The right to free speech

This is about as far from movie marketing as you can get but I feel compelled to write about this here. The White House is in about day five of accusing the New York Times and Los Angeles Times of treasonous behavior over their report that the government has been monitoring bank transactions to “search for terrrorists.”

Let’s be very clear here. It’s the job of our press to shine the bright light of day on the dark dealings of the government and others. The White House and their proxies have said that the publication of this story is harming their war on terror and is disgraceful and offensive. I think what is disgraceful and offensive is the administration’s lack of faith in the American system. They believe that if a law hinders their view of executive power then that law must be avoided, not amended or debated, but just ignored. And to help their efforts they have a staff of political lawyers who think they can label something Constitutional or not and have that opinion hold, despite what anyone else might believe. That opinion is unchallangeable since, they say, questioning it not only gives aid and comfort to the enemy but could kill Americans by helping the terrorists.

Even more so than the current net neutrality debate going on, this is really going to impact how the level of discourse in America progresses in not only the short term but long term as well. The White House wants to do what they want to do and have a pants-wetting press dutifully republish their spin and rationales without asking pesky questions. It’s not a large leap to go from prosecuting the LAT and NYT for treason, which at least one member of Congress has suggested doing, to prosecuting any and all dissenting speech for its failure to be upbeat and pro-administration. If you believe in an open and fair right to speak your peace and the right to petition the government for redress of grievances, than you should be offended at the opinion that reporting on the secret tapping and monitoring of our lives is somehow dangerous. America was founded on the idea that we all have a voice in our government. The press, to a large extent, acts as that voice and is suppose to speak truth to power. They should not be prosecuted for doing so.

By Chris Thilk

Chris Thilk is a freelance writer and content strategist with over 15 years of experience in online strategy and content marketing. He lives in the Chicago suburbs.