At CFIF, we’ve unceasingly highlighted the foundational role of intellectual property (IP) rights –…
CFIF on Twitter CFIF on YouTube
Trump Administration Stands Up for U.S. Copyright Protections Under Potential South African Threat

At CFIF, we’ve unceasingly highlighted the foundational role of intellectual property (IP) rights – patents, copyrights, trademarks and trade secrets – in what we know as “American Exceptionalism.”

No nation matches our legacy of IP protection throughout the decades and centuries.  Our Founding Fathers specifically inserted IP protections in Article I of the Constitution, even before the First Amendment or other Bill of Rights protections.

As a direct result no nation in human history remotely matches our legacy of scientific inventiveness, artistic innovation, global influence, power and prosperity.

And today, IP-centric industries account for about 40% of the total U.S. economy, and 45 million jobs – nearly 30% of the U.S. labor force.  For perspective, that U.S. IP…[more]

March 24, 2020 • 02:25 pm

Liberty Update

CFIFs latest news, commentary and alerts delivered to your inbox.
Jester's CourtroomLegal tales stranger than stranger than fiction: Ridiculous and sometimes funny lawsuits plaguing our courts.
Public Has a Right to See Trump Ad Print
By Betsy McCaughey
Wednesday, May 10 2017
Brandeis famously said in a democracy the way to handle 'falsehoods and fallacies' is 'more speech, not enforced silence.'

Television stations around the country are running an ad claiming the Obamacare repeal bill passed in the House will deprive cancer patients and pregnant women of affordable coverage. The ad, paid for by the group Save My Care, is loaded with lies.

Yet television giants ABC, CBS, NBC and CNN refuse to air an ad touting President Donald Trump's successful first 100 days. CNN says it's because the Trump ad is "false."

The media run ads they agree with and censor ads they don't like. And they defend their double standard on the pretext that their standard is "the truth." Don't fall for that.

Allowing broadcasters to be the truth police, with the sole power to decide what you watch in your living room, puts your freedom at risk.

That's why for 80 years, federal law has compelled broadcasters to offer equal access to all federal political candidates during election season. No playing favorites. When it comes to a candidate's ad, television stations are prohibited from even requesting any edits. In return, broadcasters are shielded from lawsuits for defamation and libel if the ad's claims turn out to be false. Fair enough.

But the law needs updating to protect third-party issue advertisers  not just candidates  and all year long, not just at election time. Allowing broadcasters unlimited censorship over issue ads is dangerous to our democracy. Excluding graphic violence or profanity is one thing, but picking which political messages get aired is too much discretion. The way to counter a false ad is not with media censorship. It's with an ad telling the truth.

You won't find much truth in the Save My Care ad. It falsely claims that the House bill "makes coverage completely unaffordable for people with pre-existing conditions." In fact, the House bill protects people with pre-existing conditions with a $13.8 billion a year fund supplied by taxpayers that will pay the lion's share of their medical costs. That will keep their coverage affordable  contrary to the ad's big lie.

Indeed, the House bill is fairer than Obamacare, which foisted the entire cost of their care on people stuck in the individual market, forcing healthy buyers to pay the same premiums as sick people who use 10 times as much care.

The antidote for Save My Care's ad is another ad setting the record straight. That is, if the television stations will air it.

And based on how the media is dealing with the pro-Trump ad, I wouldn't count on that happening.

CNN claims its refusal is because the ad depicts CNN's Wolf Blitzer, MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell and other media commentators as purveyors of "fake news." That's an opinion shared by many conservatives.

Yet CNN insists that "the mainstream media is not fake news, and therefore the ad is false." CNN demanded the phrase "fake news" be edited out.

"Apparently the mainstream media are champions of the First Amendment only when it serves their own political views," said Lara Trump, the president's daughter-in-law, who consults for his re-election effort.

Silencing dissent isn't only a television problem. San Francisco officials have if they contain falsehoods or offensive content. But current law doesn't give city governments the discretion broadcasters have. Washington, D.C.'s, transit ad ban is being challenged in federal court, and last August, a federal appeals court struck down Philadelphia's airport ad ban. The ruling echoed the wisdom of Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis 90 years earlier.

Brandeis famously said in a democracy the way to handle "falsehoods and fallacies" is "more speech, not enforced silence."

That's something to keep in mind if you're home and that Save My Care ad comes on. Pick up the remote and change channels.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Betsy McCaughey is a senior fellow at the London Center for Policy Research and a former lieutenant governor of New York State.
COPYRIGHT 2017 CREATORS.COM

 

Question of the Week   
In which one of the following years did Congress first meet in Washington, D.C.?
More Questions
Quote of the Day   
 
"As if the world isn't crazy enough, some extremists want more crazy -- namely a falling out between President Trump and Dr. Anthony Fauci.The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Fauci is the country's No. 1 immunologist and has advised six presidents in times of trouble.So the anti-Trump obsessives are all but praying for the president to can him, and so justify…[more]
 
 
—New York Post Editorial Board
— New York Post Editorial Board
 
Liberty Poll   

Who is most to blame for the delay in passage of the critical coronavirus economic recovery (or stimulus) bill?