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Thread: A constitutional restriction on the press

  1. #1
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    A constitutional restriction on the press

    One of my biggest complaints I have about the mass media is that they have a near unlimited ability to destroy people's lives by propogating a false story.

    Fake news is not just a political term, it's a very real crisis that is destroying lives. Darren Wilson had his life upended for doing nothing wrong, biased media coverage resulted in a Miami cop named Luis Alvarez facing a show trial in the 1980s. The infamous story of a gang rape that never happened at UVa, we see numerous cases of the press taking things out of context for ratings, so I have two ideas

    1) no more confidential sources, as Trump said at CPAC, it's very simple, if a media story defames your character you can sue the outlet, during the lawsuit there is a legal process called "discovery" where you can obtain information held by the defendant that is germane to your case, the identity of any "confidential sources" should be compelled by discovery during such suits. once compelled it becomes part of the court record of the suit.

    2) if a court rules against you in a libel claim, you as the news media outlet must publish a front page (or prime time) retraction. it will read "REGARDING OUR STORY ON <fill in title of article here> INFORMATION CONVEYED ABOUT <name of plaintiff> WAS DETERMINED BY <the court that found against the media outlet> TO BE LIBELOUS IN NATURE, PLEASE READ THE RETRACTIONS SECTION FOR MORE INFORMATION

    Neither of these restrict the content of stories, it simply provides victims of bad reporting tools to help clear their name. it also will provide incentives to verify stories and help publish more accurate news items, which will restore public faith in the press.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Chuckles View Post
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    Re: A constitutional restriction on the press

    So you name three cases over the course of decades, in an industry that creates literally thousands of stories every single day, and that means we should basically destroy the press? That's ****ing insane. Absolutely not.

    1. Without confidential sources, there is no accountability for governments. We never would have uncovered Watergate without confidential sources. It's not unreasonable for sources to not want to come forward if it means they're going to be locked away by a corrupt institution, or assassinated, which some of them would be. Allowing confidential sources is part of how protect them from that, and protect democracy by extension. Banning confidential sources is one of the way you wind up with an autocracy. And the American public, as a rule, has been fairly good about deciding what organizations have a good enough reputation to be taken seriously with anonymous sources, and which ones don't.

    2. Do you read the news, dude? They already do that even when they don't get sued. One part of being a credible news organization is putting out retractions when need be.
    Last edited by SmokeAndMirrors; 02-25-17 at 11:53 PM.

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    Re: A constitutional restriction on the press

    Quote Originally Posted by EMNofSeattle View Post
    One of my biggest complaints I have about the mass media is that they have a near unlimited ability to destroy people's lives by propogating a false story.

    Fake news is not just a political term, it's a very real crisis that is destroying lives. Darren Wilson had his life upended for doing nothing wrong, biased media coverage resulted in a Miami cop named Luis Alvarez facing a show trial in the 1980s. The infamous story of a gang rape that never happened at UVa, we see numerous cases of the press taking things out of context for ratings, so I have two ideas

    1) no more confidential sources, as Trump said at CPAC, it's very simple, if a media story defames your character you can sue the outlet, during the lawsuit there is a legal process called "discovery" where you can obtain information held by the defendant that is germane to your case, the identity of any "confidential sources" should be compelled by discovery during such suits. once compelled it becomes part of the court record of the suit.

    2) if a court rules against you in a libel claim, you as the news media outlet must publish a front page (or prime time) retraction. it will read "REGARDING OUR STORY ON <fill in title of article here> INFORMATION CONVEYED ABOUT <name of plaintiff> WAS DETERMINED BY <the court that found against the media outlet> TO BE LIBELOUS IN NATURE, PLEASE READ THE RETRACTIONS SECTION FOR MORE INFORMATION

    Neither of these restrict the content of stories, it simply provides victims of bad reporting tools to help clear their name. it also will provide incentives to verify stories and help publish more accurate news items, which will restore public faith in the press.
    By not allowing anonymous sources no one would ever come forward to government abuses.

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    Re: A constitutional restriction on the press

    Quote Originally Posted by Praxas View Post
    By not allowing anonymous sources no one would ever come forward to government abuses.
    That's not true at all. There are those who have leaked information in a public manner.

