Timothy Egan listens to the infamous Antonin Scalia repeating -- as Joseph Goebbels prescribed -- the same lie over and over again.
“I think Thomas Jefferson would have said, the more speech, the better,” said Scalia. “That’s what the First Amendment is all about, so long as people know where the speech is coming from.”
Yes, of course: let’s imagine Jefferson, sitting in a hotel room in Steubenville, Ohio, this August of 2012, sipping a Virginia claret while trying to find some evidence of the clash of ideas in the great arena of free speech that is his flatscreen.
What he sees, and endures, is not more speech — that would involve a diversity of thoughts and voices, a point and a counterpoint, an evidence-based conclusion every now and then. Who wouldn’t welcome that?
Instead, what Jefferson hears is the same speech, from a tiny minority that can buy the biggest megaphone, compacted into 30 seconds by people who could sell sunglasses to a raccoon. And the sainted founder certainly would not know “where the speech is coming from,” thanks to a modern hybrid of legal corruption, refined by the industrious Karl Rove, that shields big-money donors from public disclosure. ...Timothy Egan, NYT
..."Diversity of thoughts and voices, a point and a counterpoint, an evidence-based conclusion every now and then. Who wouldn’t welcome that?"
Not the oligarchy.
... So far this year a mere 26 billionaires have given $61 million to “super PACS” (and these are the ones whose names have come out, through disclosure or journalistic ferreting). Those 26 billionaires have a net worth, according to the C.R.P., equal to 42 percent of all American households, about 50 million people. ...NYT