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Should the NYT, a corporation, enjoy 1st amendment rights?

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eallen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-19-11 09:31 AM
Original message
Should the NYT, a corporation, enjoy 1st amendment rights?
To most civil libertarians, the obvious answer is: of course. The 1st amendment protects the press. Quite explicitly.

What I see quite a bit here, especially with regard to the Citizens United, is that the 1st amendment shouldn't cover corporations. It should cover only natural persons.

Which means, the NYT would not have 1st amendment freedoms. No Hollywood or Broadway production would have 1st amendment freedoms. (They're all organized as corporations.) Harper Collins would not have 1st amendment freedoms. And the ACLU would not have 1st amendment freedoms.

Discuss.

:hippie:
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NYC_SKP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-19-11 09:40 AM
Response to Original message
1. Citizens United extended 1st Amendment priveleges to non-press corporations.
The NYT enjoyed them before C.U. and continues to enjoy them now.

The question, I think, is did the NYT enjoy anonymous campaign contribution 'freedoms' before C.U., and if so was it in the best interest of the nation and the people?

My take on the matter.
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eallen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-19-11 09:49 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. What is a "press corporation"? Is GE a "press corporation"?
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NYC_SKP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-19-11 09:53 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. What?
A newspaper or news agency formed as a corporation is what it is.

It could be as small as a local weekender news and review, or as large as, yes, GE with their various "news" outlets.

:shrug:
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eallen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-19-11 10:17 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. So, what corporation publishing something wouldn't be a "press corporation"?
Some corporation that formerly specialized in technology and appliances decides to make a movie. It's a press corporation, right? And if not, how is that different from GE?

If publishing something makes a corporation a press corporation, then for the purposes of the 1st amendment, there is no need for that distinction. Those that do do. Those that don't don't. So it doesn't matter. (And I don't think the case law ever has made that distinction.) But if you want to draw a legal distinction between "press corporations," which presumably have 1st amendment rights, and other corporations, who do publish things but whose publications don't enjoy 1st amendment protection, then you need a reasonably clear legal rule about what counts as a press corporation or what doesn't.

:hippie:
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NYC_SKP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-19-11 10:43 AM
Response to Reply #5
10. I don't think that what issues from a corporation engaged in non-journalistic activities...
...qualifies, but your question certainly brings up what could be a paradox.

I mean, why shouldn't an annual report or the weekly company blab newsletter be considered a publication covered under 1A?

I gotta run out to the office for a spell.

Take care!

:donut:
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dkf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-19-11 10:20 AM
Response to Reply #1
7. That would mean only reporters have 1st amendment rights if it were a right only for the press.
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PETRUS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-19-11 09:46 AM
Response to Original message
2. Interesting launching point for a conversation.
Edited on Sat Nov-19-11 09:46 AM by PETRUS
As I understand it, a central question is "what is speech?"

Personally, I think the underlying issue is severe imbalance of power. As long as that exists, we have problems. A concentration of wealth allows one person or a small group of people to amplify their message and drown out others.
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haele Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-19-11 10:19 AM
Response to Original message
6. NYT is covered under the first ammendment - under the "Freedom of the Press" portion.
Corporation or not, they are considered the Press.
The corporation GE would by itself not be protected under the freedom of the Press, but MSNBC would so long as it is engaged in press activities.
However, the NYT, as any other press entity, lose it when they libel or slander, or incite riot or treason.

Haele
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Antifa919 Donating Member (16 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 08:57 PM
Response to Reply #6
12. This.
The media in America has the "right" to print what they want, as long as it is not doing anything illegal. Libel and slander are illegal. Most everything else, including supporting one political candidate or another, is not.

This being said, there is a worrying fusion of rights being "awarded" to large corporations, which are not considered "the Press".
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Philosopher King Donating Member (269 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-19-11 10:30 AM
Response to Original message
8. That is precisely why I agree with SC on this one.
Since there is no way to distinguish between "the media" and other corporations, the restrictions would have permitted governments to censor political speech in newspapers, magazines, books, radio, television, blogs, civil liberty advocates, 2nd Amendment advocates, etc.

Congress abhors the 1st Amendment in the same way that Dracula despises sunshine. Blood suckers prefer to carry out their evil deeds under the cover of darkness.
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Kingofalldems Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-19-11 10:33 AM
Response to Reply #8
9. So the Democrats in Congress are blood suckers?
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We_Have_A_Problem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 04:14 PM
Response to Reply #9
11. Every politician is a bloodsucker...
The Democrats in Congress are not saints nor do they always get it right. If you think they hold those offices because of an overdeveloped sense of altruism, I've got a bridge to sell you...
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