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Bizarre Free Speech Argument: White House Can't Have an Opinion About Journalism

Sunday, November 01, 2009

By Eric Boehlert
Media Matters


That's clearly what's being pitched by more hysterical Fox News defenders in the press corps who are trying to mainstream this completely unique notion that if politicians, and specifically if White House administration members, publicly criticize the press, that means they're trying to police and control it.

It's sort of ironic. Fox News defenders, in the name of free speech, now apparently want to ban the Obama White House from having an opinion about journalism. They want to take away the White House's free speech right to step forward and correct the press.

Over at Mediaite.com, Glynnis MacNicol offers up some of the more ridiculous the-White-House-is-trying-to-trample-journalism rhetoric [emphasis added].
From the beginning, the ultimate danger of allowing the-White House to take on a news organization the way it has with Fox, is that it has now set a precedent. One that they apparently have no qualms about extending. Does the public really want its president determining what news is fit to consume?
"Allowing" the White House to take on a news organization? What does that even mean? Is MacNicol suggesting the White House is suddenly not allowed to criticize the press? It's not allowed to exercise its freedom of speech. It's not allowed to call out falsehoods? And is MacNicol really so naive to suggest the White House, by having an opinion about Fox News, is somehow "determining" what news is consumed? ...(Remainder.)

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