Saturday, November 14, 2009

SCROTUS Justice Kennedy Disses 1st Amendment

Is it, actually, any wonder that the Capital Hill press corpse lay, limply supine, at the feet of the "authoritarian" Busheviks and willingly fellated them for 8 long years, given the training to which they were subjected in the schools?

This was the NYTimes hed:

From Justice Kennedy, a Lesson in Journalism

The story under the hed is a paradigmatic case of how the unspoken but unappealable structures of undemocratic power saturate even such enclaves of privilege as "The Dalton School" in Manhattan:
Published: November 10, 2009
WASHINGTON — The school newspaper at Dalton, (an elite) private school in Manhattan, contained a cryptic note from its editors last Friday.

"We are not able to cover the recent visit by a Supreme Court justice due to numerous publication constraints,” the note said. It promised “an explanation of the regrettable delay” in the next issue.

It turns out that Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, widely regarded as one of the court’s most vigilant defenders of First Amendment values, had provided the newspaper, The Daltonian, with a lesson about journalistic independence. Justice Kennedy’s office had insisted on approving any article about a talk he gave to an assembly of Dalton high school students on Oct. 28.

Kathleen Arberg, the court’s public information officer, said Justice Kennedy’s office had made the request to make sure the quotations attributed to him were accurate.

The justice’s office received a draft of the proposed article on Monday and returned it to the newspaper the same day with “a couple of minor tweaks,” Ms. Arberg said. Quotations were “tidied up” to better reflect the meaning the justice had intended to convey, she said.

Ms. Arberg indicated that what had happened at Dalton was unusual. “Justice Kennedy does not have a general policy for making such requests,” she said. “The request was most likely made by a member of his staff in an effort to be helpful.” Justice Kennedy declined a request for an interview.

Ellen Stein, Dalton’s head of school, defended the practice in a telephone interview. “This allows student publications to be correct,” she said. “I think fact checking is a good thing.”

But Frank D. LoMonte, the executive director of the Student Press Law Center, questioned the school’s approach. “Obviously, in the professional world, it would be a nonstarter if a source demanded prior approval of coverage of a speech,” he said. Even at a high school publication, Mr. LoMonte said, the request for prepublication review sent the wrong message and failed to appreciate the sophistication of high school seniors.

“These are people who are old enough to vote,” he said. “If you’re old enough to drive a tank, you’re old enough to write a headline.”...

But Mr. LoMonte said the demand from Justice Kennedy’s office crossed a line.

“It’s a request that shouldn’t have been made,” he said. “That’s not the teaching of journalism. That’s an exercise in image control.”
Not journalism, perhaps, but then journalism mostly today is just managing the outflow of public relations from monied interests, and being careful to offend as few of them as possible with allusions to truth or fairness.

This story illustrates a larger problem, to me, and I do not give a ragged rat's rosy red ass if Red Sonia did the same thing a month before: Official muzzling the press. Exclusion is the primary form of censorship.

Where is written that public officials, occupying public offices, often for life, are ENTITLED to control what is said about them in response to their public utterances? Every public utterance they make is legitimate evidence to be used in interpreting such positions as they take in written opinions (for the Courts) or their legislative deliberations. Especially in front of an audience, and ESPECIALLY if that audience paid admission, the speech of Justices, et al, cannot legitimately be withheld from the public eye and ear. How may "the Press" be excluded from a speech by a Justice on the Supreme Court?

Oh, yeah, now I remember: "DON'T TASE ME, Bro!!!!!@

No one with any more acuity than a sand-dollar would trust Kennedy to uphold the rights of the People in any contest with CorpoRat power/

1 comment:

P M Prescott said...

He shouldn't have been allowed to speak if those were his conditions.