Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Freedom of the Press Is an Individual Right

The First Amendment's protection of Freedom of the Press was not intended to protect newspapers and news reporters exclusively. Pamphleteers like Thomas Paine and Ben Franklin spread political news and dissent, often anonymously, that would never have found its way into the Mainstream Media of the Eighteenth Century. The First Amendment was intended to protect anyone with and idea, some ink, and a few sheets of paper from government censors. The Internet is the Twenty-first Century version of the wood hand press.

This is why the Federal Election Commission's ruling freeing "uncompensated Internet activity" from campaign financing laws is in the tradition of the Founding Fathers (note to self: I can praise the government, wow!). Campaign financing limits are an attempt to slow the legalized bribery that wealthy contributions to political campaigns have become. The heavy hand of government was never intended to restrict the common American from freely sharing his opinions with the public.

1 comment:

PoliShifter said...

Some people refer to bloggers as modern day pamphleteers referring back to those such as Thomas Paine.

Some consider it an insult and others consider it praise.

I'm glad this ruling came out this way.

I remember several months ago there was fear in the blogosphere that sites such as DailyKos, Crooks and Liars, even Captain's Quarter's (right wing blog) would have to register as a PAC or something to that effect.