In rare but refreshing bipartisan good news out of Congress, Senator Thom Tillis (R – North Carolina…
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Members of Congress Stand Up for Property Rights

In rare but refreshing bipartisan good news out of Congress, Senator Thom Tillis (R – North Carolina) and Representatives Ben Cline (R - Virginia), Theodore Deutch (D - Florida), Martha Roby (R - Alabama) and Harley Rouda (D – California) have just taken a firm stand protecting property rights – copyrights specifically – and merit our praise.

As we’ve long highlighted, property rights constitute a central pillar of “American Exceptionalism,” and that includes intellectual property (IP) rights – copyrights, patents, trademarks and trade secrets.   Our Founding Fathers considered IP so important that they deliberately and explicitly singled it out for protection in the text of the Constitution.  As a direct result, we’ve become the most innovative and prosperous nation…[more]

December 06, 2019 • 02:15 pm

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Trust in Media at Record Low, and Sleazy Washington Post "Fact Check" Against Carly Fiorina Shows Why Print
By Timothy H. Lee
Thursday, October 01 2015
In addition to helping explain why trust in media has plummeted in America, this latest episode demonstrates why so-called 'campaign finance reform' laws like McCain-Feingold are so dangerous.

Americans' sense of confidence in the media has plummeted to a record low. 

To understand why, look no further than a recent "fact check" in The Washington Post that can only be described as a sleazy partisan hit piece against 2016 Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina. 

This week, Gallup released a new survey that asked, "In general, how much trust and confidence do you have in the mass media - such as newspapers, TV and radio - when it comes to reporting the news fully, accurately and fairly - a great deal, a fair amount or none at all?"  Only 40% responded "a great deal" or "a fair amount," compared to a record 60% that responded "not very much" or "none at all." 

To place that in perspective, as recently as 2003, 55% of Americans held a great deal or fair amount of trust in media, as did 54% in 2003 and 50% in 2005.  Also by comparison, 72% of Americans still place "a great deal" or "quite a lot" of trust in the U.S. military, 67% in small business and 52% in the police. 

Such factors as transparent liberal bias, Dan Rather's false documents slurring George W. Bush's military record and the fabrications of NBC's Brian Williams have helped erode media trust in a remarkably short period. 

Unfortunately, The Washington Post attack on Fiorina demonstrates that the problem persists. 

It all started last week when the Post's "Fact Checker" Michelle Ye Hee Lee decided to test Fiorina's "secretary to CEO" biographical claim.  Specifically, Ms. Lee examined Fiorina's comment during the September 16 Republican debate that, "My story, from secretary to CEO, is only possible in this nation, and proves that every one of us has potential," as well as her comment on "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" that, "I started as a secretary, typing and filing for a nine-person real estate firm.  It's only in this country that you can go from being a secretary to chief executive of the largest tech company in the world, and run for president of the United States." 

Ms. Lee's "Fact Checker" proceeds over the ensuing 19 paragraphs to confirm Fiorina's career trajectory, during which she held not one, but several, receptionist and secretarial jobs.  Despite that, Ms. Lee gives Fiorina "Three Pinocchios" (out of a possible four) in her "Pinocchio Test." 

Why?  Because Ms. Lee concludes that Fiorina's upbringing was excessively privileged: 

"Her father was dean of Duke Law School when she was at Stanford, meaning Duke would have paid for most of her college tuition.  She graduated from Stanford, and her elite degree played a role in the stories of her at Marcus & Millichap (she was the 'Stanford student') and her convincing the business school dean to accept her into the MBA program ('So, can a liberal arts student from Stanford compete with the analytical jocks you have around here?').  She worked briefly as a secretary in between law school and business school, but she always intended to attend graduate school for her career...  As such, she earns Three Pinocchios." 

So "Fact Checker" Ms. Lee confirms that Fiorina's story is 100% correct, but nevertheless labels it dishonest. 

That amounts to a despicable hit piece against a Republican (of course) candidate ascending in current polls and threatening liberals' tired "War on Women" slur against conservatives.  Ms. Lee fully deserves the harsh blowback that her column received, which she acknowledges and attempts to rationalize in an updated version of her piece.  Unfortunately, she only exacerbates the problem by attempting to say "Fact Checker" treated Barack Obama to the same subjective scrutiny for a 2012 campaign commercial reciting his mother's fight with an insurance company. 

There's just one enormous and distinguishing problem with that comparison.  Obama's commercial actually contained questionable factual assertions, if not outright falsehoods.  The same cannot be said of Fiorina, as Ms. Lee's own lengthy factual setup acknowledges. 

In addition to helping explain why trust in media has plummeted in America, this latest episode demonstrates why so-called "campaign finance reform" laws like McCain-Feingold are so dangerous. 

Namely, such laws serve to limit private citizens' First Amendment right to engage in free political speech, and to express their views about candidates and issues.  In so doing, such laws necessarily magnify and centralize the power of mainstream media.  After all, by restricting private citizens' participation in the marketplace of ideas, those laws grant even greater prominence to liberal mainstream media organizations like NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN, The New York Times and The Washington Post that remain exempt from such campaign finance laws (even though they're also "corporations"). 

In other words, campaign finance laws like McCain-Feingold elevate people like Dan Rather and the Post's Ms. Lee, while stifling the voices of private citizens. 

That not only violates the text and spirit of the First Amendment, it only encourages liberal hit pieces like Ms. Lee's fraudulent "Fact Checker."  That's not an option that Americans can tolerate. 

Question of the Week   
Where is the USS Arizona Memorial located?
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Quote of the Day   
 
"The most dangerous place for an academic is often between the House and the impeachment of an American president. I knew that going into the first hearing of the House Judiciary Committee on the impeachment of Donald Trump. After all, Alexander Hamilton that impeachment would often occur in an environment of 'agitated passions.' Yet I remained a tad naive in hoping that an academic discussion on…[more]
 
 
—Jonathan Turley, The George Washington University Law School Shapiro Chair for Public Interest Law, Legal Commentator, Legal Scholar, Writer, and Legal Analyst
— Jonathan Turley, The George Washington University Law School Shapiro Chair for Public Interest Law, Legal Commentator, Legal Scholar, Writer, and Legal Analyst
 
Liberty Poll   

Should House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff be investigated for subpoenaing and publishing call log records (with no details or context) of another member of congress, the president's attorney, a journalist and others?