Federal judge calls for ending news media’s unfettered power to defame

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The increased power of the press is so dangerous today because we are very close to one-party control of these institutions. Our court was once concerned about the institutional consolidation of the press leading to a “bland and homogenous” marketplace of ideas. It turns out that ideological consolidation of the press (helped along by economic consolidation) is the far greater threat.

~ Judge Silberman.

 

Judge Laurence Silberman said the standard of acting with “actual malice” gave journalists and news organizations free rein to trample on people’s character.

“It allows the press to cast false aspersions on public figures with near impunity. It would be one thing if this were a two-sided phenomenon,” Judge Silberman, who sits on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, wrote in a lengthy dissent.

He is deeply concerned about Silicon Valley’s control of much of the news. He called The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal “Democratic Party broadsheets.”

Judge Silberman, a Reagan appointee, took issue with the Supreme Court’s decision in the historic 1964 case New York Times v. Sullivan that protected the media from libel suits by requiring the defendant to show the publisher acted with “actual malice” or total and reckless disregard of the truth.

It requires public figures to prove news organizations published a false statement about them recklessly or with knowledge. It leaves public figures without any judicial recourse.

Ira Lupu, a law professor at George Washington University, said New York Times v. Sullivan is vital for the news media’s ability to hold public figures accountable. He said the judge’s dissent sounded like “right-wing criticism.”

“If you are easily held liable for defamation, there are going to be stories you don’t print,” Mr. Lupu said. “We want the press to err on the side of publishing rather than self-censorship.”

CONTROL IS ONLY BY THE LEFT

Is the only reason it sounds like “right-wing” criticism because the Left has full control of the media?

Judge Silberman said the 1964 decision was a policy-driven ruling that was intended to protect reporters covering the civil rights movement, but the broad protection now allows the news media to run amok.

“The increased power of the press is so dangerous today because we are very close to one-party control of these institutions. Our court was once concerned about the institutional consolidation of the press leading to a “bland and homogenous” marketplace of ideas. It turns out that ideological consolidation of the press (helped along by economic consolidation) is the far greater threat,” Judge Silberman wrote.

 

 


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2 COMMENTS

  1. Wouldn’t a mundane of the glorious people’s collective get in trouble for libel for some of the things that the Mockingbird enemedia (CCP) does?
    The rule of law was deleted with the historic pen and phone?
    How about that fundamental transformation, what a glorious improvementation.
    Forward! Yes we can.

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