possible subject from apple cider to zebra stripes. But can we really have elected a President who wants to silence the press? Pray God, let it not be so.
“The basis of our government being the opinion of the people, the very first object should be to keep that right; and were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter. But I should mean that every man should receive those papers and be capable of reading them.”
Thomas Jefferson
“In the First Amendment, the Founding Fathers gave the free press the protection it must have to fulfill its essential role in our democracy. The press was to serve the governed, not the governors. The Government's power to censor the press was abolished so that the press would remain forever free to censure the Government. The press was protected so that it could bare the secrets of government and inform the people.”
Hugo Black, US Supreme Court
“Debate on public issues should be uninhibited, robust, and wide-open, and that it may well include vehement, caustic, and sometimes unpleasantly sharp attacks on government and public officials.”
William J Brennan, US Supreme Court
“Without debate, without criticism, no Administration and no country can succeed — and no republic can survive.”
John F Kennedy
“A popular Government without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy, or perhaps both.”
James Madison
“A critical, independent and investigative press is the lifeblood of any democracy.”
Nelson Mandela