Should Judges Always Honor Crusading Liberal Media?

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New York Times Supreme Court reporter Adam Liptak recently sounded the alarm with a headline that read, “The Supreme Court’s Increasingly Dim View of the News Media.” Naturally, he was upset that some conservative judges aren’t fond of the 1964 New York Times v. Sullivan decision, which makes it nearly impossible for public figures to sue media outlets for libel, since the mind-reading standard of “actual malice” must be established.

Liptak began by complaining about Judge Laurence H. Silberman, who’s not on the Supreme Court but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. In a recent dissent, Silberman wrote, “Two of the three most influential papers (at least historically), The New York Times and The Washington Post, are virtually Democratic Party broadsheets.”

“Nearly all television — network and cable — is a Democratic Party trumpet,” Silberman wrote. “Even the government-supported National Public Radio follows along.”

The writer thinks this is an unfair criticism, rather than a fact that is proven daily. The Times front page on April 22 had this headline on top: “U.S. to Scrutinize How Minneapolis Handles Policing: Inquiry Signals That White House Aims to Combat Abuses Nationwide.” Below was the headline “Republicans Sharpen Penalties For Protesters in Flurry of Bills.”

This is fish-in-a-barrel stuff.

Liptak also cited Justice Clarence Thomas, noting “the media often seeks ‘to titillate rather than to educate and inform.'” If you consider the role NPR and the “Democratic Party broadsheets” played in Anita Hill’s titillating (and still-unproven) charges of sexual harassment against Thomas during his Supreme Court confirmation hearings (battle) in 1991, you might understand his skeptical viewpoint.

A new article in the North Carolina Law Review inspired Liptak's lament. Professors Ronnell Andersen Jones and Sonja West reviewed all references to the press in Supreme Court opinions going back to 1784 and found "a marked and previously undocumented uptick in negative depictions of the press by the U.S. Supreme Court."

The pinned tweet on West's Twitter account reads, "The press is supposed to be the government's 'opposition party.' That's kinda the whole point." But the media are never the "opposition party" when Democrats are in power.

Jones and West dug out the Pentagon Papers and noted that then-Justice Hugo Black wrote, "The New York Times, The Washington Post and other newspapers should be commended for serving the purpose that the founding fathers saw so clearly."

But decades later, Liptak referenced the Citizens United decision, claiming that then-Justice Anthony Kennedy cited "the decline of print and broadcast media" and the "sound bites, talking points and scripted messages that dominate the 24-hour news cycle."

This quotation is distorted. Kennedy was objecting to the idea that media corporations had more freedom to speak than a nonprofit group such as Citizens United. Right before that passage, he insisted, "Our Nation's speech dynamic is changing, and informative voices should not have to circumvent onerous restrictions to exercise their First Amendment rights."

Notice the error here: Even mild and obvious press critiques are somehow comparable to an "increasingly dim view" on freedom of the press. Favoring the free expression of conservatives -- Citizens United made a documentary criticizing Hillary Clinton in 2008 -- is somehow against the media.

Once again, we see that the liberal media and their academic defenders are great at dishing out criticism and remarkably horrible at taking it. Mock them and you endanger the First Amendment. Accuse them and you're accusing democracy itself. Freedom of speech is for liberal elites, not for conservative rabble.

They imply the most disturbing and unacceptable exercise of free speech is to denounce the media as Democratic propagandists. So, who is really championing the First Amendment?

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17 thoughts on “Should Judges Always Honor Crusading Liberal Media?”

  1. Obviously the main stream media does NOT show respect to any one with a differing opinion. Just look at te respect they gave to President Trump for example. The Supreme Court should not honor their opinions more than any other opinion. The Supreme Court should only deal with FACTS.

  2. The media lie and will continue to lie in support of whatever the communist ideological leaning democrats want! When the country is in a total shambles they will still lie as to where the blame lays!

  3. So the leftist media can get away with fake news, libel, and hate speech. But the same companies also can ban people for stating the truth and the facts.
    This is the fascist left’s America.
    We the people should start working on the solution, whatever it takes to get rid of this plaque.

  4. The Best comment thus far!

    “So the leftist media can get away with fake news, libel, and hate speech. But the same companies also can ban people for stating the truth and the facts.
    This is the fascist left’s America.
    We the people should start working on the solution, whatever it takes to get rid of this plaque.”

    No the MSM should be put in their place and held accountable for all the heart ache, lies, libel and slander, smears, and division it’s past time for doing it!

    #TurnThemOff

    1. To clean up this left wing abusive mess both Sullivan decision protecting print media and section 230 protecting social media platforms must be repealed. Until that happens there will be no accountability.

  5. “In a recent dissent, Silberman wrote, “Two of the three most influential papers (at least historically), The New York Times and The Washington Post, are virtually Democratic Party broadsheets.”
    “Nearly all television — network and cable — is a Democratic Party trumpet,” Silberman wrote. “Even the government-supported National Public Radio follows along.”
    “The pinned tweet on West’s Twitter account reads, “The press is supposed to be the government’s ‘opposition party.’ That’s kinda the whole point.” But the media are never the “opposition party” when Democrats are in power.”

    This pretty much sums up the state of our Main Stream Media these days-nothing more than a propaganda machine for the radical far Left, their very own bought and paid for mouthpieces. When it comes to the MSM it is wise to believe Nothing you hear and a very small amount of what you read.

  6. Judges are there to interoperate the law regardless of how it falls, not take sides, and it appears today like there are a lot of judges that act like activists rather than judges. Those should be gotten rid of.

  7. Judges have a duty to prosecute justice, not public opinion. If they can’t do that job, they are useless posers. As it is, the courts and laws have been twisted to benefit the bad actors. Even SCOTUS refused to take up a constitutional cause. The justice system is infiltrated with criminals and cowards.

  8. Our news media was once filled with skilled investigative reporters and journalists !!! However, today’s news media is filled with propagandists of fake and false information, which promotes the new Radicalized Far Left Demoncrat Socialist Party along with the Deep Dark State Evil Agenda Against We The People and Our True American Values !!! I find it very hard, if not impossible, to believe most anything I read nor hear as true, with very few exceptions !!! Without forthright news and social media We The People will tend to be convinced to believe the False and Fake News as Truth, which is happening on a Grand and Wholesale Level !!!! This Must be Stopped or the Radicalized Far Left Socialist Party along with the Deep dark State will Win and Take Over all !!!

  9. The left along with BLM and Antifa continue to use the rhetoric of no justice no peace while they riot, loot, and burn. If true justice was served they would all be serving time. The left along with George Soros has bought a lot of judge positions. Is it not ironic that when an
    prejudgement or stay is involved it is always before a Democrat appointed judge. The public is not ignorant like they believe. Even their facts are contrary to the truth. One thing about the truth it never changes. We know what we have seen and no one can tell us
    differently.

  10. The at large general media has almost always been the “propaganda” promotion for the demostroyer – liperal – socialist party apparatus. They will repeat and not retract repudiated lies, and other stories telling “thinking” people of conscience – shut up you dumb rocks!