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War on ‘Fake News’ Part of a War on Free Speech
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A major threat to liberty is the assault on the right to discuss political issues, seek out alternative information sources, and promote dissenting ideas and causes such as non-interventionism in foreign and domestic affairs. If this ongoing assault on free speech succeeds, then all of our liberties are endangered.

One of the most common assaults on the First Amendment is the attempt to force public policy organizations to disclose their donors. Regardless of the intent of these laws, the effect is to subject supporters of controversial causes to harassment, or worse. This harassment makes other potential donors afraid to support organizations opposing a popular war or defending the rights of an unpopular group.

Many free speech opponents support laws and regulations forbidding activist or educational organizations from distributing factual information regarding a candidate’s positions for several months before an election. The ban would apply to communications that do not endorse or oppose any candidate. These laws would result in the only sources of information on the candidate’s views being the campaigns and the media.

Recently the Federal Election Commission (FEC) rejected a proposal to add language exempting books, movies, and streaming videos from its regulations. The majority of FEC commissioners apparently believe they should have the power, for example, to ban Oliver Stone’s biography of Edward Snowden, since it was released two months before the election and features clips of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump discussing Snowden.

The latest, and potentially most dangerous, threat to the First Amendment is the war on “fake news.” Those leading the war are using a few “viral” Internet hoaxes to justify increased government regulation — and even outright censorship — of Internet news sites. Some popular websites, such as Facebook, are not waiting for the government to force them to crack down on fake news.

Those calling for bans on “fake news” are not just trying to censor easily-disproved Internet hoaxes. They are working to create a government-sanctioned “gatekeeper” (to use Hillary Clinton’s infamous phrase) with the power to censor any news or opinion displeasing to the political establishment. None of those wringing their hands over fake news have expressed any concern over the fake news stories that helped lead to the Iraq War. Those fake news stories led to the destabilizing of the Middle East, the rise of ISIS, and the deaths of millions.

The war on “fake news” has taken a chilling turn with efforts to label news and opinion sites of alternative news sources as peddlers of Russian propaganda. The main targets are critics of US interventionist foreign policy, proponents of a gold standard, critics of the US government’s skyrocketing debt, and even those working to end police militarization. All have been smeared as anti-American agents of Russia.

Just last week, Congress passed legislation creating a special committee, composed of key federal agencies, to counter foreign interference in US elections. There have also been calls for congressional investigations into Russian influence on the elections. Can anyone doubt that the goal of this is to discredit and silence those who question the mainstream media’s pro-welfare/warfare state propaganda?

The attempts to ban “fake news;” smear antiwar, anti-Federal Reserve, and other pro-liberty movements as Russian agents; and stop independent organizations from discussing a politician’s record before an election are all parts of an ongoing war on the First Amendment. All Americans, no matter their political persuasion, have a stake in defeating these efforts to limit free speech.

(Republished from The Ron Paul Institute by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Ideology • Tags: American Media, Fake News 
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  1. This is a cogent description of one of the most disturbing things happening in America right now.

    It’s a shame more people aren’t paying attention.

  2. What’s especially hypocritical is that they have accused Russia of doing what they wish to do, silence all opposition through intimidation and accusations of foreign control, interference and treason.

    Not so exceptional.

  3. I would rather not believe the constant, shrill almost psychopathic rhetoric racing through the
    national psyche is a temporary phenomenon and not the symptom of national decline, but I feel it
    might be. If there is a nation-wide loss of reality that has slipped past a tipping point, how on earth can one individual deal with it?
    If that crazy relative in the attic is your kindly, old Uncle Sam, then what? Is there a 911 number for an entire nation? What do the EMTs do when they get here? Stay tuned.

  4. woodNfish says:

    One of the most common assaults on the First Amendment is the attempt to force public policy organizations to disclose their donors.

    “Public Policy Organizations” aka PACs and NGOs should be illegal. These organizations use their donations to buy influence. They can’t vote, they should not be able to influence policy. The same should be true of private companies and corporations. NGOs and PACs are bad for democracy. We need to get the money and special interest influence out of politics. It is one of the reasons our government is so corrupt.

    • Replies: @jtgw
  5. jtgw says:

    Why shouldn’t people be able to pool resources in this way? As always, the real problem is big government. A small government is incapable of distorting the economy in the favor of special interests; once you let government grow too big, inevitably people will compete for influence in order to win special favors. If you abolish PACs, corruption will just crop up in another form. Instead of engaging in a futile effort to separate big government from special interests, which will never happen, you should focus on shrinking government.

    • Replies: @Joe Franklin
  6. @jtgw

    Big federal government is stopped by dis-incentivizing the leftist victim cult majority’s pathological habit of regularly voting for themselves illicit federal entitlements.

    Insist on adherence to the US constitution, not the petulant whims of the victim cult majority.

    It also means demonizing the cult vote brokers, the people that are prominent and vocal leaders of the victim cult.

    Women are entitled because of Male oppression
    Jewish are entitled because of Gentile oppression
    Queers are entitled because of Straight oppression
    Muslims are entitled because of Christian oppression
    Disabled are entitled because of Healthy oppression
    Afro-blacks are entitled because of White oppression
    Latinos are entitled because of Gringo oppression
    Hispanics are entitled because of Gringo oppression
    Military Veterans are entitled because of Militia oppression
    Native Americans are entitled because of Paleface oppression
    Asians are entitled because of Occidental oppression
    Zionist are entitled because of America First oppression

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