Freedom from the Press: Why Federal Propaganda Prohibition Act of 2005 is a Good Idea
affiliation not provided to SSRN
June 1, 2009
Penn State Law Review, Vol. 114, No. 251, 2009
Broadly, this paper examines the evolution of mass persuasion. It follows the path of liberal gains from the cradle of the printing press to the canonization of the First Amendment and beyond, into the Internet age. Historically, progress has been a catalyst for positive, liberating change, but recently, the invention of the Internet has both bolstered the freedom of expression and increased the effectiveness of deceptive practices. In this context, I examine the unrestrained role of the traditional media in forming public opinion and conclude that the media’s claim to independence and impartiality has been severely jeopardized by its own behavior and by commercial and governmental meddling. Unfortunately, an effective legislative response is still forthcoming. Nevertheless, such a response must emerge to protect the people from informational misuse. My proposed action does not put any additional restraint on speech. Rather, it introduces a method of revealing stealth propaganda.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 42
Keywords: net neutrality, propaganda, first amendments freedom of the press, foreign agents registration act, printing press, youtube, broadcasting, Federal Communications Comission, FCC, manufacture of consent, alien and sedition acts, sarah palin, new york times, spectrum scarcity
JEL Classification: K30working papers series
Date posted: August 21, 2010 ; Last revised: October 18, 2010
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