THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA NEW YORK TIMES NEWSPAPER’S NEW “GAG ORDER” POLICY PREVENTS ITS EMPLOYEES FROM EXERCISING THEIR RIGHT OF FREE SPEECH UNDER THE FIRST AMENDMENT TO THE U.S. CONSTITUTION.
FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHT OF FREE SPEECH? SECOND AMENDMENT RIGHT OF THE PEOPLE TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS? GOING, GOING GONE IF THE NEW YORK TIMES WERE TO REWRITE THE CONSTITUTION!
THE NEW YORK TIMES BOMBARDS THE AMERICAN PUBLIC WITH ‘GROUPTHINK’ AND ‘DOUBLESPEAK: WELCOME TO “1984” IN THE 21ST CENTURY.
“We are poor little lambs
Who have lost our way.
Baa! Baa! Baa!
We are little black sheep
Who have gone astray.
Baa! Baa! Baa!” ~ from the Wiffinpoof song, circa 1910; traditional closing number of the Wiffinpoofs, an a cappella group of Yale University
As is our wont, the creators of the Arbalest Quarrel often peruse on Amazon.com—books, on philosophy, politics, science, and law, among various other categories of knowledge to assist us in the work we do for our readers in defense of our most sacred right: the right of the people to keep and bear arms under the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. As we write this, we came across a book, serendipitously, and one which we may purchase, titled, “Reasons Why,” by Bradford Skow. The illustration on the book’s cover is whimsical: a platypus seemingly contemplating a strawberry. And, lest one believe the book was written for a child, the answer is decidedly, “no.”
Notwithstanding the straightforward, seemingly, superficially simplistic title, the material is decidedly tantalizingly complex. We perused a few pages of the book, on-line, as Amazon sometimes permits. We bring this matter up here because the subject matter of the book, “why questions,” drew us to consider something about the mainstream media that is somewhat mystifying to apprehend and, at once, frightening to contemplate. Mainstream media organizations—comprising major newspapers, radio, television, and internet—are drawn more and more to proselytize to the American public rather than to simply report the news, and this is contrary to the basic import and purport of news organizations. But, what is the purpose of a news organization? We ask:
WHAT IS THE IMPLIED GOAL—THE TRADITIONAL, PRIMARY PURPOSE OF NEWS ORGANIZATIONS? THE PRIMARY PURPOSE OF A NEWSPAPER IS TO CONVEY TO THE PUBLIC A RECORD OF THE DAY’S EVENTS: TO REPORT THE NEWS, THEN, AND TO REPORT THE NEWS CLEARLY, ACCURATELY, OBJECTIVELY, WITHOUT EMBELLISHMENT. IN PROVIDING AN ACCOUNT OF EVENTS IN THE WORLD, A NEWSPAPER MUST REFRAIN FROM WEIGHING IN ON THE EVENTS IT REPORTS ABOUT THE WORLD. FOR, ONCE A NEWSPAPER WEIGHS IN ON EVENTS THAT IT REPORTS, THAT IT DESCRIBES, THE NEWSPAPER, THEN, IS NO LONGER, AND CAN NO LONGER BE CONSIDERED AN OBJECTIVE, NEUTRAL OBSERVER, NAMELY, ONE OPERATING APART FROM THE EVENTS, BUT, RATHER, BECOMES, INSTEAD, AN ACTIVE PARTICIPANT IN THE EVENTS—IN THE VERY SHAPING OF EVENTS A NEWSPAPER REPORTS ON. AND, ONCE A NEWSPAPER BECOMES PART OF THE EVENTS, THE OBSERVED, RATHER THAN THE NEUTRAL OBSERVER, THE NEWSPAPER, THEREUPON LOSES ITS OBJECTIVITY—LOSES ALL OBJECTIVITY. BUT, THIS DOES NOT SEEM TO BOTHER MAINSTREAM NEWSPAPERS IF THEY BOTHER TO CONSIDER THE LOSS OF OBJECTIVITY IN THEIR REPORTING THE NEWS AT ALL. TODAY, MAINSTREAM NEWSPAPERS, LIKE THE NEW YORK TIMES, ARE NOT CONTENT MERELY TO REPORT THE NEWS, BUT ARE TELLING THE AMERICAN PUBLIC HOW THEY ARE EXPECTED TO THINK ABOUT THE NEWS. OBJECTIVITY IS THEREBY COMPLETELY LOST. REPORTERS BECOME MINISTERS OF PRIVATE BENEFACTORS, UNKNOWN TO THE PUBLIC. THEY BECOME PROPAGANDISTS. EVERYTHING REPORTED IS SUSPECT.
MAINSTREAM NEWSPAPERS ARE NOT OBJECTIVELY, NEUTRALLY, AND DRYLY TELLING THE PUBLIC ABOUT CRITICAL EVENTS IN THE WORLD—AND THEY ARE NOT REPORTING ON ALL THE CRITICAL EVENTS. RATHER, MAINSTREAM NEWSPAPERS SELECTIVELY REPORT EVENTS AND THEY DO NOT ALLOWTHE AMERICAN PUBLIC TO MAKE UP ITS OWN MIND ABOUT THE EVENTS REPORTED. THESE MAINSTREAM NEWSPAPERS AND OTHER MAINSTREAM MEDIA NEWS ORGANIZATIONS ARE, AT ONCE, TELLING THE PUBLIC HOW THEY SHOULD REACT TO EVENTS, HOW THEY ARE TO THINK ABOUT THE EVENTS, REPORTED.
