Bloggers are an interesting group of people. We come in all shapes and sizes and write about many different topics. From sharing awesome apple pie recipes, talking about the latest music trends or writing about our travels to more serious topics like Obamacare, the IRS targeting conservatives and demanding justice for the Americans killed in Benghazi, someone somewhere is writing about it. There are political bloggers on both sides of the aisle who are well known and have actually made a living from writing blogs (I want to be one of them when I grow up). Bloggers have broken stories and shared information that many of us may never have known if we relied on the “traditional media” to get its act together.
In recent weeks, politicians have been discussing whether or not bloggers should have the same protection under the first amendment. Most notably is Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, who stated he wasn’t sure if we lowly bloggers had a “clear-cut right to freedom of speech”.
Now wait just a minute, Senator… are you implying that since we write independently and of our own accord that for some reason we don’t have the same protections as journalists writing for big newspapers and TV stations? That seems like a dangerous—nay, threatening–statement to me as a blogger, sir.
If we’re not protected under the first amendment we could be silenced, shut down and bullied – which if you think about the manner in which our government has been behaving lately makes perfect sense. They clearly take issue with any outspoken American who challenges their authority in writing (or in a conversation on their cell phone, but that’s another article). Traditional media has rolled over for this administration and taken its marching orders from them to clearly report only on certain things that promote a progressive agenda.
Sharyl Attkisson of CBS News is one of the few journalists outside of Fox we have seen report on the details of controversial topics like Benghazi; she of course was attacked in the media for doing so but gained a new following from bloggers who respected someone in the traditional media for stepping out of line and reporting the truth. Since she came forward, CBS News has started reporting more and more frequently on stories that not only illustrate the reality of our country and world, but don’t necessarily paint this administration in the best light. It goes without saying that she and others like her (James Rosen) are being bullied as well on some level, but no one has insinuated they should not be protected under the first amendment… yet.
If politicians are starting to question our rights as bloggers we must stand up for ourselves and speak out even louder. I don’t care if you agree with my views or not, if you’re a blogger (even a liberal blogger, eek!) we must work together to stop this chatter that we are somehow not as important as the media, a media incidentally that appears to be more and more controlled by the government. When they start hemming and hawing and insinuating that we are in some way a threat, we are doing something right. So I am appealing to all bloggers; do not allow this or any government to silence you. Stand with me and tell them we are protected by the first amendment, we will not comply, we will not stand down and whether you like it or not, we will tell the truth.