    It's not just government abuses either, we have false news stories based on confidential sources, like the Rolling Stone Article about UVa
    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Chuckles View Post
    No one cares about your stupid hippy logic
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    Re: A constitutional restriction on the press

    Quote Originally Posted by EMNofSeattle View Post
    That's not true at all. There are those who have leaked information in a public manner.
    Most have done so with anonymous to protect them.

    It's not just government abuses either, we have false news stories based on confidential sources, like the Rolling Stone Article about UVa
    So did you voice the same concerns with anonymous sources during obamas admin or is this a "poor trump" scenario with you?

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    Re: A constitutional restriction on the press

    Quote Originally Posted by SmokeAndMirrors View Post
    So you name three cases over the course of decades, in an industry that creates literally thousands of stories every single day, and that means we should basically destroy the press? That's ****ing insane. Absolutely not.
    first off, There are far more then three cases, we can go on and on, these are only three examples, how many examples do you desire? Second, these were major cases making very serious and extreme allegations that the media organizations either knew or reasonably should have known were untrue.

    1. Without confidential sources, there is no accountability for governments. We never would have uncovered Watergate without confidential sources. It's not unreasonable for sources to not want to come forward if it means they're going to be locked away by a corrupt institution, or assassinated, which some of them would be. Allowing confidential sources is part of how protect them from that, and protect democracy by extension. Banning confidential sources is one of the way you wind up with an autocracy. And the American public, as a rule, has been fairly good about deciding what organizations have a good enough reputation to be taken seriously with anonymous sources, and which ones don't.
    I don't think you can seriously argue that position, who in the United States of America has been assasinated for talking to the press? I mean actually confirmed government assasination, not some crank on a blog somewhere.

    2. Do you read the news, dude? They already do that even when they don't get sued. One part of being a credible news organization is putting out retractions when need be.
    The put out retractions in the back of the paper or maybe mention it at the end of a news show, they do their best to make sure that it is seen by as few people as possible. I only suggested retractions be more prominent. btw you now live a country with a government office that has the power to directly fine the media and regulate their content (Ofcom) I suggested only giving individuals more ability to seek redress
    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Chuckles View Post
    No one cares about your stupid hippy logic
    "Be careful of averages, the average person has one breast and one testicle"
    -Dixy Lee Ray

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    Re: A constitutional restriction on the press

    Quote Originally Posted by Praxas View Post
    Most have done so with anonymous to protect them.



    So did you voice the same concerns with anonymous sources during obamas admin or is this a "poor trump" scenario with you?
    in relation to Obama no, I have voiced these concerns with the media before however during the Darren Wilson case, the UVa rolling stone story, during the Zimmerman trial, etc

    all of which involved the aspects I speak of in some way or another. Now that it's on everyone's mind though it is good timing to discuss how the media does treat people unfairly in some cases.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Chuckles View Post
    No one cares about your stupid hippy logic
    "Be careful of averages, the average person has one breast and one testicle"
    -Dixy Lee Ray

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    Re: A constitutional restriction on the press

    Quote Originally Posted by EMNofSeattle View Post
    first off, There are far more then three cases, we can go on and on, these are only three examples, how many examples do you desire? Second, these were major cases making very serious and extreme allegations that the media organizations either knew or reasonably should have known were untrue.

    I don't think you can seriously argue that position, who in the United States of America has been assasinated for talking to the press? I mean actually confirmed government assasination, not some crank on a blog somewhere.

    The put out retractions in the back of the paper or maybe mention it at the end of a news show, they do their best to make sure that it is seen by as few people as possible. I only suggested retractions be more prominent. btw you now live a country with a government office that has the power to directly fine the media and regulate their content (Ofcom) I suggested only giving individuals more ability to seek redress
    A hell of a lot. Again, we're talking about an industry that publishes thousands of articles every day. Even if you could name 100 since 1980, that is still a tiny fraction of one one-hundreth of a percent, or less. If any other industry on earth had that kind of success rate, you'd be shouting it from the roof tops. But because it's the press, nothing short of fantasy-level perfection will do.

    As to how many assassinated or attempted, a lot actually. One of the stories that got me interested in journalism was Litvinenko, who was assassinated for speaking out against Russia. Oh, I'm sorry, did you forget other governments exist, and American reporters talk to people involved with them too?

    No, they don't. They put it at the top of their article, and usually at the beginning of their program. I've seen some journalists run an entire new program talking about accountability to correct their errors. That's just Trump echo chamber bull****.

