After reading the chapters New York Times v. Sullivan, Near v. Minnesota and Hustler Magazine v. Falwell in Freedom of the Press, I felt conflicted. On a side note these cases have do with freedom of press. I like being informed what is happening in the news. I like the freedom I could write an opinion piece in a newspaper, a blog or a post on social media without the fear of being jailed or sued. However, after I read the case Near v. Minnesota and what written in The Saturday Press, I immediately thought of Alex Jones and his show Infowars. Jones, a media personality, continuously makes the most outlandish statements not only about public figures and politicians about also current events. For example, he has said many times that the Sandy Hook massacre did not take place. Mind you, reporters were at the school when the shooting incident occurred. Jones has a following of loyal listeners and they eat the words and repeat the words that come out of his mouth. Imagine the emotional state the parents and families of the children who died at Sandy Hook, hearing Jones give his opinion of what occurred. But this is what the First Amendment stands for not for the lies but for the freedom of speech.
It is a tug-a-war of wanting to say and hear what you want but not appreciating comments made by those who do not wish you well. If we were to censor what people say because we did not like what was being said it would lead us right back to the seditious libel. A world where Comedy Central, The Daily Show, Late night shows and online satire magazines would not exist. A few weeks ago an Op-ed was written about President Trump. This week the news cycle is on Brett Kavanaugh. New Information about Kavanaugh keeps popping up. Those who knew him feel confident to come forward without the fear of any repercussions. This week the New York Times did an investigative report on the Trump’s family’s finances. There is no way this article could have been printed in the past when free speech and the media was censored. I guess It is a price we have to pay for staying informed of what is happening around us and of those who govern us.