In 1690 Benjamin Harris published the first American newspaper. Four days later his paper was shut down by the government. Granted this was during a time when America wasn’t America but a colony of then motherland England.
Before the age of “FAKE NEWS!” we had the following, “I thank God, there are no free schools nor printing and I hope we shall not have, these hundred years, for learning has brought disobedience, and heresy, and sects into the world, and printing has divulged them, and libels against the best government. God keep us from both.” Governor William Berkeley of Virginia said this in 1671.
Now that I’ve gotten the boring history out of the way, let’s talk about the here and now. You live in an age where you can publish what you’d like and most of you do on Facebook and Twitter. You don’t face the fear of being imprisoned or fined for saying that that the government sucks or for disagreeing with the way the country is being run –but that doesn’t mean free speech is without consequence.
Send in the fat ugly troll hawking nutrition supplements.
I despise Alex Jones. I think he’s a toxic individual who’s caused harm to victims of mass shootings and he’s helped in the dumbing down of America. Where he took a dump, a thousand blooms of conspiracy sprouted and I think in the end this will only hurt us as a society. He was deplatformed for a whole mess of reasons and it doesn’t bother me. Why? Because he can still say what he wants to say, he can still run his website, he can still get his message out and the mere fact that private companies don’t want to be a vehicle for his message is well within their right.
Know what bothers me? When the leader of the free world suggests that we should change libel laws because someone wrote a book that paints his administration with the color “train-wreck”. Bob Woodward –an amateur journalist– has a book coming out on September 11th and its made President Trump go from Mar-a-Lago tan orange to blistering sun red. Why? Because he sat down with staff members and talked to them. They confided in him that Trump is an idiot and that he has the education level of a 5th grader.
The likes of Governor Berkeley are a thing of the past and the first amendment is a right afforded to all Americans, not just to authors of books Trump approves of. I’d argue that he should really look at books written by actual liars who harmed the country with their ability to sling deceit so effectively and buzz off when it comes to books that deal in the truth as he has no business in knowing what truth actually means.
I get to publish this shabbily written piece because many a good patriots died so I may have that right. Someone should remind Trump that he took an oath to “preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States” and not to disrespect, dismantle and destroy it.