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Palin versus the First Amendment


Remember when Sarah Palin called freedom of the press a "privilege"? Well, Palin fleshed out her understanding of the First Amendment a bit more today, in an interview with conservative talker Chris Plante. ABC News's Steven Portnoy reports:


Palin told WMAL-AM that her criticism of Obama's associations, like those with 1960s radical Bill Ayers and the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, should not be considered negative attacks.  Rather, for reporters or columnists to suggest that it is going negative may constitute an attack that threatens a candidate's free speech rights under the Constitution, Palin said.

"If [the media] convince enough voters that that is negative campaigning, for me to call Barack Obama out on his associations," Palin told host Chris Plante, "then I don't know what the future of our country would be in terms of First Amendment rights and our ability to ask questions without fear of attacks by the mainstream media."

Did you get that? Basically, Palin thinks her First Amendment rights are violated when the press covers her critically.

Allow me to invert Palin's formulation: if she ends up in the White House someday, then I don't know what the future of freedom of speech will be in this country.

(Via Blue Mass. Group.) 

  • Brian Flaherty said:

    Fair enough but what about Obama's campaign continuing to punish those media outlets who refuse to bow to him?  

    After the New Yorker did a spoof of Barack and Michelle Obama on their cover (although it was meant to be sympathetic to them), reporters from that magazine were banned from Obama's plane. Last week, a news anchor at an Orlando TV station asked tough questions to Joe Biden and they were banned from interviewing the candidates going forward. A radio show in Chicago was intimated to not have on a guest who was going to question Obama's ties to terrorist Bill Ayers.

    Now, Drudge reports that the Obama campaign has banned reporters from the New York Post, Washington Times, and Dallas Morning News from its plane. What do these three papers have in common? They endorsed John McCain.

    This appears to be Barack's MO - punish those who criticize and who dare speak out. Chilling.

    October 31, 2008 9:15 PM
  • Adam said:

    Two points Brian. 1) McCain's done the same thing with Maureen Dowd and Joe Klein. 2) Banning reporters is annoying, whoever's doing it. But Palin is going further and questioning the right of the press (and everyone!) to *critize* her. That's far more chilling.

    November 1, 2008 8:41 AM

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