Sunday, January 19, 2014

the two-tiered first ammendment protections of presstitutes and citizenry

The slew of citizen journalist arrests at protests deemed unauthorized demonstrates a clear double standard in the protections municipalities and their police grant regarding the first amendment. While orders to disperse from public streets are constitutionally questionable on face, the arbitrary discrimination between government condoned journalists and anyone else on the scene raises startling questions with human rights violation implications.
As if working together like members of a team, corporate sponsored mainstream media representatives are literally given a game plan by the policy media liason, as everyone else is treated like a criminal for what is a clear expression of the constitutionally protected right to assemble freely.

While I am interested in any cases which have augmented the 1st amendment to allow governments to impose time or place restrictions, the wording itself suggests no scope of time or place, which implies all collective spaces more than any other are subject to this constitutional protection.

Let me tell you why I've brought it up:
When journalists, "the press" are not as much watchdogs of power, but rather than lapdogs, it's becomes increasingly difficult for the population to understand what goes on around them. I won't purport any conspiracy about the unhealthy relationship between the powers that be and those charged to report on them, but rather, take a look at this youtube playlist featuring a segment from the Conan show called,  "media matters" In the segment Conan demonstrates the reality of a corporate local news affiliate feeder system whereby dozens of organizations across the country all report the same stories, in many cases with the same words.
Homogeneity in journalism is a big a problem for society. When everyone is getting the same news from the same voice, and that voice is not a free voice, we should all be terrified.

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