Journalists, also referred to as—and, traditionally, more inclined to prefer the term, ‘reporters,’ as the latter expression is narrower, suggesting specifically what these professionals do, namely reporting news events rather than journalizing whatever may come to mind—learn, in college, before commencing work for mainstream news organizations, what reporting of news encompasses and, just as importantly, what it does not. Whether through the written or spoken word, reporters are expected to—well—report the news, nothing more and nothing less. To do their job correctly, appropriately, reporters are expected to report news accounts clearly and dryly, without embellishment, utilizing nouns and verbs, eschewing the use of adjectives and adverbs, to avoid “coloring” their reporting. They are expected to propound propositions that mirror truth, under the epistemic correspondence theory of truth they ascribe to, with the goal of providing the American public with reports on facts–‘states of affairs’ as philosophers prefer to refer to these “things,” “facts”–about and in the world, rather than propounding subjective evaluations, about the facts, that is to say, providing extraneous comments about the states of affairs reported on.
Reporters answer fundamental ‘who,’ ‘what,’ ‘where,’ ‘when,’ and, occasionally, ‘how’ questions. It is not the purpose of reporters to ask and to discuss ‘why’ questions, which brings us back to Skow’s book, directed principally to the philosophy of science, as “why” questions set the stage for causal explanations for events. Yet, today, we see mainstream media encroaching more and more on ‘why’ questions. They do so—as they may say—to engage the public in open and lively discussion, and to give context to their news reporting. They attempt to explain the reasons for events and, they proceed, then, to a consideration of changes that they believe should occur for the benefit of society. But that is shifty, deceptive, and not the basic motivation of mainstream news reporters for dealing with “why” questions at all. They provide answers to “why” questions to manipulate thought. They sermonize. Sometimes they do this calmly and collectedly. More often they do this callously and caustically; bombastically and sanctimoniously; stridently and angrily. They do this to cajole the public into accepting the nonsense they spout, attempting to convince the public that their prescriptions for dealing with the many events they report on, that they write about, is right, and proper, and just, and should be acted upon by policy makers. Many Americans—all too many members of the American public, to date, but, increasingly, fortunately, fewer members of the American public, through time—do still accept, unconditionally and uncritically, the presumptuous and vapid claptrap the mainstream media offers up for the American public’s consumption. Indeed, these reporters—now propagandists —working for mainstream newspapers and other mainstream news organizations, attempt to disguise the subjective evaluations they propound about events as true, simple, to-the-point, objective, accurate accounts of the events reported on, when subjective evaluations and objective reports about states of affairs in and of and about the world merge into each other, or where one becomes the other, and the public is left with the impression that it has received bare factual accounts about news events when they are really obtaining subjective appraisals of the events reported on.
MAINSTREAM MEDIA’S DANGEROUS PREOCCUPATION WITH FIREARMS AND THE SECOND AMENDMENT:
One of the favorite topics of the mainstream media involves news about ‘gun crimes,’ which are particularly susceptible to this subterfuge that mainstream news reporters engage in which is to mix objective news accounts into subjective evaluations. If newspaper and cable networks and radio simply reported instances of ‘gun crimes,’ dryly and matter-of-factly, and left the matter at that, that would be fine. But, then, mainstream newspapers and cable news networks, were they true to their creed, would also report on defensive uses of firearms. Yet, the mainstream newspapers and their affiliates on cable news invariably remain silent on defensive use of guns by law-abiding citizens who forestall gun violence, through use of their own firearm or who use a firearm, as necessary, to defend themselves or to defend other innocent lives. One would think that accurate reporting would require newspaper accounts to strive to report all news events: to report, then, on the use of firearms by ordinary Americans to thwart violent criminal acts, as well as to report gun crimes committed by lunatics, terrorists, criminal gang members, and by your garden-variety common criminal.
SELECTIVE NEWS REPORTING IS DEMONSTRATIVE OF “FAKE NEWS” NO LESS SO THAN FALSE REPORTING OF NEWS
The non-reporting of critical news events constitutes deception no less than the false reporting of news events and no less than the habit of mainstream news reporters of adroitly stirring subjective evaluations into news accounts. The mainstream media, including, prominently, The New York Times—whose motto is, “All the News That’s Fit to Print”—infers, or, more correctly, assumes that defensive use of firearms isn’t news that’s fit to print at all; so, the American public doesn’t see it. But, it is news just the same and, to our mind, this news does fall squarely into the domain of “All the News That’s Fit to Print.” The New York Times refuses to report on instances of defensive uses of guns as that tends to denigrate and weaken the running narrative that guns cause only bad things to happen. Still, if The New York Times stuck to reporting gun violence and refrained from proselytizing about the “evil” of guns, we might accept reporting of those events involving gun violence alone even if the Times’ accounting of “use of guns” is incomplete—as in the case of utilization of firearms for self-defense. Unfortunately, The New York Times and other mainstream news organizations do not and will not stop with reporting the ‘who,’ ‘what,’ ‘when,’ ‘where,’ and ‘how’ of gun violence. These mainstream news organizations tread dangerously into the realm of the ‘why’.’ They dare to ask, rhetorically, ‘why did the individual commit a violent act with a gun.’ The ‘who,’ ‘what,’ ‘when,’ ‘where,’ and ‘how’ of gun violence, then, is merely a side-note. It is merely incidental to and serves to buttress their argument for strengthening draconian gun laws and adding ever more to the serried ranks of restrictive federal and State gun laws and local gun ordinances. And, it is these arguments for ever more restrictions on the exercise of the right of the people to keep and bear arms that the mainstream media makes, constantly, ad nauseum: sermonizing, proselytizing to the American public.
The reporting of news merely operates, then, as an introduction to what it is that mainstream news organizations really wish to do which to address “the need to get rid of guns in this Country.” So, reporters and editors of mainstream news organizations, like The New York Times, mention instances of gun violence in order that they might proceed with their long-running, never-ending polemic on why gun violence occurs and wherefore gun violence happens and ‘why civilian access to guns is wrong and why, therefore, guns ought to be abolished. And, that is where mainstream news organizations have gone astray. They should protect this Nation, this Free Republic; but they have, instead, hijacked this Nation as they work strenuously, and actively, and insidiously against it, undermining the Nation’s Bill of Rights, all the while masquerading that they are the guardians of it, oblivious to the inherent invidiousness of their pronouncements.
