Free press

The moment we no longer have a free press, anything can happen. What makes it possible for a totalitarian or any other dictatorship to rule is that people are not informed; how can you have an opinion if you are not informed? If everybody always lies to you, the consequence is not that you believe the lies, but rather that nobody believes anything any longer. This is because lies, by their very nature, have to be changed, and a lying government has constantly to rewrite its own history. On the receiving end you get not only one lie — a lie which you could go on for the rest of your days — but you get a great number of lies, depending on how the political wind blows. And a people that no longer can believe anything cannot make up its mind. It is deprived not only of its capacity to act but also of its capacity to think and to judge. And with such a people you can then do what you please.

Exposing government deceit

The Press was protected so that it could bare the secrets of the government and inform the people. Only a free and unrestrained press can effectively expose deception in government. And paramount among the responsibilities of a free press is the duty to prevent any part of the government from deceiving the people.

What’s the difference?

I’m not saying The New York Times is a CIA organ. I’m just saying I can’t tell the difference … In the same way, I don’t believe that American history textbooks are written in smoke-filled rooms by conspirators who are trying to indoctrinate American students. But what I am saying is, if that did happen, I think the textbooks would look exactly like the ones we already have.

Reverse discrimination

After the 9/11 attack, the media were seized with affection for Muslims and decided that, henceforth, no unkind word could be uttered about Islam. They were worried sick that al-Qaeda might get its hands on a nuke and destroy an American city, because that might lead to discrimination against Muslims.