Rahm Emanuel’s ‘First Amendment’ Joke and its Proper Context

by Seton Motley
1/18/2010

The Word of the Day is: Context.

First, as to the video (below). Its context is the May 9, 2009 White House Correspondents Association Dinner. At which White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel uttered the following:

“When you think about the First Amendment…you think it’s highly overrated.”

Emanuel said this to an unidentified entertainment reporter (I did not toil too strenuously to ascertain his identity). But said scribe seemed a little bewildered by Emanuel’s assertion, despite the obvious mirth in Rahm’s face as he delivers the line – at the Correspondents’ Dinner. The irony appears to escape the man with the microphone.

But given how the Administration has gone on to handle all things First Amendment, perhaps this journalist is not humor-addled, but prescient. Let us now place Emanuel’s remark into the proper Administrative context…

…there’s the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) appointment of Mark Lloyd to a position created just for him – Chief Diversity Officer. Lloyd, who of the First Amendment wrote in his 2006 book Prologue to a Farce:

“It should be clear by now that my focus here is not freedom of speech or the press. This freedom is all too often an exaggeration. At the very least, blind references to freedom of speech or the press serve as a distraction from the critical examination of other communications policies.

“[T]he purpose of free speech is warped to protect global corporations and block rules that would promote democratic governance.”

Lloyd is a treasure trove of anti-First Amendment words and ideas. In 2007 while a Senior Fellow at the George Soros-funded, John Podesta-run Center for American Progress, he co-authored (with equally anti-free speech outfit Free Press) the ridiculous “report” entitled The Structural Imbalance of Political Talk Radio

This very important article continues at Newsbusters.org

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