Mainstream news Reporters and Editors wrongly assume the role of psychologists, and psychiatrists, and sociologists, and politicians, and ethicists, and attorneys among others. They do not merely report the news, they attempt to explain the news. In so doing, the mainstream media no longer remains the outside, neutral observer of news events, coolly describing events, but insinuates itself into the events themselves, observing itself and thereupon reflecting its own image onto the American public’s psyche, and, in a most contemptuous fashion, proclaiming to the American public how the public ought to see the world and how the world ought to be molded and shaped.
And, with that—with attempts to answer “why” questions—these mainstream news organizations carefully construct and carefully calibrate their explanations and use these explanations as springboards to “ought imperatives” such as: ‘no American civilian ought to have access to firearms;’ and ‘this Nation ought to have more stringent, common-sense gun control laws’; and ‘this Country ought to perceive gun ownership and gun possession as unnecessary and dangerous to the well-being of a modern society;’ and ‘Americans should abhor guns like most citizens do who reside in other Western Countries, like those citizens of Nations that comprise the EU do;’ and ‘ everyone has the right of free speech as long as one’s comments do not offend another person’s sensibilities; and ‘employers ought to be able to control their employees thoughts and ideas, whether on the job or off,’ and that ‘censoring of ideas and opinions and beliefs is wrong, except that, sometimes, it could be right.’
Not content to declare what it is that happens to be the case—the “thus and so” of a given news event—mainstream news reporters and editorial boards tell us what “ought to be the case.” Now, generally, newspapers have used opinion editorials—“Op-Eds”—as a place where they feel they are at liberty to answer the ‘why,’ the cause of such event, and, therein, to express and expound upon the ‘ought,’ as they see it, from the occurrence of a given event. But this seeming bright-line separation between “news” and “opinion” is no longer perceptible or tenable in the age of mind control and psychological conditioning through various media mechanisms. The one flows seamlessly into the other. But normative ‘ought’ statements—normative prescriptions of the way the world should be, according to mainstream media—do not logically follow from ‘is’ statements—descriptions of the way the world happens to be, notwithstanding that mainstream news Reporters and Editors assume that ought prescriptions can be derived from and deduced from “is” descriptions, and we see, now, that Reporters and Editors of mainstream news organizations commence to operate as if the one can be derived from and deduced from the other. But, they cannot.
It is hardly a secret that mainstream newspapers, like The New York Times, vehemently, indeed virulently, oppose possession of firearms by anyone in society, other than law enforcement, and other than the military and–although they won’t admit it–other than by the powerful, ruthless billionaire class that increasingly rules us and that seeks to destroy our free Republic, and that seeks to destroy the sovereignty and independence of our Nation State, and that seeks to destroy our unique and sacred Bill of Rights.
Now, even as the owners of mainstream media vehicles will quickly deny—at least in their reporting of events—any specific position toward firearms and the right of the people to keep and bear arms, the fact of the matter is that the owners of these mainstream media news vehicles have, as with any other subject discussed in their media vehicles’ “bag of tricks,” specific opinions that infiltrate, insinuate themselves into, and seep and filter in and through, descriptions of news events. So, the public is not obtaining merely descriptions of news events, but prescriptions about how the public should think about those events and the sorts of actions that should be taken by policy makers from those events. Bad enough that mainstream media is reduced to propagandizing and proselytizing to the public through control of virtually every major form of media apart from a few outlier websites such as the Arbalest Quarrel, but mainstream media seeks, of late, to control the thoughts and actions of their own employees, too.
Consider, one mainstream media news organization, The New York Times, goes so far as to control its reporters’ exercise of their personal First Amendment right of Free Speech even when they are not writing specifically for the newspaper. This is reprehensible and, likely would not survive Constitutional muster if challenged and is odd, too, when one considers that The New York Times, and other mainstream media news organizations, vociferously, presumptuously, and hypocritically argue that the President wrongly attacks their First Amendment right of freedom of the Press. Yet, the U.S. President is also a citizen and, as a citizen, he certainly has the right, guaranteed under the free speech clause of the First Amendment to call out “fake news” narratives when he sees it. And, he rightly does so, on behalf of himself and on behalf of those Americans who support him.
GROUPTHINK VERSUS THE FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHT OF FREE SPEECH
Lest the reader of this article think that the Arbalest Quarrel has made a false claim about The New York Times controlling its employees’ expression of personal opinion, outside of employment, we point out that the Times, itself, expressly admits as much. On October 16, 2017, a reporter for the New York Times, Jim Rutenberg, writing in the Business Section of the Times newspaper, in an article titled, “Seeing Right Through Tech Chiefs’ Talk of Better ‘Transparency’”, said: “My newspaper [The New York Times] is [when reporting on Tech Companies control of their employees’ opinions], also dealing with the question of how transparent a person should be on social media. On Friday, it announced a new policy for its journalists requiring them to avoid say anything on the platform [that is to say, reporters must avoid saying anything on any and all vehicles, aside from The New York Times, when, on their own time] that they could not say under the banner of The New York Times. At a TimesTalks event in Washington on Thursday night, the Times’ executive editor, Dean Baquet, said that overly opinionated or partisan tweets could undermine the paper’s mission of reporting ‘objectively and clearly.’”
