Monday, May 8, 2023

Fault lines / A field day / Listen up

Fault lines. A divided nation comes together to blame the news media for the political polarization in the country, according to an Associated Press survey.
■ Not everything was better back in the old days, but newsrooms truly were, declared Maureen Dowd in a New York Times commentary.
■ Elon Musk has failed to usher in a new era of free speech on Twitter as promised, data from a Harvard University report shows.
■ Colorado lawmakers have pushed a bill that would allow politicians to block social media users from their private accounts, blurring the line between public forums and personal accounts. 
■ Kids have free-speech rights too, a Harvard law professor warned legislators who want to limit young people’s access to social media.

Bound by law. Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee signed a new law that puts book publishers and sellers at risk of prosecution if they provide schools with written materials deemed obscene.
■ Removal of a Missouri highway road sign honoring a convicted cop killer could violate the First Amendment, a Freedom Center of Missouri lawyer contended.
■ Donald Trump has agreed to appear at a town hall forum televised by CNN, the network he has derided for dispensing “fake news.”
■ A New York Supreme Court judge dismissed the former president’s lawsuit against The New York Times.
■ A porn industry group has filed a lawsuit claiming that a Utah age-verification requirement to access adult websites is unconstitutional.

A field day. A pair of high school students, aided by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, is suing on viewpoint-discrimination grounds a Michigan school district that made them remove ‘Let’s Go, Brandon’ sweatshirts at a school event.
■ A Massachusetts seventh grader sent home for donning a shirt that read “there are only two genders” told the local school board that he had a First Amendment right to wear it.
■ Two California teachers have filed a lawsuit arguing that they have a First Amendment right to “out” transgender students to their parents.
■ Covenant School parents who do not want the Nashville shooter’s ‘manifesto’ released as an open public record were granted a five-week delay from Davidson County Chancellor I’Ashea L. Miles.

The text that roared. The discovery of a Tucker Carlson message on the eve of Fox News’ defamation trial sparked a chain of events that likely contributed to his dismissal from the network.
■ Readers may be seeing the end of a digital media age, but Semafor editor Ben Smith explains where the end began in a New York Times essay.
■ The lengthy Disney-DeSantis feud escalated when the Walt Disney Co. hit Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis with a discrimination lawsuit.
■ Constitutional lawyer Robert Peck is convinced that more retaliation lawsuits, such as the ones filed in Florida and Montana, will be levied on state legislators who keep trying to silence outvoted minority members.

Listen up. There is a lot of noise surrounding campus speakers these days, but students may be less interested in debating controversial views and more interested in shouting them down, according to a CNN review.
■ There was time to roast the president and toast the First Amendment at the annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner.
■ ABC News’ Pierre Thomas was among several journalists to be honored with a 2023 Freedom of the Press Award.
■ The world must unite to stop threats, attacks, and imprisonment of journalists for doing their jobs, declared U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
■ An international First Amendment partnership has opened its doors on the Vanderbilt University campus, ready to take on global free-speech issues, its leaders said.