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10/15/2004 Archived Entry: ""

Gordon P. writes, Adam Thierer blogs on the FCC vs. the 1st Amendment in "Howard Stern and the Future of Media Censorship."

Thierer writes: "...Anyone who cares about the First Amendment and press freedom should find this chilling. Apparently, `Congress shall make no law' abridging press freedom now has several caveats. Congress shall make no law unless they think media is 'too big,' or unless they don't like some of the content they see or hear, or unless they want to investigate newsgathering practices by a major news anchor many congressmen have long despised..." Lynne Kiesling agrees with this, writing: "...I think Adam's right that this bifurcation of the First Amendment cannot persist, and I hope that the courts decide to end the bifurcation by throwing out the actions that are inconsistent with the First Amendment..." Lynne also blogs on an "Adam Smith" blog entry discussing the fallacy of the notion that a "public good" can only be providing by a central government, vs. the interesting experience of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution about a century ago. It seems that lighthouses, an almost archetypical "public good," were once funded primarily by voluntary subscriptions and donations. About a century ago, while strapped for cash, the RNLI decided to accept monies from the gov't. _However, the RNLI found that for each Pound they accepted from the gov't, they lost about 1 Pound 10 Shillings in private subscriptions._ Therefore, the RNLI stopped accepting even a single penny of gov't funds, and to this very day they remain firm in their conviction that they shall only rely on voluntary contributions.

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