The Schizophrenic Politics of the First Amendment


Does the First Amendment care who won the U.S. presidential election on Nov. 8, 2016?

Erwin G. Krasnow, the co-chair of the Communications Group of Washington, D.C. law firm Garvey Schubert Barer, believes that proposals to regulate speech — especially speech delivered over broadcast television and radio — can and do emanate from either side of the political aisle.

“Liberals gnash their First Amendment teeth when the Commission issues hefty fines on stations for indecent programs, but suppose the FCC had threatened to sanction broadcasters for violence in programming that showcases superheroes or for loutish consumption in beer and wine commercials?” Krasnow asks.

Would the First Amendment then become secondary?

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