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Separation of Press and State

Posted By Russ Roberts On September 29, 2008 @ 10:51 am In Politics | Comments Disabled

This [1] (HT: John Lott [2] and Drudge) [3] 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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[2] John Lott: http://johnrlott.blogspot.com/

[3] Drudge): http://www.drudgereport.com

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