That Pesky 1st Amendment

According to a recent poll, 20% of the American people believe that Obama is a Muslim. Bob Schieffer of CBS News claims that there is a “mountain of evidence to the contrary” In his commentary on Face The Nation (Aug. 22), Schieffer implied that those who believe Obama is a Muslim are the nuts, perverts, bigots and the ignorant that populate the unregulated and unedited Internet.

Here is Schieffer’s commentary from Sunday, Aug. 22nd:

The greatest advances in the store of human knowledge have always taken place when great minds found themselves in the same place at the same time, as when the Greeks gathered on the hillsides of Athens, and when the political geniuses who founded this country came together.
The great promise of the Internet was that for the first time, great minds no longer had to be in close proximity.
But what we have also learned now is that in the Internet age ignorance travels as rapidly as great ideas. Now not only great minds can find one another and compare notes, so, too, can the nuts and the perverts and those who are simply looking to validate their prejudices.
So, despite a mountain of evidence to the contrary, a new poll tells us a growing number of Americans – most of them on the right – believe Barack Obama is a Muslim, no doubt due in part to the fact that stories to that effect have gone viral on the Internet.
Disagreeing with our leaders is our right and in truth part of the fun of being an American. But to suggest the President is a Muslim is absurd no matter how fervently some who dislike him may wish it so.
The purpose here is not to argue politics but to underscore how this illustrates the down side of the Internet – the only news delivery system we’ve ever had that has no editor. We must always remember that. What we read there may not always be true.

Schieffer calls the Internet a “news delivery system” with no editor. Perhaps he would prefer an Internet controlled and regulated by the government. I know…they could call it Pravda.

I don’t know who Schieffer is referring to when he talks about “great minds.”  There are nuts, perverts and bigots on the Internet…and walking the halls of CBS News…and occupying seats in  Congress. Is Schieffer suggesting that freedom of speech only applies to“great minds?”  If so, then many voices in the CBS Newsroom would be silenced…including Schieffer’s. And just who would determine who those “great minds” are? CBS News? Obama? The DNC? George Soros and Media Matters?

It is mind blowing that a member of the media, whose 1st Amendment right to free speech wields no greater or no less power than the American citizen, would call into question the right of anyone to express their opinion. I don’t know how a news organization would fair under Obama’s Pravda-like net neutrality, but I dare say Schieffer may rue the day he ever defended silencing the American people…nut, pervert, bigot, or otherwise. –Lew-


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