A PLAGUE IN OUR MIDST
There is a viral plague in our midst. It is a thing both tenacious and relentless; implacable and ruthless; furtive and evasive; grievously painful and deadly. It is a scourge, spreading rapidly across our Nation, suffocating the very life out of Americans, and crippling our Nation. What is this debilitating virus?
No, we are not talking about the Chinese Coronavirus.
Sure, Premier Xi Jinping’s Coronavirus is horrific. And, it has become a useful, effective bioweapon of war for Xi, whether the unleashing of the viral plague on the U.S. and the world was the Regime’s intention or not.
Consider: As of April 20, 2020, the CDC reports the Chinese Coronavirus has killed almost 80,000 Americans and has sickened almost three-quarters of a million more. And, epidemiologists suspect hundreds of thousands more Americans have contracted the disease—asymptomatic carriers of the disease, capable, unintentionally, of passing the disease on to others.
There is much speculation about the movement of the Chinese Coronavirus plague in our Nation and much disagreement as to the best ways to deal with it and to protect our people and also to get our economy up and running. But one thing is clear and indisputable: The Chinese Coronavirus has ravaged our land and our people. And it is devastating our economy. It is everything loathsome, vile, disgusting, and deadly. Because of this “Gift” from China, our lives are changing, perhaps forever.
But as dreadful as the Chinese virus is, there is another virus in our midst that is more horrific; more rapacious and voracious; more ferocious and tenacious; and more noxious, and it has been with us much longer than the Coronavirus. It is a parasitic virus, a silent plague; carefully cultivated and nourished, right here at home. It doesn’t attack and destroy the body. It latches onto and destroys the mind; the spirit; the soul. Many Americans have a natural immunity to it. Most, unfortunately, do not. It is endemic to our Nation but rarely mentioned. There is no known cure for those who contract the disease. And, for those who succumb to it, the virus turns a person into a numb, unthinking automaton, an obedient drone.
And this parasitic virus has a vile, odious feature the China Coronavirus doesn’t have. It is seductive.
This parasitic virus in our midst is the mainstream Press. It is a plague upon us; one that has been with us for decades.
Where did this plague come from? Disturbingly, it arose from and took root in the U.S. Constitution itself through a corruption of the First Amendment.
The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution reads: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
The freedom of speech is, of course, a fundamental, unalienable, immutable right: a right that exists intrinsically in man, bestowed by a loving Creator in man. Is freedom of the Press distinct from the freedom of speech? Legal thinkers in the past didn’t think so. In fact——
“Through most of our history the distinction has not seemed important because the terms freedom of speech and freedom of press have been used more or less interchangeably. In the last decade, however, the press has begun to assert rights arising specifically from the press clause—the right to maintain the confidentiality of sources, the right of access to prisons and courtrooms, the right to keep police from searching newsrooms, and the right to prevent libel plaintiffs from inquiring into journalists’ thought processes. Thus far the Supreme Court has declined to give independent significance to the phrase ‘freedom of the press.’ It has refused to give the press any more protection than an individual enjoys under the speech clause.” The Origins Of The Press Clause., 30 UCLA L. Rev. 455, February 1983, by David A. Anderson, Professor of Law, The University of Texas at Austin.
If the freedom of the Press exists implicitly in the freedom of speech, why did the founders reference it in the Constitution? We guess they did so to emphasize the import of “free Press Speech,” apart from general public “free Speech,” evidently assuming that the energies of a free Press would be directed to safeguarding the Nation. Many of the founders therefore trusted in an unencumbered, unrestrained, unconstrained free Press. Many did; but not all.
But, the founders did, as one, foresee the innate tendency of the federal Government to accumulate power unto itself. And that concern informed the founders’ blueprint for the Nation. They concluded an unshackled free Press, in tandem with the Second Amendment right of the people to keep and bear arms, were two effective guardians against a tyrannical Government. But did the founders misapprehend the Press? Did they fail to see that an unrestrained Press, far from safeguarding a free Constitutional Republic, would endanger it?
The founders correctly deduced the tendency of the federal Government to unlawfully amass power, even as the Constitution’s first three Articles, carefully delineated the powers and authority that each Branch may lawfully wield. The founders also correctly deduced that an armed citizenry would effectively counter encroaching tyranny. But the founders evidently did not believe a Press, far from serving as a mechanism to ward off tyranny, might one day become the agent of it, even as some, notably Thomas Jefferson, harbored serious misgivings about Press Freedom as reflected in his writings. In those writings Jefferson expressed uncertainty, even equivocation, despite the fact that many commentators, today, deny this, arguing Jefferson unequivocally supported Press Freedom. He did not.
