Lindsey Graham On Bloggers: ‘Do They Deserve First Amendment Protection?’


Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said to reporters on Tuesday that he’s pained by the question of whether bloggers’ freedom of speech is covered under the 1st Amendment:

“Who is a journalist is a question we have to ask ourselves. Is any blogger out there saying anything? Do they deserve First Amendment protection? These are the issues of our times.”

It was a bit of verbal gaffe, because Graham later tweeted a clarification:

“Just to be clear, every blogger is entitled to constitutionally-protected Freedom of Speech.”

Graham’s statement seems to apply to bloggers who are acting as citizen journalists, and whether they should be afforded the same legal shielding that traditional media has enjoyed. He is currently promoting the drafting of a Federal “shield law” that, he said last month, is intended to protect the press from the type of government persecution recently perpetrated against Fox News and the AP by the U.S. Department of Justice.

Personal Liberty

Ben Bullard

Reconciling the concept of individual sovereignty with conscientious participation in the modern American political process is a continuing preoccupation for staff writer Ben Bullard. A former community newspaper writer, Bullard has closely observed the manner in which well-meaning small-town politicians and policy makers often accept, unthinkingly, their increasingly marginal role in shaping the quality of their own lives, as well as those of the people whom they serve. He argues that American public policy is plagued by inscrutable and corrupt motives on a national scale, a fundamental problem which individuals, families and communities must strive to solve. This, he argues, can be achieved only as Americans rediscover the principal role each citizen plays in enriching the welfare of our Republic.

Join the Discussion

Comment Policy: We encourage an open discussion with a wide range of viewpoints, even extreme ones, but we will not tolerate racism, profanity or slanderous comments toward the author(s) or comment participants. Make your case passionately, but civilly. Please don't stoop to name calling. We use filters for spam protection. If your comment does not appear, it is likely because it violates the above policy or contains links or language typical of spam. We reserve the right to remove comments at our discretion.

  • Harold Olsen

    Hey, Graham, you moron. The 1st Amendment has to do with freedom of speech. Bloggers have a right to say what they like just like the rest of us. Though scumbags like you want to silence us if we say something you don’t like. Well, that ain’t gonna happen!

  • garygerke

    Why bother with unneeded legislation that is already covered by the first amendment? These politicians that have out lived their usefulness need to be retired!