Naive or clever?

Listening to discussion of last year’s NYTimes brouhaha over publishing an op-ed by HORRIBLE REPOOFLICAN Tom Cotton.

First thought: I wonder what Oliver Holmes would think? He wrote the “legal” test for boundaries on freedom of the press. Inciting a riot is outside the bounds. This little dispute was about the Holmes test. The Repooflican was gently suggesting that riots are not always wonderful or beneficial, and the NYTimes employees stoutly insisted that their sole job is inciting riots for “public health”. In fact, inciting wars and riots is the sole purpose of ALL mass media. Everything they do is explicitly designed to obliterate life and civilization. All the genocide that fits, we commit.

Second thought: This is NOT NEW. Mass media served the same purpose in Holmes’s time. We have the ‘testimony’ of Hearst, who openly and proudly defined his job as making war.

Question: Was Holmes innocent and naive about media? If he wasn’t naive, he was proposing a test that would automatically shut down all paid media if properly applied. And that would be a GOOD THING, then and now.

Maybe he thought that applying the test would reform the criminals?

FDR did reform radio and TV, forcing them to avoid inciting riots if they wanted to keep their licenses. The reform disappeared in the ’80s. Newspapers were never constrained.

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