Mourning the Loss of Free Speech Through November 7, 2006


In a stunning beat down on one of America's longest-held and most sacred principles, your first ammendment rights to criticize incumbent politicians, at least on radio and TV, are suspended from now until the November 7 election.  Congress has decided, and incredibly the Supreme
Court has concurred, that only members of the media, including intellectual giants like Bill O'Reilly and Keith Olbermann, can legally criticize sitting politicians on TV and radio in the runup to the election.  These restrictions also came very, very close to applying to this and all other blogs.  John McCain, Russ Feingold, and everyone who voted for this un-American incumbent protection act need to be voted out of office at our next opportunity. Update:  Nice roundup here.
(This post is sticky -- newer posts are below)


  1. The View from My Chair:

    In Mourning For the Loss of Free Speech

    Coyote Blog reminded me its time to put out the black flag of mourning for the loss of our First Amendment rights to Freedom of Speech through November 7, 2006.  Because of Senators McCain and Feingold and liberal justices on the Supreme Court ...

  2. Karen of Scottsdale:

    Thanks for the reminder! Not sure if my track backs work, but here is my post referring to yours:

  3. Joe's Dartblog:

    At the tick of midnight, all critiques of sitting politicos must cease

    The excellent Warren Meyer reminds me that one of the blacker provisions in the anti-free speech McCain-Feingold Campaign Reform Act went into effect just thirty-seven minutes ago. From now until the end of the election, you and I and everyone...

  4. Joe's Dartblog:

    At the tick of midnight, all critiques of sitting politicos must cease

    The excellent Warren Meyer reminds me that one of the blacker provisions in the anti-free speech McCain-Feingold Campaign Reform Act went into effect just thirty-seven minutes ago. From now until the end of the election, you and I and everyone...

  5. anonymous:

    Not that I don't appreciate the sentiment, but can you *not* post-date this so those of us who user rss readers sorted by date don't have to see it *every* morning from now until November?


  6. Rob:

    Dear Mr. Anonymous (I'm assuming you are a sir),

    Having followed this blog for quite awhile, probably much like yourself, you'd have to come to the conclusion that it's purposefully being set at the top in order to raise more awareness for the fact that Mr. Coyote could be convicted of a felony for backing/opposing a political figure running for office. Well, that's assuming Mr. Coyote hasn't received a free pass like some elites out there.

    Warm regards,

    PS: And remember, if/when Coyote makes his FEC violation as he suggested he might, you might not want that RSS feed, unless you want to go to prison with him

  7. The Arizona Growler:

    Thoughts on Len Munsil, etc.

    I once met Len Munsil. It was Sanctity of Life Sunday at First Southern Baptist Church, and Len Munsil was the president of the Center of Arizona Policy. He joked about his attendance of ASU rather than UofA and on the reputation of lawyer...

  8. k hagen:

    Oh, come on, just say something already. Like a rant on the absurdity of local zoning laws and land-use ordinances, how 'bout liquor laws. McCain-Feingold can't prosecute you on that. Oh wait, can they?

  9. Rob:

    He should blast/boost an incumbent for each of the 60 days while his 1st amendment is sqaundered

  10. shrimplate:

    Bush is an idiot and a psychopath.

    Get it?

  11. Rob:

    Get it? ...what's that shrimplate, that you try to invalidate ideas by calling someone names?
    To each his own, however, it's not relevant for the topic at hand.

    As much as I'd like to make fun of non-incumbent politicians, I thought these FEC laws only applied to those running for office (or at least incumbents).

    I would imagine Coyote would use some tact and be constructive by backing a local Libertarian candidate.

  12. JT Barrie:

    Our campaign reform laws say a lot about political campaigns - mostly between the bobbsey twin parties. However, if a nonprofit or taxpayer funded entity wishes to openly campaign for a particular cause using taxpayer monies it's perfectly legal - as long as people don't vote on that issue during that election cycle. The fact that political propaganda influences legislation pending or bobbsey twin candidates is irrelevant. I seriously doubt that the would legislate against rants on issues. Especially since they take taxpayer dollars for promulgation of the dangerous drugs mythology in classrooms and "public service" drug propaganda. They also mandate patriotism and include propaganda in public school history lessons with taxpayer monies. They couldn't restrict churches and individuals and still allow this? Or could they?

  13. Noumenon:

    Hey, I just looked up McCain-Feingold in Wikipedia and it doesn't say I'm not allowed to criticize incumbents on TV. It says corporations can't, and that I have to disclose my sources of funding for my ads. Is the article incomplete?

    "# A ban on supposedly non-partisan "issue ads" funded by soft money from corporations and labor unions - those referring to candidates for federal election without expressly advocating their election or defeat -- in the 60 days prior to a general election, or 30 days prior to a primary election.
    # Disclosure of sources of finance for "electioneering communications" in excess of $10,000 per year."

  14. markm:

    Noumenon: Are you rich enough to buy a TV ad all by yourself? If so, you can, but if you want to split the costs with a few friends, you'll find it very onerous to stay within the law. It didn't stop George Soros from spending many millions on political ads, but the NRA cannot directly buy ads naming candidates.

  15. Noumenon:

    Markm: Oh, I see. Basically the NRA either has to struggle by with no money from the Ford Foundation or whoever, or it can't buy any ads. I was thinking of ads funded *exclusively* by corporations or labor unions.

    I don't have enough money to buy a TV ad by myself, but then again I don't have enough power to get a corporation to fund my ad either. I was thinking you could get that kind of money by joining together by other people in your church organization, but that would make them lose their nonprofit status.

    527s seem like a good thing from this perspective -- all individual money, say what you want. But I know they're next on the chopping block.

    So I guess you need to sue somebody or fund a documentary to get your claim in in the last sixty days...

  16. neil:

    Why would someone say that about "bush"? Do they know him? Do they believe the "cut and slice media"? Well I just think that if everyone went VEGAN we'd all see a little more clearly.

    PARADE OF DAYS : mother earth///healing ways

  17. Hamilton:

    Ok, so bloggers should unite and blacklist everybody who voted for this silly act? That is one idea.

    Actually, the blogosphere and sites such as YouTube may really shine in this period of absence of fallacious television and radio ads.

    60 days of digital empowerment!

  18. Neolibertarian:

    Campaign Finance Strikes Again

    Bringing an idea to its natural conclusion, the California Democrats are pissed off that Arnold was a guest f...

  19. Bloggermouth:

    Those in power, jealously guard their power. When will someone address REAL issues?

  20. Rob:

    For those Rush listeners, on (Oct 25th, 2006), was his last diatribe a violation of McCain-Feingold?