Government cannot govern press


News reports out of Madison, Wisconsin, are beyond disturbing.

It seems that an arm of the county government there wants to control what the press can and cannot report. 

In fact, according to Associated Press reports, a county official went so far as to draft a resolution that called for prosecution of the media if it published information contained in a water quality report but did not publish the full, unedited news release exactly as it was submitted by the local government. 

After public outcry and harsh criticism from First Amendment advocates, the resolution was pulled at the last minute. 

As well it should have been. 

The disturbing thing, however, is that anyone ever even thought that trying to control the press in that way was something government could take up. 

It is the role of the press to keep an eye on government, to keep government in check and not the other way around. 

It is, quite simply, unconstitutional for government to restrict the freedom of the press. 

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