LIVE: JOHN COUVILLON TALKS POLITICS

Mike Stagg LIVE: Louisiana Coastal Plan

Tuesday, 26 July 2016 12:43
The risks of the media coverage for David Duke
Written by 
Rate this item
(0 votes)

duke2by Mike Malak

There, always, will be question about the media’s coverage of political and social events, and perceived biases, therein. Though some may question its advisability, David Duke's campaign for senate deserves coverage, despite the remote chance of it being successful.

As much as I'm repelled by his message, Duke is a national figure, even if marginalized for a long time due to the extreme nature of his views. Donald Trump has made him relevant again because Trump is a candidate many suspect may share some of Duke’s thinking.

 

It's true, by reason of coverage, that the press may help elect, or promote, certain distasteful views and people, but the media cannot abdicate its responsibility to report the news. This is not to say, however, that reportage should not be contextualized. That's one purpose of op-ed columns. If, however, the media ignores various topics, or people, with whom, or which, it disagrees, then it is abdicating its primary responsibility to inform. In the same way, if it doesn't cover them, it is censoring free speech and limiting thought.

 

Some years ago, as many may recall, the ACLU advocated, successfully, for the right of Nazis to march in the primarily Jewish town of Skokie, IL. Courts agreed with the ACLU and confirmed the group’s right to march. Similarly, courts have ruled flag-burning is legal, however odious, contrary to what the Cleveland police may have believed at the RNC unless, of course, the city was enforcing a law against starting fires in public rather than flag burning, itself, when it rousted a woman trying to burn an American flag with a Bic lighter.

 

In California, during Viet Nam, it was found legal to wear a t-shirt that said, "Fuck the Draft" in a courthouse. An appellate court overturned a young man's conviction for wearing that shirt, after finding he was entitled to voice his opinion of the war, albeit in a crude manner.

 

The Confederate flag is another hot button issue, and not just in the South. The girl who wears a Confederate flag dress to her prom may get her picture in the paper, thus encouraging others to do the same, but that doesn't mean the outlet running the story endorses her decision. Of course, if no one noticed, or protested, what she did it wouldn't be newsworthy except, perhaps, if the dress was especially stylish. If there's an uproar of support, or horror, over an issue, then it is news, per se, and should be covered for the readers to judge or, at the very least, to stimulate discussion about the topic.

 

Debates about probity are in the nature of democracy and depend, in a very large degree, on a free press. Even W. conceded this point after being roundly criticized, for one thing or another, when he observed "We still have free speech speech in this county, I suppose."  Trump has built his campaign, in large part, on the free publicity he has received by reason of language many perceive as being outrageous, racist, or any number of other anti-social things. He has bragged about all the money this tactic has saved him.

 

To ignore Trump’s more outrageous speech, however, would've been wrong, even if it advanced his candidacy, as it surely did. The same is true with Duke. If he is blacked out, the media would be complicit in just the type of violation of rights that Trump has implied he would make part of a new order, one in which America is first.

 

If the media minimizes Duke, for whatever reason, it will have less to complain about should a Trump administration censor news coverage, under color of law, on the grounds that the government finds certain expressions to be alien and seditious. It’s not that farfetched. Trump has suggested closing parts of the Internet to protect the country.Larry Flynt put it well when he said, "If the First Amendment protects someone like me, imagine what it can do for you." Flynt, probably, sold more magazines with the coverage afforded the obscenity trial he won, just as Duke, probably, will sell more books because of coverage of his quixotic run for senate. That, however, is the price of freedom.

 

Mike Malak is an attorney, writer and photographer.  He resides in California.

Donald Trump, GOP US Senate candidate and the revival of David Duke's forces

 

Login to post comments
Powered By JFBConnect
  • Edwards gets Graves challenge on Louisiana flood relief money
  • Gov. Edwards's pugnacious state of union gave wrong Louisiana vision
  • Trump plus 80 days: Jim Brown, Bernie Pinsonat talk US, Louisiana politics
  • Trump should be like Reagan, not like Bush

graves c 3Shades of Katrina?

    Is political partisanship raising its ugly head again in the face of another Louisiana disaster?  Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards thinks so.

    Edwards got some rough treatment from a congressional committee in Washington, D.C. when he testified before it recently about the state’s response to flood problems.

Read More

jbeWith equal parts pugnaciousness and disingenuousness, Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards’ highly-politicized 2017 State of the State speech laid out a truly flawed vision for Louisiana going forward.

Read More

jim bernieIs Russia now our enemy, once again?

Did Donald Trump make the right move or was the latest attack, simply some wag the dog?

Read More

Iron nancy reagan 6n 1986, United States President Ronald Reagan authorized military aircraft to unleash a torrent of bombs in Tripoli, Libya to send a strong message to Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi. The attack was in response to Gaddafi’s involvement in the terrorist bombing of a Berlin disco that resulted in the death of American soldiers. 

Read More

BB Menu

latter-blum2

Sen. Appel talks budget, economy

TRUMP TALK

Dead Pelican

Optimized-DeadPelican2 1 1