June 6, 2013
There’s been a subtle shift in the language coming out of Washington lately. If you pay attention and listen closely you’ll be fine. But it’s like one of those subliminal messages they used in the old movies – the new language is best absorbed subconsciously, while you’re thinking about something else. And the Feds are hoping that if they repeat it often enough you’ll willingly roll over and forfeit your first amendment rights.
Of course, at the top of the list, we have Congress debating a new media shield law in response to the Justice Department’s overreach in targeting AP reporters. On the surface it seems pretty cut-and-dried – a media shield law would protect journalists and their sources.
But anytime you implement a law you are essentially drawing a line in the sand, a line that can now, easily, be erased and moved until you’re boxed into a tiny little corner.
The proposed law only protects journalists to a certain degree. Journalists can still be subpoenaed to turn over their sources if it’s believed to affect national security matters, and yes, journalists can appeal to a federal judge. But let’s face it, who appoints those federal judges? Certainly not the journalists.
And as we’ve seen happen so many times in the past, the definition of “national security” is whatever is most convenient for Obama and the DHS at the time.
While the media shield law in and of itself will limit the press’ first amendment rights, it’s the language coming out of Washington in support of the bill that’s most frightening because it’s influencing every American citizen, not just journalists.
On Sunday, Democratic Senator Dick Durbin appeared on Fox News Sunday. On live TV, in front of millions of average American viewers, he questioned the media shield law and whether it should apply to bloggers.
Mr. Durbin said, (emphasis mine) “Here is the bottom line – the media shield law, which I am prepared to support … still leaves an unanswered question, which I have raised many times: What is a journalist today in 2013? We know it’s someone that works for Fox or AP, but does it include a blogger? Does it include someone who is tweeting? Are these people journalists and entitled to constitutional protection?”
The First Amendment guarantees freedom of speech for everyone, not just journalists, not just “the press” – everyone:
“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.”
But with just a few well-placed words, Durbin would have you believe that the first amendment right of freedom of speech only applies to journalists, and journalists are defined as only those reporters who hold credentialed positions with one of the mainstream media news outlets.
But Senator Durbin isn’t the only one trying to limit free speech. On Tuesday, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) also pushed the subliminal agenda. Speaking to reporters (who may or may not have been credentialed), Durbin had this to say:
“Who is a journalist is a question we need to ask ourselves,” he said. “Is any blogger out there saying anything—do they deserve First Amendment protection? These are the issues of our times.”
To be fair, when it was pointed out to both Senators that everyone enjoys the right to free speech here in America, they quickly jumped in to say that they didn’t deny that right, they were merely questioning where to draw the line between what gets protected and what doesn’t.
In an even more blatant attempt to limit the First Amendment, Sen,. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.), while questioning some of the conservative groups targeted by the IRS, suggested that it was their fault they’d been targeted because they applied for tax exempt status.
“None of your organizations were kept from organizing or silenced. If you didn’t come in and ask for this tax break, you would have never had a question asked of you.”
That statement, in itself, is scary enough, but it’s what he said to Fox News’ Megyn Kelly in a follow-up interview that really hits the subliminal nail on the head. When Kelly pointed out that many conservative groups were kept waiting months or even years for approval for tax exempt status and wasn’t that the same thing as being denied, McDermott said,
“Yes, but they were never denied their exemption. They could still operate…They can still collect money, they can still put out advertisements, they can use their First Amendment rights – nobody at the IRS stopped them from doing that.” (emphasis mine)
Again, McDermott is subliminally suggesting that certain groups or individuals are not entitled to their First Amendment right to freedom of speech, that it’s a right bestowed by those in authority upon only those who qualify.
Even Michelle Obama is using mind control tactics to teach us that we really don’t have the rights we think we have. When confronted by a heckler during a Democratic fundraiser, instead of allowing the heckler to have her say and politely waiting for silence Mrs. Obama said, “One of the things I don’t do well is this.”
She then pointed at the heckler and delivered her ultimatum: They could listen to her or the heckler could have the microphone, “but I’m leaving. You all decide. You have one choice.”
The message is subtle but it’s appearing more and more often. If we don’t start paying attention we’re going to lose our Constitutional right to free speech.