We vets agreed to sacrifice, if necessary, our very lives to defend the US Constitution. The First Amendment is at once both simple and confusing. Free speech is pretty clear—even if somehow the courts think actions are speech (like burning a flag or wearing a medal). We also have freedom of the press; unfortunately, there seems to be no way to make the media actually tell us facts, as opposed to whatever spin they wish to put on things. Here’s an example of the media failing in their duty to keep us informed of the whole truth.
The mainstream media is ignoring a case in which the Obama administration was forced to pay $120,000 to a pro-life advocate it targeted with a lawsuit and false claims that pro-life sidewalk counselor Susan Pine was violating federal law.
Pine counsels women who are considering abortion and provides help, resources, and support for women who choose life. Without any evidence of wrongdoing, US Attorney General Holder accused Pine of obstructing the entrance to an abortion clinic in violation of the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act (“FACE”).
Holder sought to levy thousands of dollars in fines against the pro-life activist as well as seeking a permanent injunction banning her from continuing her faithful 20-year ministry outside an abortion clinic in West Palm Beach, Florida. The Obama administration looked to appeal the case after a judge said the Obama administration was out of line to bring the lawsuit but the DOJ dropped its appeal after losing.
If this were an antiwar protester or someone else favored by the left, this would be “DOJ run amok” news. But you will search in vain for a story about Ms. Pine in the Associated Press, the New York Times, the Washington Post, or the Los Angeles Times. Holder and DOJ think they can just do whatever they want, and it seems they’re right — the press could care less about a drop-dead obvious instance of politically-driven prosecutorial abuse.
The judge hearing the case concluded that “the evidence could not lead a rational jury to find that Ms. Pine’s conduct [i.e., having peaceful conversations with clinic visitors on a public sidewalk] constituted a physical obstruction within the meaning of FACE.” The Judge chastised Holder for seeking to apply federal law in a clearly unconstitutional manner, saying, “Stretching the terms of FACE to apply to this case…so that a desire to provide people with information about alternatives to abortion constitutes an unlawful motive, would unjustifiably impinge on Ms. Pine’s First Amendment rights.”
So, again, we vets paid the price for freedom of the press, and the press won’t honor our sacrifice by simply telling us the whole truth about things. It’s time for some media that focuses on the whole truth—and lets us make up our own minds on things. It seems to me that Fox News does this pretty well; we need at least one more honest media outlet.