Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Lies and Liars

The defense attorney warned jurors that they were being asked to rein in the 1st Amendment freedoms "that founding fathers granted to newspapers and the to the press."
"The 1st Amendment of our Constitution guarantees our right to criticize politicians, especially elected politicians,"Rosenfeld told the jury. "We must be able to tee off against the government in the press. That's what freedom of the press is all about."
The jurors, unlike the attorney, understood all right that freedom of speech is for every individual, not reserved for newspapers and the press. They also understood defamation when they saw it.

They found the Kane County Chronicle and reporter Bill Page guilty of defamation, finding that two columns were false and published with actual malice. The jury awarded Chief Justice Robert Thomas $7 million.

I guess in teeing off against politicians, they'll just have to tell the truth. Or, as Thomas' attorney said. "Lies and liars are not protected under the First Amendment."

No comments: