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Open & Shut

A collection of notable quotations From the Spring 2010 issue of The News Media & The Law, page 26. “You’re…

A collection of notable quotations

From the Spring 2010 issue of The News Media & The Law, page 26.

“You’re free to ask them … we won’t be answering.”

-President Obama, saying he would not take questions during the signing of the Daniel Pearl Freedom of Press Act in May (Reuters)

“The First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech does not extend only to categories of speech that survive an ad hoc balancing of relative social costs and benefits. The First Amendment itself reflects a judgment by the American people that the benefits of its restrictions on the Government outweigh the costs. Our Constitution forecloses any attempt to revise that judgment simply on the basis that some speech is not worth it.”

– Chief Justice John Roberts, writing for the majority in U.S. v. Stevens, which struck down an animal-cruelty law, on the solicitor general’s argument that entire categories of speech can be left unprotected from the First Amendmnet based on a “balancing test” that weighs their societal value.

“This is one of the great fallacies — that we have to keep communities ignorant in order to have a fair trial.”

– Poynter Institute journalism instructor Al Tompkins on pretrial publicity (Charlottesville Daily Progress)

“I like the embed program because it gives a reporter who might not understand the culture an understanding of what these kids are going through day in and day out.”

-Marine Corps commandant James Conway (U.S. News & World Report’s Washington Whispers)

“News and entertainment have merged to such an extent that they’ve almost become indistinguishable.”

-Louisiana Judge Patrick McCabe in applying a reporter’s shield law to a production studio that had reality show footage of Steven Seagal (WDAM, NBC Affiliate in Mississippi)