Who is Baquet kidding? The assertion is nonsensical and disingenuous to boot. For, it isn’t “objective and clear reporting” that the NY Times newspaper is interested in protecting. It is, rather, a specific “subjective viewpoint” that the owners and Editorial Board of The New York Times seeks to foster and buttress, and it is a subjective viewpoint that the drafters’ of the newspaper’s new policy obviously presume that every employee of the newspaper knows or should know. In fostering and buttressing that viewpoint, the newspaper’s owners and Editorial Board would squelch a reporter’s right of free speech in that reporter’s capacity as an American citizen, even when, on that reporter’s own time, the reporter wishes freely to express his or her own viewpoint on a subject, absent constraints imposed on the reporter in the course of his or her work for the newspaper. Obviously, it isn’t objective facts that the owners and Editorial Board of The New York Times is concerned about protecting—despite what Baquet says; for, after all, the facts can take care of themselves. Rather, it is the running narrative—the “why” and of a story—that The New York Times’ owners and Editorial Board wish to maintain an overarching monopoly on. It is the running narrative, as it were, that they wish to control and that they intend to control, through the Times’ new policy.
The newspaper, thereupon, muzzles and censors its own reporters First Amendment free speech rights, through a policy that operates essentially as a “gag order” lest its reporters, and any other employee, working for the newspaper, weaken the running narrative the newspaper’s publisher owners and Editorial Board wish to convey and to maintain clear, categorical, and unequivocal. Consider, too, that, this new policy directive of the New York Times, as issued by the executive editor, Dean Baquet is logically absurd, as well as legally insupportable. For, if a newspaper is simply describing events, objectively and clearly—the ‘who,’ ‘what,’ ‘when, ‘where,’ and, occasionally, ‘how,’ of the news—an account that “mirrors” a state of affairs in the world, how can such objective description feasibly be subject to subjective analysis? The answer is that it cannot; for such descriptive account of a news event, of a particular state of affairs in the world, can only admit of one accurate descriptive account, not multiple accounts. Only subjective analyses—one’s opinions—of descriptive accounts can admit of and allow for multiple and incompatible propositions about an event. Thus, there can only be one accurate descriptive account about any given actual state of affairs but many subjective opinions about that one descriptive account. If so, then how can one’s opinion about an objective news account, the ‘why’ statements and ‘ought’ statements, “undermine the paper’s mission of reporting ‘objectively and clearly?’” The answer is that opinions cannot undermine a newspaper’s objective reporting of an event.
Recall what we said, supra. Normative, prescriptive ‘ought’ statements about the way the world should be do not logically follow from or entail descriptive ‘is’ statements, namely declarative propositions about the way the world happens to be. So, then, take the example of a lunatic, or psychopathic terrorist who kills innocent people with a gun. The newspaper reporter recounts the event in a news story. Likely, the news account will be, as well, laced with inaccurate, suggestive wording regarding the gun incident. Then, suppose that the reporter that wrote the story for the newspaper, writes, on his own time, on a social media site, that he supports the arming of all American citizens, as a method for reducing criminal gun violence. Would that supposition undermine a newspaper’s mission of reporting accurately and objectively? How can it? It cannot. It cannot because logically accurate, objective, clear reporting of an event—that is to say, logically accurate, objective, clear reporting of a state of affairs in and of the world—does not implicate and cannot implicate, anything, intelligible about the way the world—from one perspective or another—ought to be. Yet, you and I both know where this goes. For, assume, then, the newspaper’s editorial board, follows up the descriptive account of a terrorist murdering innocent people with a firearm, with an Op-Ed calling for new restrictive gun laws, impacting law-abiding, rational, responsible American citizens’ exercise of the right to keep and bear arms. Clearly, if a reporter working for the newspaper were to argue, contrary to the position of the editorial board, that all law-abiding, sane, responsible Americans ought to be armed and that Congress should enact a national handgun carry reciprocity law, such normative viewpoint on gun ownership and possession would be at loggerheads with the editorial board’s own normative viewpoint on gun ownership and possession–one calling for confiscation of all firearms in the hands of civilians.
It is not the descriptive account of a violent gun incident that the newspaper owners and editorial board are concerned about protecting. Rather, it is the normative, prescriptive remarks concerning the buttressing of restrictive gun laws that The New York Times owners and Editorial Board is desirous of protecting. For, the two normative, prescriptive viewpoints—one viewpoint expressing the desire for more restrictive gun laws and the other viewpoint calling for a relaxing of restrictive gun laws—are semantically incompatible and logically inconsistent. The reporter who writes something, on his own time, in another medium, arguing for the arming of civilian population in America could end up receiving a “pink slip” from his employer, a mainstream news organization, for that employee’s troubles—and he may receive a very public rebuke as well.
Extrapolating from this, to the new policy of the NY Times, it should be evident that the mission of the newspaper is not, contrary to Dean Baquet’s assertions, undermined if the newspaper were only concerned about protecting clear and objective and accurate reporting of news events. It is, rather, something other or, at least, in addition to the protection of objective and accurate reporting of news events. For, the more emphatic, persistent, and ominous mission of The New York Times is one not of reporting news events, it is, rather, one of persuasion—persuading the American citizenry, for example, that civilian gun possession should be radically restrained and constrained, and that the Second Amendment is archaic and should be repealed. And, these normative prescriptions of the way the Nation ought to look, of the way things ought to be are conveyed to the American public constantly, vociferously, incessantly, through the medium of The New York Times. Obviously, a reporter that does not share the normative worldview of the newspaper’s publisher and owners and of the Newspaper’s Editorial Board and who wishes to make his or her contrary thoughts known in another medium, on his or her own time, will be skating on thin ice, for it is this person’s personal opinion that the newspaper’s owners and editors really see as undermining one specific mission of the paper—a mission that is directed to restricting and thereby weakening gun rights, not expanding or strengthening gun rights. The objective reporting of a particular instance of gun violence is not affected by differing opinions concerning the right of the people to keep and bear arms. The matter of restricting or strengthening gun rights has, then, absolutely nothing to do with the mere reporting of a particular incidence of gun violence. Normative, ethical pronouncements have nothing to do with and do not follow from a descriptive accounting of a particular event in the world. But, the newspaper’s owners and editors don’t wish to acknowledge this. They do not wish to be seen as preventing their employees from exercising their fundamental right of free speech. So, they concoct a subterfuge. They come up with a ludicrous rationale for their news policy—a rationale that is tantamount to doing just what they do not wish to be seen as doing: preventing their reporters from exercising their First Amendment right to speak freely, and on their own time, whatever it is that their reporters may wish to say, pertaining to personal opinions about this or that subject, through a medium other than through The New York Times newspaper.
