Courts shouldn't silence news orgs. Plus: GOP has no standing on spending. Biden did pretty well.

By Gary Abernathy

Dominion has a point, but we don’t need voices silenced

The voting system that was the favorite villain of those who claim the 2020 election was “rigged” has sued Fox News.

USA Today reports, “Dominion Voting Systems filed a $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit against Fox News on Friday, claiming the cable news network ‘broadcast a series of verifiably false yet devastating lies’ implicating the election software company in an unfounded conspiracy to steal the presidential election.”

There was much shameful misinformation spread, especially on the internet and social media in general, about the 2020 election that helped fan the flames of unwarranted suspicion. Fox News did its part through the efforts of several of its opinion hosts.

“The company said the legal action follows repeated demands for retractions, adding that ‘Fox producers, content managers, and hosts were notified more than 30 times that their smears were not true,’" USA Today reports.

That’s probably true, but good luck winning a suit against a news media company. They probably can’t win, nor should they. If Dominion is successful, every other news outlet, print or electronic, would have reason to worry, especially the ones with partisan agendas (most of them) who spin and twist facts in order to fit preferred narratives.

Even when we vehemently disagree with a particular news outlet, we should never hope for courts to get involved to separate “truth” from “lies.” When we start narrowing the ability of anchors, editors, reporters or pundits to say what they want to say – even if it’s irresponsible – we’re narrowing those rights for all of us. What we don’t need in this PC, cancel culture world are even more restrictions on free expression.

Republicans lost their standing to complain on spending

From my Washington Post column yesterday on Republican hypocrisy on spending…

President Biden is proposing another $3 trillion in spending, and at this point there are no serious objections. There are objections, but none that can be taken seriously.

Even before the Democrats pushed through $1.9 trillion in spending this month, Republicans had lost their standing as the party of fiscal responsibility when most of them succumbed to the political virus of covid fever and rubber-stamped around $4 trillion in “covid relief,” a phrase that should always be reported in quotation marks since the money’s connection to covid-19 was tenuous at best…

… Biden now joins Franklin D. Roosevelt and Lyndon B. Johnson to complete a holy trinity of presidents who pushed spending packages through Congress with socioeconomic impacts that will define their eras…

Polls show the public is pretty much all in, and that won’t change. I noted a year ago that we had crossed the Rubicon, that our longtime flirtation with socialism had become a permanent relationship. Congratulations, Bernie Sanders. The GOP won’t become irrelevant because of its association with Trump, as some predict. It will diminish because it is bizarrely opposing now that which it helped make palatable just last year.

Read the whole column at this link. (Subscription might be required.)

Biden is smart not to get distracted from his agenda

From my second Post column yesterday, on Biden’s press conference…

The most impressive revelation on Thursday from President Biden’s first news conference was that he has a plan and he intends to stick with it. Biden steadfastly insisted that the next priority on his list was the nation’s infrastructure, despite shinier objects like election reform or gun control…

… Biden’s courteous relationship with the press corps was evident, especially compared with Trump’s. He avoided calling on Peter Doocy of Fox News, who might have asked him something more interesting and even controversial…

… But overall, Biden was good. He called on about 10 or 11 reporters and held forth for an hour or so. His habit of trailing off mid-thought is probably more an indication of deciding not to say something than of losing his train of thought. At least, that’s the benefit of the doubt we should give him for now.

Read the whole column at this link. (Subscription might be required.)

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