It’s not polite to nit-pick as it is sometimes seen as “nagging,” or at least that is what I learned growing up from my grandmother. However, when information is presented that is clearly questionable, one cannot help but “nit-pick” that information to show the holes to those who may not readily see them. Brietbart reported that “author and fellow at the Atlantic Council and the Modern War Institute at West Point Max Brooks stated that Democratic presidential nominee former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s poll numbers are ‘not her fault. That’s because the media has forgotten what their constitutional duty is’.”
Appearing on Friday’s broadcast of HBO’s “Real Time,” Brooks made this claim when Hillary Clinton‘s poll numbers in Florida became a topic of discussion. Speaking on the struggle of Clinton’s poll numbers in Florida, Brooks stated, “Yeah, but that’s not her fault. That’s because the media has forgotten what their constitutional duty is.”
Continuing, Brooks said, “Well, the reason we have a free press, the whole reason it’s in the Constitution is to inform us, the electorate about what we’re voting on, and they’ve forgotten that. They think this is a circus. They think this is ‘dancing with the stars.’ And so, they have given Trump probably a trillion dollars’ worth of free press over the course of this campaign.”
Mr. Brooks needs to answer one question. “Where in the Constitution does it detail what the media’s duty is or what authority they hold?” Does anyone really know what the “media thinks?” The media is not an individual, but a conglomerate of corporations made up of individuals. As we’ve seen over the years, whoever has the most power and money control “what the media conveys” to the people; or, whichever party the corporate magnates support controls what the media conveys.
There is only one place in the Constitution addressing the press and it is contained in the First Amendment, which reads:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
The First Amendment does not grant any right or impose any duty – these elements preceded the Constitution and government. It limits Congress from infringing on God-given rights that predate the Constitution and any government since governments are instituted among men to secure God-given rights. So, where does it say the whole reason for a free press is to “inform us, the electorate about what we’re voting on ….?” Where in the Constitution does it delineate the role of the press? Nowhere. The media has no constitutional duty nor any designation in the Constitution, except to recognize that the freedom of the press pre-existed government and therefore, cannot be infringed upon by government. This man stated a blatant lie while chastising the media. What a hypocrite.
But, this little tidbit of misinformation will be believed by those who watched that garbage because many citizens cannot be bothered to learn what is in the Constitution and exactly what the Constitution is intended to do. Moreover, some man with a title working for some organization with a fancy name, from West Point to boot, declared it so on TV; therefore, it has to be truth, according to some low information voters and die-hard Democrats. One can imagine the audience and those at home nodding in agreement, going “uh huh, that’s right.”
The Constitution establishes our type of government, outlines the authority/duty vested in the three branches and the States while prohibiting the government from infringing on inherent rights bestowed upon the people by God through amendments recognizing those inherent rights existed before the government and should not be subject to government intrusion. Those duties not authorized in the Constitution to any of the three branches of the federal government, are reserved to be the authority of the States or the people respectively, as indicated in the Tenth Amendment. And, the delineation of a few of the God-given rights in the amendments to the Constitution do not deny or disparage any others retained by the people – Ninth Amendment.
If the sole reason we have the media is to “inform us, the electorate about what we’re voting on,” then certain media content would not be prevalent – soap operas, game shows, radio and TV talk shows, pornography, magazines devoted to “keeping up with the Hollyweirds,” scandal trash sheets like the “Inquirer,” movies and TV shows, etc. ad nauseum. And, if the media was part of the government, it would be in the Constitution.
Now, Mr. Brooks is not an idiot, a moron, stupid or ignorant. With that little falsehood, calling the coverage of the presidential candidates “a circus,” and declaring the media has given Donald Trump “a trillion dollars worth of free press,” it throws the woes of the Hillary Clinton campaign, not on the candidate where it belongs, but upon the media using the ruse of “constitutional duty” and the constitution defining the role of the media. As we all know, the news media has turned toward the liberal, progressive, socialist, communist, Clinton viewpoint due to being controlled by six corporate entities. Brooks, an obvious Clinton supporter, cannot blame the poor poll numbers in Florida on a candidate, who has engaged in criminal activity, committed treason, lies worse than a rug, has obvious mental issues, is responsible for the hot bed in the Middle East as a result of the Arab Spring, and is responsible for the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi, Libya, and whom the people are hesitant to support. Instead, Brooks throws the media under the bus after the media has toted the proverbial water bucket for everything Democratic, liberal, progressive, socialist, communist, and anti-Constitution.
The motive for his statement can only be hypothesized. But, with the statement claiming the media is giving Trump trillions of dollars of free press, he could possibly hope his statement would shame the media into focusing more on Clinton to bring her poll numbers up and increase the number of individuals who would vote for Democrats while ignoring Donald Trump. Poll numbers are not reliable since the survey can be manipulated and skewed. But, if that is what he is basing his statements upon, he could have at least left out the misinformation about the press in the Constitution and the falsehood of the press having some “constitutional duty.”
Granted, the idea of a free press is another avenue of free speech. However, other than the right being recognized and protected from infringement by the federal government, there is no clause, paragraph, section or article that defines free speech, outlines the role of the media, or provides any authority over the media or speech whatsoever. There is no need to define free speech or free press since everyone knew what it entailed – libel, slander and yelling “fire” in a theater are not free speech. And, if this Mr. Brooks believes his statement about the press whole-heartedly, he should provide the article, the clause, the paragraph or the amendment addressing his statement to back it up. The copy of the Constitution, readily available online at the National Archives, does not contain any such “constitutional” duty imposed upon the media.
For someone in the position Mr. Brooks holds, he knows what he is claiming is false. He’s relying on the stupidity of the American public, like Jonathan Gruber with Obamacare, to take what he states as fact and reliable instead of the lie it is to maneuver the public. Unfortunately, there are plenty in the American public who are stupid, ignorant, willfully ignorant, gullible, and lazy that would believe someone like Brooks if he said that bull manure was part of a healthy diet, instead of finding out for themselves. For those that are not, the nit-picking on facts is the only way to dispel the lies. If only more would listen.