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Should libel, slander, or defamation laws be ‘loosened up’ to protect public figures?

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Should libel slander or defamation laws be loosened up to protect public figures

No. This shouldn’t even be discussed as an issue by politicians, particularly a President, and definitely one who claims to be conservative. Even most leftists have accepted that 1st Amendment rights should be protected, though their motives for believing this are often to protect their own agenda.

Of all the rights given to us by the Constitution and the amendments, freedom of the press is arguably the closest to being perfect. The basic framework laid out by the 1st Amendment led to dozens of court decisions that have honed the proper level of protections. For example, New York Times Co. v. Sullivan in 1964 declared that a public figure acting as a plaintiff has the burden of proving a publisher acted with “actual malice.” This means that if the press publishes something that is demonstrated to be false, they are only liable if there was intent to hurt a public figure as the motivation for making the claims.

On the surface, this might seem very unfair. A publication can publish false information as long as doing so was not intended specifically to harm a public figure. Before we charge in and declare that only facts are allowed to be published and the burden should be on the press to be infallible, we must look at the consequences of such a stance. It would yield an impotent press, one that will avoid reporting negatively about public figures even if they are nearly certain they have their facts straight.

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Extrapolate it out further. When the press exists in a state of fear, their natural recourse will be to seek protections outside of the Constitution. It will become more prudent and profitable to work with the government. Over time, it will become more prudent and profitable to work within the government. The press in all of its honorable and dishonorable forms, must remain an outside entity. That doesn’t mean that it will be unbiased. Conservatives are well aware of the challenges we face with mainstream media bias. However, fear of bias or acceptance of further degradation of their abilities to report will lead us down the road towards state-run media.

As with most issues, the knee-jerk reactions are rarely the correct ones. The restraints that are currently placed on the American press are as close to perfect as we can expect. That’s not to say they won’t need to be improved in the future; Obsidian Finance Group, LLC v. Cox in 2014 extended the rules, rights, and restrictions of bloggers to be counted as journalists. As technology and society changes, more circumstances will need to be addressed, but any action to remove or restrict the rights of the 4th and 5th estates must be fought, not embraced.

Is fake news bad? Yes. Which is why we fight it as a news outlet every day. But it cannot be made illegal. Doing so will make matters much worse. We must defend the whole Constitution, even the parts that are inconvenient.

 


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Big League Politics editor Patrick Howley speaks out against Fox News following Judge Pirro removal

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Big League Politics editor Patrick Howley speaks out against Fox News following Judge Pirro removal

When Judge Jeanine Pirro questioned whether or not hijabs worn by Congresswomen was antithetical to the Constitution because it represented sharia law (which is definitely antithetical to the Constitution), the Council on American-Islamic Relations demanded Fox News remove the host and her show.

Fox News complied.

Conservatives across the nation are speaking out against the move and Fox News itself. We expressed our opinions about Fox News the other day, noting they’re not the place for conservatives to be finding their news. Now, conservative news source One America News brought on Big League Politics editor-in-chief Patrick Howley to give his perspectives on the firing and the future of Fox News.

To sum it up, Howley said “the only way to fight back against Fox News is to tune them out.” Considering the direction they’ve been taking recently, this is clearly sound advice. OAN is a great alternative.

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BlazeTV: Pro-Trump echo chamber and home of faux conservatives

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BlazeTV Pro-Trump echo chamber and home of faux conservatives

A few weeks ago, I wrote an article about how faux conservative Trumpists were a direct result of the faux conservative media.

Choosing the wide gate of compromise over the narrow gate of conviction, clickservatives in the faux conservative media have succeeded in spreading the lie that Trumpservatism equals conservatism while using conservative values as a commodity to be bartered for a seat at Trump’s table.

In the piece I mentioned above, I showed how the formerly conservative voices of Mark Levin and Glenn Beck were using their new BlazeTV partnership as a pro-Trump echo chamber and how they were using this fact as a marketing tool to find new subscribers.

Proof of the depths BlazeTV is apparently willing to go with its sycophancy was evident in a recent episode of the Glenn Beck Show when he participated in a discussion with Pat and Stu on the decline of manhood and declared that Donald Trump is the last male role model left in America.

While many so-called conservatives dismissed Beck’s statement as an isolated incident and called me out for “taking him out of context,” a recent interview with Trump’s defacto press secretary, Sean Hannity, showed Beck’s heart in the matter.

“If the Republicans don’t win this next election, I think we are officially at the end of the country as we know it. We may not survive even if we win, but we definitely don’t if the Republicans lose with Donald Trump.”

Fun fact: Beck once criticized Hannity for supporting “unprincipled” Trump.

