As the old news outlets have lost much of their ability to manipulate public opinion, these institutions have resorted to increasingly desperate tactics to shape public discourse. Enter “journalism”.
This kind of article consists of identifying something that offends the sensitive sensibilities of the prestige press and the elites to which it is directed, and then reporting the offensive behavior to various authorities under the guise of asking them for their comments. The transparent purpose of such plays is to put pressure on the authorities to eradicate the behavior. This sometimes takes the form of a “journalist” alerting one of the technological oligopolies to material hosted on his platform that the journalist deems politically incorrect.
This storytelling or media room monitor culture was on full display this week when NBC News’ Ken Dilanian took it upon himself to alert the U.S. Secret Service to the sale of inferior AR-15 receivers sporting a censored version of an insult to President Joe Biden.
Those more lucid than Biden will know that the 46e chair is not very popular. One october NBC News Poll showed that 42% of the country approve of the work Biden does, while 54% disapprove of it. 71% of Americans think the country is on the wrong track. Additionally, as an NBC News article summarized, “only 37% of adults give [Biden] high marks – on a 5 point scale – for being competent and effective as president. NBC numbers could be somewhat generous, considering Quinnipiac recorded a 38% approval rating for the president in early October.
Some Americans have expressed their displeasure with the president. Since the beginning of the fall, chants of “F *** Joe Biden” have erupted at sport events around the country. Others have also affixed the admittedly vulgar slogan on various items such as signs, flags, shirts and bumper stickers.
On October 2, NASCAR spectators at Talladega Super Speedway burst into a Vocals “F *** Joe Biden” as NBC Sports reporter Kelli Stavast interviewed race winner Brandon Brown. As the audible chant was picked up on the television, Stavast told viewers the crowd was chanting “Come on Brandon” in honor of the driver. Rightly suspect that NBC was trying to cover up the public’s vocal contempt for the president, Biden’s opponents began to use “Come on Brandon” both as a cleaner substitute for the original slogan and as a way to poke fun at the party. taken obvious from traditional media.
Like its R-rated counterpart, “Let’s go Brandon” is now used as a political rallying cry to oppose the president and adorns all manner of material. Recognizing that many Second Amendment supporters oppose Biden due to his desire to confiscate guns from law-abiding Americans, Palmetto State Armory has developed a special edition “LETSGO-15” AR-15 lower receiver. The front of the receiver features Biden’s likeness above a checkered flag, in reference to the race that gave birth to the phrase, as well as the phrase itself. A censored version of the original vocals adorns the fire selector settings.
To a reasonable observer aware of the existence of the Bill of Rights, the lower “LETSGO-15” is an exercise in discourse protected by both the First and Second Amendment. Political discourse is at the heart of what is protected by the First Amendment. In West Virginia Board of Directors. v. Barnette (1943), the Supreme Court of the United States explained: “If there is a fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is because no official, tall or small, can prescribe what must be orthodox in politics. , nationalism, religion or other matters of opinion. … “
Regarding the use of vulgarity to convey a political message, in particular Cohen v. California (1971), the United States Supreme Court overturned the conviction of a young man accused of disturbing the peace for wearing a jacket with the words “F *** the Draft” on it in a courthouse. In his view, Judge John Marshall Harlan II explained,
The state certainly does not have the right to clean up public debate to the point that it is grammatically acceptable to the most disgusted among us … nevertheless often true that the vulgarity of one man is the lyric of another. Indeed, we believe that it is largely because government officials cannot make principled distinctions in this area that the Constitution leaves matters of taste and style so largely to the individual.
Emblazing a political discourse on an element protected by the Second Amendment does not change this calculation.
In a November 1 press article titled “Arms Dealers Sell Parts and Ammo Using Anti-Biden “Come On, Brandon” MemeDilanian explained how he presented himself to the federal government with his concerns about the Palmetto State Armory product. However, “a spokesperson for the US secret service, who is investigating threats against the president, declined to comment.” In an attempt to draw more attention to his baseless cries, Dilanian tweeted a link to the article with the message “I called the secret service about this. They made no comment.
Despite the journalist’s best efforts to stimulate them, the U.S. Secret Service appears to have a fuller understanding of the First Amendment than NBC News and at this point has shown the required restraint after being confronted with behavior protected by the Declaration. Rights.
A popular adage in journalism is that its aim is to “to console the afflicted, and to afflict the comfortable. Dilanian and NBC News might try to challenge political power every now and then, rather than trying to shield one of the world’s most powerful men from salty language and petty insults.