The NY Times’ owners thus deny to their employees the free exercise of a fundamental right guaranteed under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, a right they, as members of an “aristocratic elite,” as they fashion themselves, garner for themselves. And, of course, these aristocratic “elite” see no inconsistency in reserving for themselves those fundamental rights that they would deny to their employees, as American citizens, and which they would deny to most every other American citizen if they could, whether it be the right of free speech under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that they would like to restrict or the right of the people to keep and bear arms, under the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Imagine, for a moment, that the writers of the Arbalest Quarrel happened to work as reporters for the NY Times. Would the Times’ publishers and editors suffer us to write in support of the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution? Not under this new policy as heralded by Dean Baquet, which he, as a spokesperson for The New York Times, sees as a good thing, as a positive thing. But that can only mean The New York Times does not draw a tenable distinction between its opinion articles and its news articles. Objective facts and subjective opinion are conflated. Opinion and Fact are all one and the same for the owners and Editorial Board of The New York Times. Thus, The New York Times owners and Editorial Board, through this incongruous sleight-of-hand, argue that its reporters cannot offer an opinion, even on their own time and through a medium other than the newspaper they work for if that opinion happens to be inconsistent with and therefore is perceived as operating to the detriment of the newspaper owners’ and Editorial Board’s running of an Op-Ed/News narrative. This, though, has nothing to do with protecting objective facts which can very well take care of themselves. It has everything to do with controlling the thought processes of the public. The public is coerced into accepting one line of thought regarding any subject that The New York Times happens to write on and the Newspaper will suffer no viewpoint to the contrary.
THE OWNERS AND EDITORS OF THE NEW YORK TIMES ARE HYPOCRITES
The hypocrisy of the NY Times’ owners and Editorial Board toward the First Amendment free speech protection—a right it would retain for itself, as coupled with freedom of the Press, and which it has the audacity to refuse exercise of by the Newspaper’s employees—was not lost on another mainstream newspaper, the Wall Street Journal, no less a mainstream newspaper—a “gatekeeper” ostensibly on “the right” of the political spectrum, but still a mainstream media newspaper just the same, representing the wealthy “nobility” in this Country.
William McGurn, writing an Opinion, titled, “The NFL vs. the New York Times,” on Tuesday, October 17, 2017, quoting the NY Times editor, Baquet, at length, which the NY Times itself dared only to touch upon ever so slightly for its readers, noted the hypocrisy and doublespeak and smug self-assurance coming from the Times. “Mr. Baquet says ‘. . . In social media posts, our journalists must not express partisan opinions, promote political views, endorse candidates, make offensive comments or do anything else that undercuts The Times’s journalistic reputation. Our journalists should be especially mindful of appearing to take sides on issues that The Times is seeking to cover objectively. These guidelines apply to everyone in every department of the newsroom, including those not involved in coverage of government and politics. . . . We consider all social media activity by our journalists to come under this policy. . . . While you may think that your Facebook page, Twitter feed, Instagram, Snapchat or other social media accounts are private zones. Separate from your role at The Times, in fact everything we post or ‘like’ online is to some degree public. And everything we do in public is likely to be associated with The Times.”
If this is the rationale for gagging a citizen’s right of free speech, it is a poor argument, as it denigrates the very idea inherent in a newspaper—the notion of factual reporting of events. It also denigrates the very notion of free expression, one of the essential legs upon which a free Republic—our free Republic—stands. Indeed, it is the very notion of critical comment and commentary that the American public has a right to demand. The New York Times’ owners and Editorial Board admit their fear of critical comment, commentary, and review. The New York Times’ owners and Editorial Board admit their fear of public consumption of opinions different from and contrary to their own. The New York Times’ owners and Editorial Board fear open and public and lively debate. All this the American public now hears from a newspaper that loudly proclaims the right of a Free Press, codified in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution—but, apparently, only so long as there exists one voice—that of the NY Times’ owners and Editorial Board which they would deign the American public to hear. Through this policy The New York Times’ owners and Editorial Board are telling their employees that the purpose of The New York Times goes far beyond the mere reporting of “All the News That’s Fit to Print,” far beyond the recitation of objective facts. The newspaper’s owners and Editorial Board has informed the American public, “clearly and objectively and accurately, that the newspaper engages in influence peddling and, more, that it will suffer no viewpoint on any subject other than its own, as dictated to it by its benefactors: the enclave of incorrigible, intractable, ruthless, secretive, inordinately wealthy and powerful internationalist, trans-nationalist, globalist “elite,” both here and abroad, who seek to undercut the sovereignty of this Nation, who seek to undermine the supremacy of this Nation’s laws, and who seek to pervert and debase the sanctity of the natural and fundamental rights of this Nation’s citizenry.
The New York Times’ new policy goes well beyond the import and purport of the Hatch Act that applies to Federal Government Bureaucrats. The Hatch Act of 1939 prohibits the vast Federal Government Bureaucracy from taking part in political campaign activities, but the Act does not prevent a Government Bureaucrat from expressing his own political or social or philosophical view on social media, on his or her own time, as that would be at loggerheads with the free speech clause of the First Amendment. Yet, the new policy of The New York Times’ Editorial Board goes must further. For, here we have a mainstream newspaper, the fervent promoter of and benefactor of the Freedom of Press clause of the First Amendment, that dares to deny of its own employees the right of free speech—which also resides within the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution—when those employees wish to exercise, outside of their employment in their capacity as American citizens, the right embodied in the First Amendment. Thus, The New York Times disparages and decries of others what it would monopolize for itself—the right to express an opinion. Clearly the Times Newspaper is not interested in protecting objectivity in reporting. It is only interested in controlling opinion and, when it comes to the Second Amendment, the NY Times intends to control opinion–to control the narrative–completely, even if the exercise of that control amounts to denying–denying of its own employees, in their capacity as citizens of the United States, and denying to those employees, hypocritically, as well as denying to those employees, unlawfully– the very right of free speech, which it would jealously guard for itself.
