Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Examining the 1st on the 4th

Amendment I - Freedom of Religion, Press, Expression. Ratified 12/15/1791. Note

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, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

On this 4th of July, it’s appropriate to check in on the 1st Amendment. This amendment appears to be taking a beating lately. As a high school social studies teacher, I’m going to stand up as a defender of this amendment. Within this amendment is the right to a free press. Many countries in the world do not have a free press, able to challenge the ruling government publicly without fear of reprisal. I fear that we as a country might be slipping in this area .

The NY Times is a liberal paper, I might disagree that this is necessarily a bad thing but I will not argue with its bias. The press has for years been an agent for social change. Newspapers in this country broke Watergate, exposed the Teapot Dome Scandal, and worked to clean up the living conditions in urban areas caused by the Industrial Revolution. Until recently the NY Times was one of the few media outlets willing to exercise its responsibility to report and examine the news.

CBS News tried to examine George Bush’s. You can ask Dan Rather how that went. There are numerous cover-ups from the Presidents past that have been ignored by the press. There are questions about the election procedures in both 2000 and the 2004 . The secrecy that this administration strives for has been mentioned before in this blog space.

What would Rush Limbaugh be doing right now, other than Viagra, if President Clinton held the Press on this tight a leash? In today’s featured article the Wall Street Journal argues against the recent push for a flag burning amendment . Could someone please tell me when Fox News is going to lambast the Journal because of its liberal bias. Hopefully, on the 4th next year I won’t fear that the 1st Amendment is on the endangered list any more.

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