Was there anything about the Sandy Hook massacre the media got right on the day it happened? In their rush to be first, they ignored their obligation to be right. Nearly every detail they disseminated Friday was wrong, even down to the name of the killer. Their desire to sensationalize had them shoving microphones in the faces of children who couldn’t possibly comprehend the events of the day. This was just the latest example of how out of control and dangerous the media has become, and it’s time government did something to protect us.
You’re probably asking yourself, “What about the First Amendment? Freedom of the press means we can’t regulate them, right?” Technically, yes. But since they, en masse, want to ignore the Second Amendment, to claim since it was written in a time of muskets, it is outdated and doesn’t apply to new guns, let’s apply the same to the First.
The First Amendment was written in a time of movable type printing presses and quills, not 24-hour cable news channels and the Internet. Using the media’s logic, the First Amendment doesn’t apply.
I’m not suggesting we should simply outlaw any media outside of print, but if we can limit the Second Amendment however we like, we can do the same to the First.
Congress should impose massive fines on those who get facts wrong. Not newspaper reporters – that’s dealt with a different way. But TV. As liberals love to remind us, broadcasters make their living over “public airwaves.” Conveying false information over them is a violation of the trust placed in those institutions by the public and should be punished.
The media would like to punish innocent gun owners for the actions of a tiny amount of guilty ones, so all media should be regulated because of the actions of a few bad ones.
NBC News, which I’m told was once a respected news organization, deliberately edited the 911 call in the Trayvon Martin case to make George Zimmerman sound racist when he was simply answering the dispatcher’s question. In the same case, the New York Times created a new race of humans – the “white Hispanic” – specifically to sensationalize that case into a racial issue. Although The Times is in print and thus protected, it also published that story on the Internet, which is not. Let’s punish The Times.
Zimmerman is suing NBC News and should win easily. But government could impose a minimum fine of, say, $1 billion for each offense. Doing so would bring about the end of the race to be first and restore the drive to be right. It also would ruin NBC News.
Media regulation could also be used to stop networks from conferring the fame on these the monsters they so desperately seek. They’re dead, but their name lives on in infamy, which is exactly what they want. Mentioning their name could be outlawed too.
All of this, of course, is absurd. The American people never would stand for it. We all exercise our free speech rights on a daily basis, and we’d never sit by and watch government outlaw speech. But many do exactly that with other parts of the First Amendment, particularly the religious freedom clause, and the Second.
No one would tolerate the creation of some sort of “special circumstances” where the Fifth Amendment wouldn’t apply and someone could be forced to testify in a criminal case against themselves – but somehow the Second is fair game.
How many laws did the Sandy Hook monster break in committing these murders? Why did he not respect the gun ban in the school? Because he was crazy. (That’s not to say he was stupid. Stupid and crazy, often used interchangeably, are two entirely different things.) Why aren’t we looking to see what warning signs were ignored by those around him and alert people to be on the lookout for those in others rather than the knee-jerk response of infringing on the rights of innocent Americans?
Liberals have a tradition of vilifying innocent people with the guilt of others. When Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, Democrat FDR had Japanese Americans rounded up and essentially imprisoned for the sin of being Japanese. At its core, that’s what’s happening here.
Rather than focus on why this madman committed this heinous crime so we can prevent similar acts by equally ill people in the future, elected Democrats are ready yet again to impose government into areas the document they swore an oath to preserve, protect and defend expressly forbids. And the media, draped in the protections of that document, stands ready to be their willing accomplice in infringing upon others.
The American people cannot allow any of their rights – even if they choose not to exercise some of them – to be stripped away to appease an emotional mob being manipulated by politicians and fellow travelers in the media simply because unbalanced people abuse theirs. If we do, we might as well just surrender all of them now.
Derek Hunter is Washington, DC based writer, radio host and political strategist. You can also stalk his thoughts 140 characters at a time on Twitter.