A senior government official targeted the television network with an unprecedented attack on freedom of the press, which is protected in the United States – for now – by the First Amendment. In a free society, it is never proper for the state to malign, attack or control free speech, which is why any negative or intimidating comment regarding the particular exercise of free speech, including a press report, is improper. Yet the U.S. government described CNN’s report, which is predicated on new disclosures about the assassinated U.S. ambassador’s concern for his security in his diary, as “indefensible” and “disgusting”. Chillingly, America’s government issued a veiled threat by accusing the TV network of violating an agreement. Will the Obama administration apprehend and detain CNN executives, editors and producers as it recently did to interrogate a filmmaker?
It’s a legitimate question. The U.S. government’s condemnation of the free press is part of a series of diversionary acts of what amount to censorship that began when the Obama administration responded to the 9/11/2012 Islamicist assault with a denunciation of a motion picture rumored to have triggered the siege, which led to the deaths of four Americans, as I wrote about here. The alarming approach by the administration, which routinely lies to the public, was repeated last week when, at taxpayer expense, the secretary of state (Hillary Clinton) appeared in an advertisement aimed at Moslems in Pakistan explicitly attacking free speech, saying: “We absolutely reject [the film’s] content and message.” The statement itself ought to be considered a violation of the First Amendment. Anyone with an active mind can imagine the media’s reaction if a Republican president had denounced a movie in such terms. The press would have raked him over the coals for it for months, even years.
Not now, not under the reign of Barack Obama, a president whose administration is so committed to total government control of thought, speech and the press – as well as health care, banks and cars – that he is turning on his most ardent followers, such as the sad, unpopular mediocrity known as CNN, which rarely reports anything important first. But this time CNN, to their credit, is fighting back. In a promptly delivered rebuttal statement aimed at the White House and the State Department, CNN defended its report and asked “why is the State Department now attacking the messenger?” It is a good question, especially since it is abundantly clear that Secretary Clinton was either lying to the press and public when she said she had no knowledge that the ambassador was concerned about an Islamicist hit list or she’s inept in foreign policy and should be fired. Whatever one thinks of the television network, its report and its use of the diary, which is an entirely separate issue from freedom of speech, every freedom-loving American should stand with CNN for free speech against our horrifying, oppressive government, which used the exact words to describe what is tantamount to censorship: indefensible, disgusting and, I must add: dictatorial.