Apparently, The New York Times is taking its cue from Germany. In an article posted on June 30, 2017, titled, “Delete Hate Speech or Pay Up, Germany Tells Social Media Companies,” NY Times Reporters, Melissa Eddy and Mark Scott, write:
“Social media companies operating in Germany face fines of as much as $57 million if they do not delete illegal, racist or slanderous comments and posts within 24 hours under a law passed on Friday.
The law reinforces Germany’s position as one of the most aggressive countries in the Western world at forcing companies like Facebook, Google and Twitter to crack down on hate speech and other extremist messaging on their digital platforms.
But the new rules have also raised questions about freedom of expression. Digital and human rights groups, as well as the companies themselves, opposed the law on the grounds that it placed limits on individuals’ right to free expression. Critics also said the legislation shifted the burden of responsibility to the providers from the courts, leading to last-minute changes in its wording.
Technology companies and free speech advocates argue that there is a fine line between policy makers’ views on hate speech and what is considered legitimate freedom of expression, and social networks say they do not want to be forced to censor those who use their services. Silicon Valley companies also deny that they are failing to meet countries’ demands to remove suspected hate speech online.
Still, German authorities pressed ahead with the legislation. Germany witnessed an increase in racist comments and anti-immigrant language after the arrival of more than a million migrants, predominantly from Muslim countries, since 2015, and Heiko Maas, the justice minister who drew up the draft legislation, said on Friday, that it ensured that rules that currently apply offline would be equally enforceable in the digital sphere.”
As a prime example of hypocritical, contradictory “doublespeak,” the Times Reporters, add this remark of Maas:
“‘With this law, we put an end to the verbal law of the jungle on the internet and protect the freedom of expression for all,” Mr. Maas said. “We are ensuring that everyone can express their opinion freely, without being insulted or threatened.’
“That is not a limitation, but a prerequisite for freedom of expression,” he continued.”
What? Taking away a person’s right of free speech is to be equated with giving that person the right of free speech? Unless something was lost in translating the German into English, here, this remark by Heiko Maas is a contradiction in terms and the quintessence of bombastic absurdity. Maas should be ashamed of himself. Apparently, though, The New York Times felt there was something noteworthy in the remarks of Maas to the extent that The New York Times felt that Germany’s new National policy is worthy of adoption by the Times newspaper itself. Incredible! But, the absurdity fostered transcends well beyond the Times itself. As the newspaper reports, major publishing houses are hiring so-called “sensitivity readers”—at the moment directed to the writers of children’s books. In an article, published on December 24, 2017, titled, “In an Era of Online Outrage, Do Sensitivity Readers Result in Better Books, or Censorship?,” by Times reporter, Alexandra Alter, we are told that,
“In today’s hair-trigger, hyperreactive social media landscape, where a tweet can set off a cascade of outrage and prompt calls for a book’s cancellation, children’s book authors and publishers are taking precautions to identify potential pitfalls in a novel’s premise or execution. Many are turning to sensitivity readers, who provide feedback on issues like race, religion, gender, sexuality, chronic illness and physical disabilities. The role that readers play in shaping children’s books has become a flash point in a fractious debate about diversity, cultural appropriation and representation, with some arguing that the reliance on sensitivity readers amounts to censorship. . . . Behind the scenes, these readers are having a profound impact on children’s literature, reshaping stories in big and small ways before they reach impressionable young audiences. Like fact checkers or copy editors, sensitivity readers can provide a quality-control backstop to avoid embarrassing mistakes, but they specialize in the more fraught and subjective realm of guarding against potentially offensive portrayals of minority groups, in everything from picture books to science fiction and fantasy novels. . . . Some see a downside to publishers’ growing reliance on sensitivity readers, and warn that it could lead to sanitized books that tiptoe around difficult topics. Skeptics say the heightened scrutiny discourages authors from writing about cultures other than their own, resulting in more homogenized literature. “Can we no longer read ‘Othello’ because Shakespeare wasn’t black?” the novelist Francine Prose wrote recently in an essay about sensitivity readers and censorship in The New York Review of Books.”
The NY Times’ reporters, continue:
“Others have echoed that view, arguing that sensitivity readers might have derailed works like William Styron’s “The Confessions of Nat Turner,” Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird” or Mark Twain’s “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.” After the subject was covered in Slate, a writer for National Review fretted that “if ‘sensitivity readers’ are given the freedom to hijack authors’ visions, we’re going to lose some beloved works of art that we could have otherwise enjoyed.”
Is The New York Times’ “gag order” policy anything less than an attempt to censor opinion? Does not The New York Times impose its own sensitivity readers—its Editorial Board—on all ideas expressed. We are seeing, in this Country, an attempt to second-guess every written and spoken word. The American public is not the better but all the worse for it.
This attempt by the Deep State and by the mainstream media to control guns, to control thoughts, to control actions is leading to societal upheaval, mass hysteria, pandemonium. Perhaps this is by design—an attempt to create volatility and confusion in order to weaken this Nation, to weaken its resolve, to weaken the Bill of Rights so that we, American citizens, will be ripe for takeover by the powers that seek to crush us into submission.
HOW FAR WILL THE NEW YORK TIMES AND OTHER MAINSTREAM NEWS ORGANIZATIONS GO TO TRAMPLE THE SECOND AMENDMENT TO THE U.S. CONSTITUTION, AS WE ENTER A NEW YEAR?
