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Response to Cleita (Reply #67)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 02:52 PM

68. Here's an example of how Sun News doesn't seem to be restrained by Canadian law

http://eclipsenews.wordpress.com/2012/09/19/sun-news-lies-again-about-gay-straight-alliance-nobody-shocked-anymore/

Its not a question of what I think. Its a question of whether the Canadian law is preventing Sun News from engaging in the kinds of conduct that Fox News engages in here. The answer appears to be no, which then raises the question of whether there would be any real benefit from enacting a similar version of content regulation here in the US, not that it would withstand constitutional scrutiny under SCOTUS precedent.

In Miami Herald v. Tornillo, a unanimous Supreme Court (including Justices Douglas, Brennan, and Marshall) joined in an opinion that contained the following admonition: "A responsible press is an undoubtedly desirable goal, but press responsibility is not mandated by the Constitution and like many other virtues it cannot be legislated." In his concurring opinion, Justice White further commented that: "the press is not always accurate, or even responsible, and may not present full and fair debate on important public issues. But the balance struck by the First Amendment with respect to the press is that society must take the risk that occasionally debate on vital matters will not be comprehensive and that all viewpoints may not be expressed. The press would be unlicensed because, in Jefferson's words, "here the press is free, and every man able to read, all is safe." Any other accommodation - any other system that would supplant private control of the press with the heavy hand of government intrusion - would make the government the censor of what the people may read and know."

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