American media has worked hard to earn it’s reputation as the lapdog of politicians and corporations. And how are they rewarded for their obedience? With threats of prosecution and incarceration should they publish any stories that contain classified information. Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, rolled up the newspaper and smacked the press’ nose when he appeared on “This Week” last Sunday.
“There are some statutes on the book which, if you read the language carefully, would seem to indicate that that [prosecution] is a possibility.”
Gonzales goes on to propose that there needs to be an accomodation between the right to a free press, and the government’s ability to “go after criminal activity.” How he arrives at that conclusion is unstated, but I think that most Constitutional scholars would agree that the Bill of Rights has precedence over a power-hungry prosecutor.
The danger in the Attorney General’s remarks is not merely the risk that prosecution poses for reporters, but the fact that the threat alone can frighten an already timid press corp from publishing any stories that might anger the Justice Department or the administration. And should prosecutions occur, what protections are in place to prevent them from being punitive or partisan?
At News Corpse we already believe that the media is dead. Now you will see how the dead react to being threatened with incarceration. They will, of course, just lie there.