Hidden danger lies in First Amendment

Published 3:00 am Friday, February 10, 2017

We are living in uncertain and perilous times. While we have just experienced a glowing example of our democracy with a bizarre and unusual Presidential Election, the event has triggered unprecedented protest and challenges by the opposition. Thousands-perhaps millions, have indicated that they will oppose the new President regardless and we have seen celebrity entertainers threaten to, “blow up the White House”

There is no stronger advocate of Freedom of the Speech and Press than I. At the same time, I must assert that these freedoms are NOT without limitations and restrictions! The adage is that freedom of speech does not protect being able to scream fire in a crowded theater! We are seeing the same paradox with the main stream media with recent cases of “edited news” or the actual fabricated slant to stories to present their left view. Remember Trayvon Martin and NBC News’ insertion of racist comments? Or the nationwide push of the “hands up, don’t shoot…” slogan in the Michael Brown Case that the U.S. Justice Department found to be untrue-never happened! Yet, the main stream media has continued to this day to push this false story!

In the past weeks the former Press Secretary to George W. Bush was interviewed on CNN with the network “editing” his answer to reflect the exact opposite of what he said! Where does it end?

In part, the First Amendment reads, “…Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble…”  What we are experiencing is more than misbehavior by the media. This wide spread media abuse is a danger to our freedoms under the First Amendment ! Do we need to add one word to this Amendment, RESPONSIBLE?

Whether its down at your local hometown paper or a national TV network, we must being willing to challenge an abusive new media. In journalistic ethics, one is taught that a journalist never become the story, and never take side in political stories! President Trump has promised to take the media to task for their Job performance (or lack of) If he does, it will be refreshing and offer a ray of hope!

James W. Anderson

Talladega