Saturday, November 01, 2008

Palin: First Amendment Rights Threatened By Criticism.

For me, in this election, Sarah Palin has been the gift that just keeps on giving. I actually have to temper how often I write about her as some readers have written to me privately asking me to address other, more important, concerns. But, this one I can't ignore.

Palin now claims that reporters who say she is guilty of negative campaigning are actually threatening her First Amendment Rights.

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."
Has there ever been a candidate for high office who is more ignorant than Palin? For while she is utterly correct that the First Amendment guarantees free speech, it also guarantees freedom of the press and forbids the government from making any laws which prohibit that freedom.

Palin is now arguing that if the press uphold their freedom and criticize or even correctly recognise her campaigning style as negative, then they are actually undermining her First Amendment rights. That's bonkers. Palin has the right to say whatever she wants and the press have the right to say whatever they want about what she has said, that's the beauty of the system.

She's actually saying that criticism of her is a violation of her rights under the First Amendment.

In other words, she thinks that she can say whatever she likes and no-one, especially no-one in the press, can call her out on it lest they violate her rights.

Can you imagine if someone this ignorant, who genuinely thinks that what she is saying is correct, ever got to hold the presidency? She has got this precisely backwards, thinking that a law which guarantees that the government cannot muzzle a free press is in fact a law which means that this same free press cannot criticize her as she runs for high office.

She has committed many howlers on her way back to Alaska via McCain's bid for the presidency, but that's got to be the largest by a long chalk.

Click title for source.


daveawayfromhome said...

Is she stupid, or delusional? Or is this part of a plan designed to make life difficult for Obama once he wins the office?

No, probably not. She sounds like someone who was raised, politically, learning the lessons of demagogues like Rush Limbaugh. Why learn that liberal "information" crap (like history or civics), when you can twist reality to fit your own needs?

Kel said...

She's the living proof that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. And, you're right, most of that knowledge is gleaned from Limbaugh. I'm astonished that someone who has so little interest in politics can actually be elected to high office and then get chosen to have a chance to be Vice President. As they always like to say, only in America.

Todd Dugdale said...

The First Amendment provides protection from the government infringing on your speech, not reporters. And, more obviously, criticising someone's expressed remarks is not infringing on their right to expression in any case. Palin is certainly free to say virtually anything, and the press if certainly free to characterise it as they wish.

It's odd how Republicans have this selective respect for the Constitution. They have complete disregard for the Fourth Amendment with their illegal wire-tapping schemes. Cheney invents an entire Fourth Branch out of whole cloth. They ignore the role of Congress in declaring war. But they are eager to embrace the Constitution's putative protection in cases like this one.

It's yet another example of the anti-intellectualism of the American Right. Facts are whatever the Republicans say they are, and "real" Americans accept that. It's more important that something sounds as if it might be true than it is for it to actually be true.

Kel said...


As always with Palin I am struck by her utter ignorance of the most simple matters.

And, as you say, it's rich to have to listen to Republicans lecture others about the Constitution, I thought it was "just a goddam piece of paper!"