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For this image, I am truly sorry

Oh, I am sorry. This is Lindsey Graham’s publicity still at full resolution. I swear I did not Photoshop this in any way, other than to make it monochrome. Then I sat down to do the weasel magic, but I just couldn’t…somehow…couldn’t look away from those pale, weird baby blues.

And I wasn’t strong enough to live with this picture all by myself.

So, Lindsey Graham, eh? National Journal reports that Lindsey mused aloud today whether bloggers deserve First Amendment protection. They describe it as a slip-up. Ha! Ha! Of course he knows they deserve First Amendment protection.

Actually, I buy that excuse. Even Graham isn’t boneheaded enough to claim the Bill of Rights doesn’t apply. But then the National Journal guy goes on to say something even stupider than Lindsey: “What Graham really meant to ask was whether bloggers deserve the specific protections of the First Amendment that are granted to the press.”


Here is the whole relevant chunk of the 1st Am:

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

That’s it. That’s all. That’s the entirety of the text regarding the press in ALLLLL of the founding documents: Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights. DO YOU SEE ANY SPECIFIC PROTECTIONS IN THERE, MISTER?!?

In fact, you could argue that speech — things non-journalists say — is mentioned before the press — things journalists say — and is therefore the more important and double-plus-protected of the two. But that’s just a “Mom always liked me best” kind of observation. Any custom or case law that has accreted around the First Amendment since then has to stand on its own merits, without wrapping itself in the Founders.


Thenk yew.

I feel better.

Let the record show: I misspelled “Lindsey” with an E as “Lindsay” with an A throughout. I’ve just gone back and fixed it. Sorry if I misled you into a spelling error.


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: June 5, 2013, 10:27 pm


Comment from Scubafreak
Time: June 5, 2013, 11:52 pm

OH, HEY!! My new Rifle range target!!!

Comment from Randy Rager
Time: June 5, 2013, 11:58 pm

I always liked Ben Franklin’s view of Freedom of The Press, in that it should always be balanced by Freedom Of The Cudgel. He always was a great proponent of beating the hell out of journalists that got too far out of line.

Comment from Jeff Gauch
Time: June 6, 2013, 12:02 am

That’s why the Dems are pushing so hard for a press shield law. Because if there is such a law then there needs to be some kind of authority determining who is and isn’t under the shield, and that means they will be the ones determining who is and isn’t press – and, by extension, what is and isn’t news. Vile progressives have long claimed that Fox News isn’t a real news organization. This law would allow them to prove it.

Comment from Subotai Bahadur
Time: June 6, 2013, 12:51 am

Comment from Jeff Gauch
Time: June 6, 2013, 12:02 am

That’s why the Dems are pushing so hard for a press shield law. Because if there is such a law then there needs to be some kind of authority determining who is and isn’t under the shield, and that means they will be the ones determining who is and isn’t press – and, by extension, what is and isn’t news. Vile progressives have long claimed that Fox News isn’t a real news organization. This law would allow them to prove it.

Democrats and Institutional Republicans. You can bet whatever part of your anatomy that you most cherish that John McCain, Lindsey Graham, and the usual suspects will happily reach across the aisle to license “allowable” speech, and ban that which they determine to be beyond the Pale. Keep in mind that as we write, the Department of Justice is actively arguing that any speech that offends Muslims constitutes a chargable hate crime. No, I am not speaking of Britain, I am speaking of “our” FBI. [Ours in terms of who pays for them, not in any shared devotion to the nation or Constitution.]

Subotai Bahadur

Comment from Uncle Al
Time: June 6, 2013, 12:58 am

Graham is a pig.

The govt has only the power and authority you/I/we allow it to exercise. For a while, it kept within some reasonable limits but for some time now it has gone well past reasonable in its use of brute force to maintain itself. As I do not see any chance that the govt institutions will voluntarily relinquish the power they have become accustomed to, I fear things are going to get ugly fairly soon. I pray not, but know better.

Comment from Deborah
Time: June 6, 2013, 1:07 am

I’m pretty sure if burning the flag is “free speech,” then anything I write here or anywhere else is surely free speech.

Comment from Veeshir
Time: June 6, 2013, 1:43 am

I did a crappy p-shop of him as Little Lord Fauntleroy that just creeped me out.

I can’t look at him without thinking of knickers and buckle shoes.