As this year draws to an end, The New York Times has commenced a series of articles, “The Home Front,” where the newspaper’s Editorial Board is calling for a major transformation of the Lautenberg Amendment, 18 USCS § 921(a)(33)(A)(i). What is the Lautenberg Amendment? Essentially the Lautenberg Amendment of 1996, following in the footsteps of the Violence Against Women Act of 1994, makes it unlawful for any person convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence to possess a gun. Here we have the NY Times Editorial Board writing an extensive series of articles on a law—subsumed under the Gun Control Act of 1968—that the Editorial Board knows little, if anything about, and seems to care even less of what it may know about, the law, but writes with presumed and presumptuous authority and certitude about a law as if it knows full well whereof it speaks. Yet, it knows nothing. Nonetheless, the NY Times Editorial Board skirts broad discussion of the actual law itself and yet writes extensively and boldly about why the law needs to be strengthened.
The NY Times’ Editorial Board should not be proselytizing to the American public on matters beyond its professional ability to explain and decipher. Actually, the Editorial Board should not be proselytizing to the American public at all, but certainly not on matters of law, especially those impacting fundamental Constitutional Rights. The Editorial Board, likely, does not include lawyers. Unfortunately, that doesn’t prevent, the Editorial Board from expounding upon the law. That it chooses to do so is illustrative of an overbearing pompous attitude exhibited in discussing legal matters. This pompous attitude adds to, rather than distracts from, this Newspaper’s condescending attitude toward its readers. The Editorial Board apparently believes it can successfully cloak its ineptitude concerning law and legal matters by cultivating an air of moral superiority when pontificating on matters involving firearms and on the exercise of the right to keep and bear them.
The Editorial Board of the NY Times suggests—nay, demands—as seen in this series, which has yet to conclude, that the law—the Lautenberg Amendment—ought to be transformed. The Editorial Board would create a monstrosity, denying to millions of Americans their right to own and possess firearms.
We will take to task in forthcoming articles on the Lautenberg Amendment in the New Year. We will provide you with the language of the Statute as it exists—something The New York Times will not provide for its readers. We will explain the meaning of the law as drafted and enacted, and will discuss problems with it, in the context of the Second Amendment and in the context of the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution as well. The law is poorly drafted. The New York Times would make a poorly drafted law even worse, as it calls on the public to blindly go where the newspaper leads it—to the edge of a cliff.
Returning, for a moment, to the Yale a cappella group’s Wiffinpoof Song, consider, in light of the foregoing remarks set down in this essay:
WHO REALLY ARE THESE “BLACK LITTLE SHEEP IN THE WIFFINPOOF SONG WHO HAVE LOST THEIR WAY? ARE THE BLACK LITTLE SHEEP THOSE MEMBERS OF THE AMERICAN PUBLIC WHO HOLD TO TRADITIONAL VALUES, MORES, CODES OF CONDUCT, HISTORICAL PURITY—WHO VIEW THIS NATION AS THE FOUNDERS OF THE REPUBLIC, THE FRAMERS OF THE CONSTITUTION, ESTABLISHED—OR DO THEY INCLUDE THOSE PEOPLE WHO STAFF THE INSTITUTIONS OF THIS NATION: NAMELY AND PARTICULARLY, THOSE PEOPLE WHO STAFF THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA; VARIOUS MEMBERS OF CONGRESS; THOSE PEOPLE WHO STAFF THE VAST BUREAUCRACY OF GOVERNMENT; AND NOT LEAST, THOSE CONFUSED AMERICANS WHO HAVE BOUGHT INTO THE CAREFULLY PLANNED AND ORCHESTRATED RUSE THAT NATIONALISM IS BAD, THAT OPEN BORDERS ARE GOOD; THAT ANYONE WHO BELIEVES HIM OR HERSELF TO BE AN ‘AMERICAN’ IS AN ‘AMERICAN’ EVEN IF THAT PERSON IS RESIDING HERE ILLEGALLY; THAT GUNS ARE EVIL AND THAT GUN BUYBACKS ARE GOOD; THAT GENDER IS NOT BIOLOGICAL AND ABSOLUTE BUT INFINITELY MALLEABLE, SO THAT A MAN IS A WOMAN AND A WOMAN IS A MAN AS ONE WISHES TO BE; OR, PERHAPS, NEITHER, OR PERHAPS, BOTH AT ONCE; AND THAT WE, AMERICAN CITIZENS, ARE NO LONGER TRULY CITIZENS OF THE UNITED STATES, BUT, RATHER, CITIZENS OF THE WORLD—ONE BIG, GLORIOUS HAPPY FAMILY, FIXATED ON MATTERS OF IMPORTANCE: SPORTS, ENTERTAINMENT, CLOTHES AND JEWELRY AND COSMETICS—THE DAILY DOSE OF SOMA TO KEEP A PERSON, HAPPY, CONTENTED, AND ASLEEP? PERHAPS, TO SOME EXTENT, BOTH ARE “BLACK LITTLE SHEEP”: AMERICANS WHO SEEK TO HOLD ON TO THEIR BIRTHRIGHT, WHO CHOOSE NOT TO “GET WITH” THE NEW PROGRAM, THE BRAVE NEW WORLD ORDER, ON THE ONE HAND, AND THOSE, ON THE OTHER HAND, WHO SEEK TO DEMOLISH THE RIGHTS AND LIBERTIES THAT THE FOUNDERS OF THIS NATION, OF THIS REPUBLIC, HAD SO LOVINGLY BEQUEATHED TO US, THE AMERICAN CITIZENRY? PERHAPS THIS NATION AND ITS CITIZENS AND THE IGNORANT, ILL-INFORMED AMONG US AND THE DEMON KIND WHO WISH TO RULE