Censorship

"It's hard to kill the press, but it is not hard to chill it"

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Writing at The New Yorker, liberal historian and essayist Louis Menand makes an essential point about the Obama administration's attacks on Fox News:

The dubious efficacy of a war on Fox News is not the only reason to feel qualms. It's hard to kill the press, but it is not hard to chill it, and this appears to be the White House's goal in the case of Fox. "The best analogy is probably baseball," Robert Gibbs, the White House press secretary, said—meaning that throwing a few inside fastballs, a little chin music, gets hitters to back off the plate. Maybe, but he should also remember that deliberately throwing at a batter is grounds for ejection. The state may, and should, rebut opinions that it finds obnoxious, but it should not single out speakers for the purpose of intimidating them. At the end of the day, you do not want your opponents to be able to say that they could not be heard. It may be exasperating, but that is what the First Amendment is all about.