Comment from Armybrat
Time: June 6, 2013, 1:54 am

This, from the hearings regarding IRS abuse:
“I am not here as a serf or vassal. I am not begging my lords for mercy. I’m a born free American woman, wife, mother and citizen. And I’m telling my government that you’ve forgotten your place. It’s not your responsibility to look out for my well-being, and to monitor my speech. It’s not your right to assert an agenda. Your post, the post that you occupy, exists to preserve American liberty. You’ve sworn to perform that duty. And you have faltered.”
And this is what separates us on this side of the pond from our cousins on that side of the pond. The second American revolution seems more certain every day. And fucktards like Gramnasty will hopefully be dropped in the opening volley.

Comment from dissent555
Time: June 6, 2013, 4:40 am

Yes, yes.

Go ahead. Keep writing your stuff.

Do you hear the helicopters yet?

Don’t worry.
You will.

Comment from Scubafreak
Time: June 6, 2013, 8:47 am


Comment from Pablo
Time: June 6, 2013, 12:40 pm

Oh, hey, guess who’s just fine with the NSA grabbing all of everyone’s phone records! Yep. Lindsay Graham.

Comment from Some Vegetable
Time: June 6, 2013, 1:37 pm

I never cared much for Clinton but he didn’t frighten me. I viewed him as a banally corrupt politician, who enjoyed a drink and some pussy as much as power. He had no great ideas that he felt the need to force on the people; HillaryCare was (wait for it) Hillary’s idea and Bill ran from it as soon as the the shouting started.

Obama scares me though. He believes himself smart, but he’s merely arrogant. He learned the ideas of his mentors but has never thought them through past their Potemtkin surfaces. Thus he believed National Healthcare would be a good thing and never spent a moment worrying when the experienced corrupts figured out how to cash in by this crazy system of buying off the insurance companies. The whole idea – you must buy insurance or be fined but if you don’t have the money we will give it to you to buy insurance- is the most Rube Goldberg solution to the problem imaginable. However it’s also the most profitable for the politicians looking for some sweet sweet insurance company ‘contributions’.

Similarly, I really doubt that Obama himself is behind the IRS debacle or the spying on the press and the people. He’s not that smart nor does he give a damn about the Democratic Party except for his current role as glorious leader. These scandals though are those of career Pol’s. They are intended to keep the Dem’s in power (see ‘The Chicago Machine’) forever if possible. Obama has no principles or scruples that would cause him to be frightened or even opposed to such behavior. Bill would have stopped them simply to stop the shouting. Obama won’t.

We are in deep, deep shit

These things frighten me.

Comment from Christopher Taylor
Time: June 6, 2013, 6:45 pm

I can’t figure out where people get the idea the press exclusively consists of paid established professional organizations.

Comment from mojo
Time: June 6, 2013, 8:42 pm

They’re trying to sell a “Journalist Shield” law (with guess who defining “journalist”).

I’s point out, if they cared, that that sory of thing is what is specifically forbidden: Congress making law which “abridging the…freedom of the press”

Always watch the other hand.

Comment from mojo
Time: June 6, 2013, 9:04 pm

PS: Ben Franklin, Tom Paine(et al) were the 1770’s equivalent of a blogger.

For what it’s worth.

Comment from Christopher Taylor
Time: June 7, 2013, 1:00 am

Indeed Mojo. Pamphleteering was the blogging of its day, and most newspapers started with one guy publishing his own stuff on his own time, writing all of it. There is no line between journalism and blogging, none at all.

Comment from Rich Rostrom
Time: June 7, 2013, 8:00 pm

The issue is not restrictions on speech or publications.

The issue is when a person, known to have knowledge of criminal acts, may withhold such knowledge from law enforcement or other authorities, on the grounds that obtaining information for publication in confidence is necessary for investigation of matters of public importance.

That is, “press shield” rules. This idea is of course, nowhere stated or implied in the 1st Amendment, but it has been inferred from it.

It seems fairly obvious that “press shield” rules could be abused. For instance, a jihadist might create a “news” site or a blog which “reports” on the “trials” and torture-murders of people kidnapped by Islamists. Or he might “report” on the bomb-making facilities of a terrorist gang which has recently committed some atrocity – spreading alarm and helping the gang get money and recruits.

Or after a police officer is murdered, some gangbanger posts on Facebook about a celebratory party held for the killer, including pictures of the murder gun.

One artifact of current technology is the use of text for casual communications that in the past were spoken. Another is the coalescence of communication with publication – it becomes easy to say to a hundred or a million what was formerly said to one.

Here’s a question: is defamation in a podcast libel or slander? If the podcast is transcribed, does it become libel?

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