    You're right, I do. Scary times in the West. What, do you guys not like other governments encroaching on America's autocratic turf? Gotta prove you guys are number one when it comes to autocracies? The UK is doing it wrong, so it's ok for you to as well?

    What you suggested was completely destroying government accountability and encouraging frivolous lawsuits against the press.

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    Re: A constitutional restriction on the press

    Quote Originally Posted by SmokeAndMirrors View Post
    A hell of a lot. Again, we're talking about an industry that publishes thousands of articles every day. Even if you could name 100 since 1980, that is still a tiny fraction of one one-hundreth of a percent, or less. If any other industry on earth had that kind of success rate, you'd be shouting it from the roof tops. But because it's the press, nothing short of fantasy-level perfection will do.
    We're not talking about perfection, but knowingly running incomplete information knowing what you're doing is destroying someone's reputation, because you can't wait for details to come out, or in the case of Darren Wilson taking a story lock stock and barrel from a lawyer hired by the family of the teenager who was shot and running his speculation under the banner of their reputable news outfit destroyed his career when he did nothing wrong.

    As to how many assassinated or attempted, a lot actually. One of the stories that got me interested in journalism was Litvinenko, who was assassinated for speaking out against Russia. Oh, I'm sorry, did you forget other governments exist, and American reporters talk to people involved with them too?
    I was thinking my post made it clear I was speaking of the US Media and law, not those of foreign countries. admittedly that's a weak spot, I'll grant

    No, they don't. They put it at the top of their article, and usually at the beginning of their program. I've seen some journalists run an entire new program talking about accountability to correct their errors. That's just Trump echo chamber bull****.
    I have never seen either of those, and I watch lots of cable news, and subscribe to a daily paper.

    You're right, I do. Scary times in the West. What, do you guys not like other governments encroaching on America's autocratic turf? Gotta prove you guys are number one when it comes to autocracies? The UK is doing it wrong, so it's ok for you to as well?
    I think the UK is doing it wrong, I don't want a central press regulatory agency, only for it to be easier to sue the press in civil court

    What you suggested was completely destroying government accountability and encouraging frivolous lawsuits against the press.
    so if someone loses their job unjustly as a result of bad press reporting, you don't think that should be a civil tort ?
    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Chuckles View Post
    No one cares about your stupid hippy logic
    "Be careful of averages, the average person has one breast and one testicle"
    -Dixy Lee Ray

  10. #10
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    Re: A constitutional restriction on the press

    Quote Originally Posted by EMNofSeattle View Post
    We're not talking about perfection, but knowingly running incomplete information knowing what you're doing is destroying someone's reputation, because you can't wait for details to come out, or in the case of Darren Wilson taking a story lock stock and barrel from a lawyer hired by the family of the teenager who was shot and running his speculation under the banner of their reputable news outfit destroyed his career when he did nothing wrong.

    I was thinking my post made it clear I was speaking of the US Media and law, not those of foreign countries. admittedly that's a weak spot, I'll grant

    I have never seen either of those, and I watch lots of cable news, and subscribe to a daily paper.

    I think the UK is doing it wrong, I don't want a central press regulatory agency, only for it to be easier to sue the press in civil court

    so if someone loses their job unjustly as a result of bad press reporting, you don't think that should be a civil tort ?
    Yeah, you're demanding fantasy perfection. The media is already a hundred times better than the government, who destroys people's lives every single day by the fistful. Wrongful imprisonment, imprisonment without trial, wars run by deception, on and on it goes. Yet you want to give them the power to destroy journalism, which is the only reason the government is even as good as it is: because the media is free to stay on its back. Including by using anonymous sources.

    The US media includes foreign affairs. In fact, that's an enormous part of our news media, given that we're kind of an empire. To shrug that off as some minor thing is ridiculous. Virtually everything in America has an international angle. Also, if you think the US government has never assassinated anyone, you're living on some other planet. The CIA keeps a list of them, dude. Come on. Your whereabouts being somewhere other than Earth is confirmed by you saying you've never seen a bold retraction. Nonsense.

    Yes, you do want central regulation. You want central regulation to keep sources' mouths shut by banning papers from using them anonymously, and you want central government to be allowed to bury them under frivolous lawsuits.

    There's already laws against false claiming of a crime. We don't need more.

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