John Norvell, U.S. Senator from Michigan, January 26, 1837 – March 4, 1841, wrote to Jefferson, explaining how he would one day wish to enter the field of newspaper publishing:
“It would be a great favor, too, to have your opinion of the manner in which a newspaper, to be most extensively beneficial, should be conducted, as I expect to become the publisher of one for a few years.
Accept venerable patriot, my warmest wishes for your happiness.”
Jefferson composed a stern letter to Norvell, warning him of the dangers of the Press.
“To your request of my opinion of the manner in which a newspaper should be conducted, so as to be most useful, I should answer, ‘by restraining it to true facts & sound principles only.’ Yet I fear such a paper would find few subscribers. It is a melancholy truth, that a suppression of the press could not more compleatly deprive the nation of its benefits, than is done by its abandoned prostitution to falsehood. Nothing can now be believed which is seen in a newspaper. Truth itself becomes suspicious by being put into that polluted vehicle. The real extent of this state of misinformation is known only to those who are in situations to confront facts within their knowledge with the lies of the day. I really look with commiseration over the great body of my fellow citizens, who, reading newspapers, live & die in the belief, that they have known something of what has been passing in the world in their time; whereas the accounts they have read in newspapers are just as true a history of any other period of the world as of the present, except that the real names of the day are affixed to their fables. General facts may indeed be collected . . . but no details can be relied on. I will add that the man who never looks into a newspaper is better informed than he who reads them; inasmuch as he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. He who reads nothing will still learn the great facts, and the details are all false.”
—Letter from Thomas Jefferson to John Norvell, 14 June 1807
And, 200 years after composing his cautionary letter to John Norvell, the fear that Jefferson expressed has come to pass as many academicians hold to the theory that Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Press are two conceptually distinct freedoms; one accorded to the body politic generally, and the other accorded to mainstream “professional journalists.”
The schism has resulted in the false idea that Press Free Speech is of a higher order of Right than the general Free Speech Right accorded the ordinary masses’; that “professional journalists” should be designated a privileged group; that Press freedom should be accorded more deference than speech freedom. This is a dangerous idea, not only detrimental to First Amendment Free Speech but to the very sanctity of a free Constitutional Republic. And the danger isn’t theoretical; it is actual.
We see the danger of an unshackled Press manifested today in two ways: one, in an unconscionable attempt to silence the masses from exercising their personal right of free speech because that tends to dilute the voice of the Press; and two, outright sedition. The mainstream Press is actively working with ruthless forces at home and abroad who desire to destroy our free Constitutional Republic; to institute tyranny; to exert control over the American people. There is proof aplenty for this inference. The Press is not content simply to report the news and to critique the Government. No! The Press has itself become an instrument of repression as it strives to constrain our fundamental rights and liberties, to overthrow a duly elected President, and to undermine a free Constitutional Republic.
The Press has engaged in a continuous brash, malicious, conscious assault on the Trump Presidency with the unapologetic aim of sabotaging if not destroying Trump. This has been the modus operandi of the Press since the inception of the Trump Presidency.
Matea Gold, the investigations reporter for the Washington Post, made this point clear on January 17, 2016, in her call to action article. Matea’s remarks are all the more alarming because they saw expression in a “news” piece, not an Op-Ed. She writes:
“The effort to impeach President Donald John Trump is already underway.
At the moment the new commander in chief was sworn in, a campaign to build public support for his impeachment went live at ImpeachDonaldTrumpNow.org, spearheaded by two liberal advocacy groups aiming to lay the groundwork for his eventual ejection from the White House.”
The reader should take note that this Washington Post reporter doesn’t mention a basis for calling for the extraordinary process of impeachment of the U.S. President. Evidently, Matea Gold didn’t consider a legal reason to be necessary. One would arise, she may have thought, or one would be manufactured.
The Collectivists, like this Washington Post reporter, simply want Trump “gone” and, she wants those Americans who support a free Constitutional Republic and unfettered exercise of fundamental rights to be gagged; denied expressing their views. If the Collectivists do succeed in getting Biden, or some other Clown, into Office, the Radical Left Democrats and the seditious Press will see their wish fulfilled. They will be well on their way to gutting the U.S. Our Country will devolve into something less than a sovereign independent Nation-State.
Copyright © 2020 Roger J Katz (Towne Criour), Stephen L. D’Andrilli (Publius) All Rights Reserved.