From the beginning of the first Obama campaign for the presidency, conservatives have been screaming that the press was going too easy on him. The mainstream media has been referred to as his instrument for years, and only recently has started to wake up. But, in the wake of the Edward Snowden affair, there is still the possibility that the administration can keep the traditional media controlled, if through no other means, then through intimidation – of either journalists, their government sources, or both.
Assuming that traditional media can be kept under control, what is left then? Citizen journalists are out in force, and seem to be the source of the majority of news and information on governmental misdeeds, this site included.
In order to silence all of those voices, it would take a great deal of control on the internet, or it would simply take a legal statement denying bloggers the ability to protect their sources under the “new and improved” journalism shield laws. And as reported by The American Spectator, that’s precisely what Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) has in mind.
While they point out the dangers of this, particularly from the perspective of the bloggers, what seems to be missing is a raw statement of truth about this issue. Yes, it could be the death of investigative journalism outside of the traditional media, so essentially the end of anyone holding the government accountable for its misdeeds. But there is a specific term for that, beyond censorship. As defined at Dictionary.reference.com (emphasis mine):
Fascism: a governmental system led by a dictator having complete power, forciblysuppressing opposition and criticism, regimenting all industry, commerce, etc., and emphasizing an aggressive nationalism and often racism.
This nation was founded on the principle of liberty for all people. The equivalent today of “The Press” then, that was granted freedom in the Bill of Rights, is the group that is being attacked by Feinstein now. Citizen journalists are the equivalent of the pamphleteers that founded this country, and most of the traditional media is the equivalent of the publishers that printed the propaganda from the Crown.
And now, the same as then, there might be a high price for continuing to root out the evils of government, to place them in the spotlight for all to see. The only question now is whether or not the “just a blogger” set will stand up against Feinstein, regardless of what the consequences might become. The proverbial ball is in our court.