OVER EVERYONE AND EVERYTHING ARE ALL WELL LOST AND HAVE ALL GONE ASTRAY. PERHAPS IT IS MUCH TOO LATE FOR THIS NATION AND MUCH TOO LATE FOR ALL THE DENIZENS IN IT. IF SO, THEN, LET US ALL CHIME IN: “BAA, BAA, BAA!” BUT, WE HOPE ALL IS NOT LOST FOR US, TRUE AMERICANS, WHO SEEK TO PRESERVE OUR NATION AND OUR CONSTITUTION AND OUR CONSTITUTION’S MOST SACRED AND CRITICAL COMPONENT–THE BILL OF RIGHTS–WHO SEEK TO PRESERVE OUR NATION AND OUR CONSTITUTION AS ORIGINALISTS, TO UPHOLD OUR TRADITIONS, OUR VALUES, IN THE MODE OF THE FOUNDERS OF THIS GREAT NATION, IN THE MODE OF THE FRAMERS OF OUR CONSTITUTION. WE MUST CARRY ON; WE MUST PERSEVERE, AND WE MUST BE EVER WARY AND CAUTIOUS OF THOSE WHO TALK ABOUT CHANGING OUR NATION, CHANGING OUR CORE VALUES AND CORE TRADITIONS, CHANGING OUR HISTORY, “TO KEEP UP WITH THE TIMES;” FOR THESE ARE PSEUDO AMERICANS; THEY ARE THE BETRAYERS OF OUR NATION, THEY ARE BETRAYERS OF THE FOUNDERS OF THIS FREE REPUBLIC; THEY ARE BETRAYERS OF OUR CONSTITUTION AND OF OUR SACRED BILL OF RIGHTS. THEY USE AN ODD NOTION OF MORALITY TO CLOAK THEIR DESIRE TO TEAR DOWN THIS NATION STATE; TO DESTROY OUR SOVEREIGNTY; TO DESTROY OUR CONSTITUTION; TO DESTROY OUR NATURAL, FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS AND LIBERTIES–RIGHTS AND LIBERTIES THAT EXIST IN US INTRINSCIALLY AS THEY COME TO US FROM THE CREATOR AND CANNOT THEREFORE BE LAWFULLY TAKEN FROM US BY GOVERNMENT. WE MUST PRESERVE AND STRENGTHEN OUR RIGHT TO SPEAK FREELY, TO PRESERVE AND STRENGTHEN OUR RIGHT TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS, TO PRESERVE AND STRENGTHEN OUR RIGHT TO BE FREE FROM UNREASONABLE SEARCHES AND SEIZURES, TO PRESERVE AND STRENGTHEN OUR PERSONAL PROPERTY RIGHTS, TO PRESERVE AND STRENGTHEN OUR RIGHT TO BE LEFT ALONE. ALL THESE NATURAL, FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS ARE UNDER CONCERTED ATTACK BY THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA AND BY THEIR FELLOW TRAVEVLERS IN CONGRESS AND BY THOSE BUREAUCRATS THAT LURK IN THE SHADOWY CORNERS OF GOVERNMENT, UNSEEN AND UNHEARD, AND BY THE SECRETIVE AND RUTHLESS INTERNATIONALIST, TRANS-NATIONALIST ROTHSCHILD CLAN AND BY THEIR TOADIES IN THE UN AND IN THE WTO, IMF, WORLD BANK AND IN OTHER “INTERNATIONAL” ORGANIZATIONS–EVER SCHEMING BEHIND CLOSED DOORS TO INCORPORATE THIS NATION INTO THE EU AND EVENTUALLY TO DISMEMBER ALL WESTERN NATION STATES, MERGING AND SUBMERGING THEM INTO A NEW WORLD ORDER, PRESIDED OVER BY A COLD-HEARTED WEALTHY AND POWERFUL RULING “ELITE,” DICTATING POLICY TO WE, THE NEW SERFS OF THAT NEW WORLD ORDER, WHO HAVE NO RIGHTS, NO LIBERTIES, SAVE THOSE THAT THE RULING “ELITE” DEIGN TO GRANT TO US AND WHO MAY, ON A WHIM, TAKE FROM US.
The Arbalest Quarrel seeks to awaken the American public from its slumber. As always, and most importantly, the Arbalest Quarrel will set the record straight on matters involving this Nation’s most sacred right—the right of the people to keep and bear arms, as codified in the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. In 2018 we will press for enactment of national handgun carry reciprocity and propose our own language to avoid attempts by some States to ignore the national handgun carry reciprocity if, or, hopefully, when, enacted. We will explore the qualifications of certain individuals we would like to see on the U.S. Supreme Court, and we will continue with our detailed expositions of Federal and State firearms legislation and of Federal and State case law impacting on the Second Amendment. We will return to completing series we had commenced writing on in 2017 and in previous years. We have a lot of work to do, and much to accomplish.
Antigun groups and antigun legislators are not sitting idly by. They intend to destroy the Second Amendment. But, like brave Horatio at the Bridge, the Arbalest Quarrel intends to stop these anti-American groups and anti-American people. But, we intend to do much more. We intend to take the fight to them, strengthening the Second Amendment, along with and in conjunction with the critical work NRA does on behalf of Americans.
We will never give up our values, our history, our traditions, our Bill of Rights!
Our articles and our essays stand as a testament to our commitment in support of our Bill of Rights and, especially, in support of our sacred Second Amendment. Please feel free to explore our site at www.arbalestquarrel.com. We encourage you to join our list of readers. It is easy to add your name to our list. You will receive immediate notification of the posting of our articles. There is no cost to you.
We all have our work cut out for us. But, together, taking nothing for granted, and working hard to preserve and strengthen our Bill of Rights, and supporting our President in this effort, we can succeed in holding our Nation together, in the vein the Founders of our Republic intended. Won’t you join us?
Copyright © 2017 Roger J Katz (Towne Criour), Stephen L. D’Andrilli (Publius) All Rights Reserved.
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