Romans 3:4

Let God be true, and every man a liar... Romans 3:4

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The First Amendment

What is all this noise about Anthony Weiner? Yes, his name is a bad pun, but that's not his fault. He could avoid the double entandre by prouncing his name as "vine-er" or "whiner," though "whiner" presents other problems. Too bad the poor man's ancestors were from Vienna.

All this aside, a lot of Democrats have self-inflicted wedgies. The Weinergate episode is quite instructive of the current state of political discourse.

Never forget that the Number One Rule of Journalism is "Sex Sells." Period.

The Number Two Rule of Journalism is "The cover-up is worse than the crime." The Watergate scandal immortalized the position of investigative reporter. Their names are Legion: Dan Rather, Mike Wallace, Evans and Novak, Woodward and Bernstein, John Stossel, et. al. If a news-gathering organization smells a cover up, it will instinctively assign all available resources to the story. Why? It has something to do with a man named Pulitzer.

Trouble is, the Internet changed journalism forever. Because of the Internet Jeff and I have what is in effect a two-man editorial page. There is a prominent one-man newspaper on the Internet named The Drudge Report. Matt Drudge nearly toppled a sitting President. Success breeds imitation, so now there are other Drudges. One of the most prominent of these "agent provocateurs" is Andrew Breitbart. Breitbart may well cause the removal of Anthony Weiner from Congress.

The First Amendment ensures the freedom of the press. When the Governement becomes corrupt or immoral, a free press alerts the citizens to its transgressions. This keeps the Government from becoming a dictatorship. But what happens when the Free Press itself becomes corrupt? The Internet springs up and enables the Matt Drudges and Andrew Breitbarts to do the job that the Washington Post and Newsweek used to do.

That's the good news about Anthony Weiner. The First Amendment still works.

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