The State having the power to restrict the free--even partisan press--is a greater danger to the American republic than anything that press might ever say.
To which Dana Garrett responded,
And if the Nazi press wanted to be part of the press pool and attend White House News briefings, then as far as your concerned the White House is OBLIGATED to oblige them?
You are the one who claims to be the constitutionalist. Please point out in the constitution where the President is obligated to recognize just any "news organization" as responsible purveyors of free speech.
And, amazingly, Hube fell for this line:
As often as I disagree with Dana, I must say he's on the money with the above.
Did anybody notice Dana palm that card?
Neither my statement nor anything in my post asserted that the Obama administration's attempt to exclude Fox News was unconstitutional.
Unwise. Yes. Dangerous. Check. Unconstitutional? Unfortunately, not.
Freedom the press, as asserted in the First Amendment, amounts to freedom from prior restraint, and the inability of Congress (or, later, thanks to the Supreme Court) or any State legislature to make laws that allow the government to view and censor in advance what a press outlet will publish. The only exceptions that the Courts have ever sustained have to do with national security.
But not every threat to the freedom of the republic is directly covered under the US Constitution, nor is every tradition or mechanism that has developed in the past 220 years explicitly addressed. The US Constitution does not address, for example, who is allowed to vote, only [and this in the amendments] who may not be restricted from voting for certain reasons. The US Constitution does not address the role of political parties in the government, because national political parties did not exist when it was written.
I made a statement of political philosophy: that the direct attempt to undermine a major news network by the President (regardless of that network's shortcomings) is dangerous. Dana, in an attempt to defend the indefensible (note that none of the other news networks went along with this either, and their coverage of this imbroglio is increasingly hostile to the President), tries his two favorite tactics: (a) reductio ad absurdam [would you protect Nazis?] and (b) making up a charge I did not make and attributing it to me.
By the way: what about the Nazis? Well, let's see. The White House press pool for interviews is an agreement between the press corps and the administration that all of them who belong to the pool will get to use common equipment for interviews and such [i.e., CBS takes its turn to bring the equipment and everybody else gets to use its microphones]. Belonging to the pool requires a network to (a) have all the requisite equipment and (b) to have White House press accreditation. Fox meets both criteria. If there were a Nazi News Network with millions of viewers and White House press accreditation, then damn right I would support their access.
But this is again being disingenious on Dana's part. Let's do it by analogy. Lots of people in American don't like the coverage done by Al Jazeera, but the outfit is a world-recognized major cable and satellite news network that the US government (under GW Bush no less!) recognized and accredited to have embedded reporters with the US Marines in the attack on Iraq in 2003. During that operation, Al Jazeera filed multiple accounts (some of which were challenged by our State Department as being extremely biased and factually in error), but the US government did not seek to yank AJ's pool access based on this.
Because Al Jazeera is not Al Manar, just like Fox News is not Dana's mythical Nazi News Network.
Here's a link to a brilliant documentary on Al Manar [the film is about halfway down the page], just in case you don't understand the distinction.
As for Hube: don't take Dana's bait next time.