Your Papers, Please
Mediate’s Tommy Christopher confronts Press Secretary Gibbs about the dustup between pundits, commentators, and the White House concerning the apparent lack of response to the BP oil well disaster in the Gulf.
This again falls into the category of taken-by-itself-no-big-deal. But this Administration has shown time and time again they are willing to attack private citizens using the power of the government in order to further their agenda or deflect criticism. The key of the exchange was in reference to Sarah Palin, with Gibbs shrugging it off saying that you don’t need a license to get on TV and say anything you want.
If you follow the link and see the video, it is pretty apparent, it seems to me, that Gibbs is actually trying to make a lame joke. So take it for what its worth.
The problem is, however, that they seem to have no problem with the idea that if one is not somehow “approved” to comment, then their words are not worth considering. This is exactly what the First Amendment Freedom of Speech and Freedom of the Press was meant to protect. The idea that anyone, any citizen, could speak their mind without fear of reprisal, in the public square or in the media.
That is exactly what I am doing here. There has never in the history of the world been more freedom of expression than there is today. I can sit here at my keyboard, and spout off anything I want. And so can you. And you. And even you over there. That doesn’t mean you have the right to be heard, but you have the right to say it.
I actually have little doubt that given the option, if they could get away with it, the White House would have no problem requiring some sort license to be a pundit. If that were to ever happen, then we are completely finished as a free nation.