While #notDemocrat fearmongering is nothing new for the GOP establishment — they play that card every two years — Beck’s fearmongering was solely for the purpose of supporting Trump and the GOP. Using Beck’s rationale, America might cease to exist under Trump, but it definitely ceases to exist under a Democrat — as if there’s a difference between the two.

It looks like Levin’s and Beck’s Trumpism is official company policy at BlazeTV, at least that’s the impression I came away with after yesterday’s episode of the Steve Deace Show.

In the opening portion of his show, Deace and his crew (Aaron and Todd) were making the case that Democrats were the party of abortion and used their position to endorse Trump’s and the GOP’s use of the late-term abortion issue in the upcoming election. But they went further.

They argued that Trump is a “long-term advocate” of ending late-term abortion — Deace gave his personal guarantee that this is true — and said pro-life conservatives should support Trump because #notDemocrat despite his doublemindedness on abortion and his continued funding of Planned Parenthood. And they stated that anyone who refused to “cheer” Trump’s use of the abortion issue in the upcoming election as they were going to do were most likely members of a “Never Trump cult” and/or a hypocrite.

I shared this on my Facebook account:

If BlazeTV chooses to sell its soul to Trump for a seat at his table, that’s up to them. But I’m saying “adios” to their faux conservatism.

Originally posted on StridentConservative.com.

 


David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative. His daily radio commentary is distributed by the Salem Radio Network and is heard on stations across America.

Follow the Strident Conservative on Twitter and Facebook.

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If you’re relying on Fox News to bring you ‘conservative’ news, try harder

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If youre relying on Fox News to bring you conservative news try harder

Mainstream media will do as mainstream media has always done. The creep to the left that started in the 70s has been inching the narratives to a progressive lean with notable lurches during the Reagan and Bush 43 years. But it was with the last two presidents that any facade of neutrality was wiped away. They loved President Obama and hate President Trump.

Fox News has been the only major network to not embrace leftist tenets, but here’s the thing. They’re not conservative. Sure, they have some conservatives as commentators and a few conservative show hosts, but generally they’ve been moderate for years. We saw this in the early days of the 2016 GOP nomination race when first Jeb Bush, then Marco Rubio were their anointed picks. Sean Hannity was the only one who jumped on the Trump Train early. Eventually, the channel eased itself on board, but not without keeping an anchor firmly attached to neoconservatism and barely right-of-center moderation.

Most viewers don’t realize this. They watch Fox & Friends, The Five, and other shows and they get the feeling that this is what conservative media looks like. But it’s not. This is what pro-Trump moderates look like (again, with a handful of exceptions).

They made an odd move yesterday by bringing on former DNC Chair Donna Brazile. In an effort to stay “fair and balanced,” it’s a good move for the network to want to expand their repertoire of leftists, but picking someone who lied on behalf of the DNC and Hillary Clinton to somehow be appropriate in delivering “truth” is the part that should make conservatives and leftists scratch their heads. Wasn’t she supposed to promote her book and then fade off into obscurity in a lobbyist role or something?

Today brought us another indicator of the left-of-center mentality Fox holds. They brought former Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, the person arguably most responsible for holding back the President from demanding the border wall while Republicans held control of the House, Senate, and White House, onto the board of their new Fox News parent company.

But it’s not necessarily the people they hire that reveals their ideology. It’s the absence of topics. One of the biggest reasons we push so hard to raise money for this site is because we know the need for conservatism and Christianity as being necessary driving forces in American life. We do not bow down to party, popularity, or ideological notions that seem conservative or Christian but are not.

Fox News, on the other hand, plays for Republicans rather than conservatives. We can see this in the topics they promote but also in the topics they avoid. Like all the other news channels, they are quick to talk about any types of terrorism or murder as long as the victims aren’t Judeo-Christian. They push the buzzing stories based on what’s trending on Twitter but they don’t dig deeper to the core of the matter. There are occasional moments of lucidity, especially with some of the conservative hosts, but for the most part they’re just a pro-Trump version of the other networks.

What America needs from the media is an inflexible dedication to what works. Some will argue that it’s not media’s job to guide the process, but commentary is specifically designed to do just that. President Trump has been guided in this way. We saw him considering is immigration stance “softening” in 2016 with Sean Hannity right there beside him. But it was the conservatives in his base who were telling him to stop the nonsense, and thankfully it worked. He didn’t soften and as a result he won the election.

Fox News is only conservative in relations to their competitors. They’re unwillingness to be bold in their philosophies prevents them from being the real counter to CNN, MSNBC, and others who have no qualms being hardcore leftists. Fox News isn’t the answer.

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