Eliot Spitzer On The Recent Supreme Court Decision

Eliot Spitzer on the Supreme Court decision that struck down the heart of campaign finance reform:

As an elected official who often tangled with wealthy corporations, I recognize that there is a superficial appeal in the prospect of being able to silence their political voices. Of course that is precisely why the First Amendment protects them and why I find myself sympathetic to the First Amendment absolutists in this case. What distinguishes what Citizens United did and what Bill O’Reilly on Fox News—Rachel Maddow on MSNBC—does every day? Fox and MSNBC are corporations bombarding the airwaves with political rhetoric, from the right and left, that is as close to “electioneering communications” as anything I can imagine. The McCain-Feingold statute excluded “media companies” from its limitations, a distinction that makes no logical sense. The constitutionality of Citizens United’s speech should have nothing to do with what else may or may not go on at the corporation it is part of.

It is not surprising that the ACLU, wearing its First Amendment fundamentalist hat, and the NRA and the Chamber of Commerce, trying to protect corporate power and speech rights, are urging the court to find the provision unconstitutional.

The full article can be found here.

29 Responses to “Eliot Spitzer On The Recent Supreme Court Decision”

  • But I think there is something wrong with the corporate media structure we have. Our media isn’t really interested in what’s best for the public but instead serves the interests of their rich and powerful funders.

    For instance, I would think that a functioning press would be outraged if a government began engaging in extensive chemical warfare against millions of unarmed civilians simply because they voted the wrong way in a free election. But that’s exactly what happened in Vietnam and our press cheered it on. Saddam’s most frequently cited crime is the gassing of the Kurds. Our press is outraged and reports this crime with passion, as they should. But they didn’t talk much about it while it was occurring and their rich and powerful owners could have done something to stop it but instead were in the very act of enabling it. And they didn’t mind when it happened on a much larger scale in Vietnam when their corporate owners did it.

    The same was true in Panama. Our government invaded that country to remove a thug we’d installed and in the process killed thousands of people that weren’t even fighting back. The whole world watched in stunned disbelief and condemned this outrageous act of aggression, but the American public was lead to believe it was some kind of benevolent mission that the Panamanians were grateful for. And that’s how many Americans understand it today.

    You may have seen at my blog my recent discussion of King Leopold II of Belgium who killed 10 million Congolese in order to make profits on rubber. Supposing you replaced Leopold with a corporation. Their interest would be to remain silent about the genocide. And if they owned the media the talk of how an unfortunate civil war in the Congo was tearing the country apart as Leopold International was trying to bring stability would drown out the voices of those that were driven by conscience to report the facts as opposed to what fuels profits.

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