The Blab-o-sphere and the First Amendment

Forrest Johnson

Editor’s note: I believe this one bears repeating. 

Welcome to the Blab-o-sphere.
The moral imperative to tell the truth has been glibly tossed aside and we now exist in a sorry state I’ve been calling the Blab-o-sphere.
The construction of the Blab-o-sphere has been many decades in the making, dating back to the 1990s in this latest iteration. That’s back when the talking heads beholden to the New Conservative Neanderthal Party (NCNP) and people like the Koch brothers started bending the rules of the First Amendment to fit their cockeyed political and social beliefs and herd the thoughts of the innocents into the world of conservative doublespeak. Don’t think that Donald Rumpt had anything to do with it. Nope, Payosa Loco, the Crazy Clown, simply latched on to the dark movement of thought herding and exaggeration for monetary and political gain, something that he’d been doing his whole life anyway.

That’s generally what people with few, if any, friends do. A stick of gum has more moral character than these folks. 
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, if old conservative thinker William F. Buckley were still around he’d be chasing the purveyors of the Blab-o-sphere with a copy of the Constitution and a pitchfork. He of the rolling eyes and upper crust wit may have been a conservative but he still had reason in his spine and bones. The purveyors of the Blab-o-sphere are like jellyfish and thus have no capacity for reason.  

The other day I was visiting with an older friend and in the background at his home was the glowing Blab-o-sphere of Fox News. I honestly didn’t know too many folks over time that could’ve herded his thoughts too far in any direction but there he was paying attention to the blab, blab, blab of one commentator saying Bernie was a communist and the democrats were liars and Rumpt was ordained by God to do his work.

When I asked him if he was caught up in the Blab-o-sphere he told me the TV was on while he was waiting for a hockey game to start. I mentioned that Fox News was always on when I stopped by, unless there was a hockey game.
My simple point is that the right wing Blab-o-sphere has found a pretty effective way of herding thoughts in the wrong direction, especially the thoughts of those who are getting older and find the TV or Rush Limbaugh more of a companion than their wives.
A second simple point was alluded to earlier in the comment about bending the rules of the first Amendment. A lie is a lie is a lie. Is a deliberate obfuscation of the facts, in other words, a lie, free speech? Does the First Amendment allow purposeful lying in the public realm? Go get your copy of the Constitution (mine compliments of the American Civil Liberties Union). See what the First Amendment says.

Amendment 1
Freedom of religion, speech and the press; rights of assembly and petition 
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people to peaceably assemble and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

I’m no constitutional expert here but did the Founders intend to include purposeful lying as the right of free speech? Did the Founders expect the creation of the Blab-o-sphere and the blab, blab, blab of Payosa Loco, a man who has set new standards for making things up on purpose? Every day the courts are interpreting the meaning of the Constitution as it relates to criminal and civil disagreements. As a career journalist I bristle at the notion that the Blab-o-sphere can simply fling misleading statements and outright lies into the public domain and get away with it. 

I just happen to think that the whole notion of the Blab-o-sphere is due a constitutional interpretation. We teach our children to tell the truth and yet the airwaves and internet are filled with gleeful lies and untruths that I believe are corrupting the very nature of a civil society.
The notion of critical thinking has been trashed by the Blab-o-sphere and its thought herders.
How do you teach the children and the innocents the meaning of a civil society if the guy at the top is a serial liar and not held accountable? 
Could the Constitution possibly help us with this dilemma?
Is a lie free speech?
Is free speech a lie?