The Byrne Blog

John Byrne Communicating About Communications

So, the Supreme Court has decided that the First Amendment has some teeth still left in it when it comes to political speech (the whole reason it mentions the “press” in the first place).  It may come as a surprise to some who know me, but I actually agree with the majority view, which bears a resemblence to my “marketplace of ideas” philosophy.  The provisions struck down in the campaign finance law were, at their core, bad law. 

We do ourselves a disservice as a society when we start to carve up the media into the “haves” and “have-nots,” especially when it comes to political speech.  More speech and openness should be our goal in a democracy, such as we have.  My personal hope is that now with restrictions on corporate political giving wiped away, people will start paying more attention to the various sources of campaign money and be able to make their own judgments as to whether or not that’s a problem.  I’m additionally hopeful that our lapcat major media outlets will also finally start paying more attention to the substance of our political arena and give less attention to the “games” that politicians play.

Then again, there is the age-old law of unintended consequences.  Many folks have been predicting what’s going to happen now, with many taking a Chicken Little approach.  I’m not sure anyone can predict accurately what will transpire over the next few months and years in the wake of this decision.  But it sure will be interesting to watch…

One thought on “Be Careful What You Wish For

  1. Haha. And those who know “us” will laugh that we’re agreeing on something political.

    The First Amendment is tricky in its application, yet so clear.

    So many people (not just Americans) want to pull it out when they feel their rights to religious freedom, or freedom of speech are being oppressed, but are completely fine with banning the Nazi’s from adopting a highway, or banning corporations their Constitutional rights to contribute financially to political campaigns.

    That’s what’s so incredible about the Constitution and its Amendments … when applied correctly, they apply to us all, even when “WE” don’t like the “YOU” in a dispute.

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