Separation of Press and State

by Russ Roberts on September 29, 2008

in Politics

This (HT: John Lott and Drudge) is almost as scary as the bailout. It’s hard to believe it’s real:

The Barack Obama campaign is asking Missouri law enforcement to target
anyone who lies or runs a misleading TV ad during the presidential
campaign.

They’re all misleading. That what ads are trying to do. Obama’s ads try to make McCain look like a heartless monster and Obama a saint. Is that misleading? McCain’s ads make McCain out to be a hero and Obama a dangerous novice. Is that misleading?

Two prosecutors on the "Barack Obama Truth Squad" will be:

…reminding voters that Barack Obama is a Christian who wants to cut taxes for anyone making less than $250,000 a year.

That’s very thoughtful of them, but one, that’s going beyond the idea of punishing liars and two,  in the Constitution there’s supposed to be what is quaintly called "freedom of speech." This initiative shows the dangers of  the state interfering with freedom of speech. The prosecutors have a stake in the election. In addition to their own views, they also are potential beneficiaries of an Obama victory. That is why separation of press and state is so important.

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{ 15 comments }

Royce September 29, 2008 at 11:17 am

The prosecutors on the so-called "truth squad" are themselves liars for claiming that Obama wants to cut taxes for everyone making less than $250,000 a year. Of course, most of these people pay no income tax. Therefore, Obama's "tax cut" is nothing more than a government handout, which was taken from one person and given to another. Isn't that called "welfare", not a "tax cut"?

Shouldn't these prosecutors be prosecuting themselves?

nicole September 29, 2008 at 11:20 am

Ditto Royce. Not to mention the fact that, are they willing to guarantee an actual tax cut to someone like me, the rare person who actually does pay taxes and is a household of one, i.e., with no children for extra special tax credits? Ugh.

Randy September 29, 2008 at 11:44 am

Scary that those whose profession is lying want to openly legislate what constitutes the truth. Its not like the twisting of the truth is anything new. They've been doing that via their education and information ministries for many years, but to so openly advocate for punishment of those who oppose the party line is… well, scary.

Methinks September 29, 2008 at 12:28 pm

This will be taken to the Supreme Court and struck as unconstitutional. I say this, although I'm not a constitutional lawyer or a lawyer of any kind. However, my lawyer laughed when he saw this.

What a disaster.

Sam Grove September 29, 2008 at 12:37 pm

Sarah failed her political class on dissembling.

muirgeo September 29, 2008 at 12:47 pm

The truth squad is simply about responding to lies with free speech. See even YOU fell for the lie that Obama was going to somehow prosecute liars. It's another lie. Obama is simply supporting free speech and if he has some people who happen to be in law enforcement on his truth squad don't they get to use their right to free speech to expose lies by the opposing campaign???

Your post and misunderstanding of the truth is a great example of why Obama wants a "Truth Squad".

Bob Kozman September 29, 2008 at 1:05 pm

muirgeo,

You missed the joke of this post. It was all a joke, and since you didn't get it the joke was on you. ;-)

BoscoH September 29, 2008 at 1:07 pm

What George is saying is that it's just like when the Motorcycle Patrol Officers' Fraternity calls your home selling tickets to the police vs. fire football game and barbecue and asks you how traffic safety is on your street.

Ken September 29, 2008 at 1:09 pm

muirgeo,

Are you in favor of legal action against the misleading and lying ads that Obama and his team put out or are you just a left wing political hack?

Ken

Michael Ejercito September 29, 2008 at 1:53 pm

There is no problem with prosecutors and sheriffs participating in political campaigns' truth squads as long as they can avoid the appearance of using police powers to support or oppose a political campaign .

Bel Aire September 29, 2008 at 2:35 pm

Will O's Truth Squad ask O how his autobiography contains direct quotes from childhood conversations 30 years old. Come on, O. Do you really remember exact conversations when you were 8 or have you twisted your own memories with a movie you saw? My Mom has the same problem.

Should we be scared that Obots really think O doesn't lie? A lawyer AND a politician. But he doesn't lie.

Speedmaster September 29, 2008 at 2:39 pm

Freedom of speech is only permitted for full supporters of the anointed one! ;-)

John Fast September 29, 2008 at 4:09 pm

Back in 1948 it was the Republicans who had "truth squads" and I believe it was Harry Truman who said that "'Truth squads' are like fire departments — they're trying to extinguish as much as they can."

David Peterson September 29, 2008 at 4:43 pm

Of course this will include a clause that excuses the use of "Since the great depression." from scrutiny.

vidyohs September 30, 2008 at 10:27 am

I think Obama's attendance and membership in the Jerimiah Wright gaggle is, and has been, for political convenience.

So, if Obama is lying about being a Christian then how would one violate an ethics act if one simply states the obvious.

Look at the facts and draw your own conclusions.

Islamic scripture directs Muslims to kill any Muslim that renounces Allah and becomes a Christian, Jew, etc.

I believe that the same death sentence is also imposed upon one falsely professing a faith and commitment to Allah.

We know that Obama was registered as a Muslim in the school in Indonesia and he was instructed as a Muslim. Acording to the Koran, once a Muslim always a Muslim or one is dead. We know that he lived and practiced as a Muslim for many years.

With a public announcement of being a Christian, Obama has violated Islamic law and is any Muslim's fair target to kill. Yet we hear no calls for his death, we see no actions taken by the Islamic community either here in the USA of in the cesspool of the middleeast. Curious that, eh?

What are we to conclude? Two options. First, Obama should be under a death sentence for falsely professing to be a Muslim for oh so many years.
or
Second, that by now claiming to be a Christian, Obama should be under a death sentence for renouncing Allah and Islam.

Neither seems to be the case, so it appears definite that the Muslim community considers him to be a Muslim.

All the fools in Missouri are doing is looking stupid for all the world to see.

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