A couple of days ago I did something I didn’t want to do. I banned a frequent commenter from the site for suggesting that a NY Times editor should be handed over to terrorists. Why was he so angry that he said something like this? Well, because the NY Times printed information about the government searching through our bank records.

Those comments got me thinking, particularly about how many people are crying “Treason!” Not only in the right-wing blogosphere, but also in supposedly fair and balanced media. As I considered that, I realized what those people are actually wanting is for journalists to be killed for the “secrets” they’re reporting. Yes, death.

So I’m going to ask a favor. If you’re commenting here and calling journos traitors, treasonous, etc., please stop. I’m just going to say right here and now that you won’t get banned for calling somebody a traitor, but I’m pretty much going to consider you a hack and ignore you from here on out. And I’d encourage the rest of our readers to do the same. We have a free press in this country for a reason and the founders made sure to single them out for special status. They realized, as everybody here should also, that in order for democracy to flourish, you needed checks and balances inside AND outside the government. There are few things more vital to a democracy than a truly free press.

And yet we have Dennis Hastert saying, “Loose lips kill American people.” Exactly who is being killed Mr. Hastert? I know it’s becoming increasingly popular to blame the media for how Iraq is going, how the War on Terrorism is going, etc., but this is getting ridiculous. We have Senators calling for press credentials to be pulled, and they’re even using the “T” word. And yes, they know what it means too.

Think I’m being dramatic? Well, just check out what Melanie Morgan, a right-wing pundit, said recently about the editor of the NY Times…

“If he were to be tried and convicted of treason, yes, I would have no problem with him being sent to the gas chamber.”

What…the…hell? We can’t allow ourselves as a nation to allow these hacks to take our free press away. And yes, these people are HACKS of the worst kind.

Listen, this trend REALLY worries me. If the extremist right-wing media and Republican politicians get their way, and they actually have gotten a lot of their way this past decade, I think we’re going to quickly slip into some weird Orwellian nightmare that we’ll have a lot of trouble extracting ourselves from. Now we’re going to censor the media for simply reporting that the government is searching through our records? Are you kidding me?

These revelations, coupled with those I spoke of yesterday about David Addington’s questionable interpretations (or lack thereof) of the Constitution, add up to a serious breach of trust on the part of our current leadership. There’s nothing patriotic about silencing the press. Nothing. It weakens our nation. Period. That’s not leadership. That’s simply trying to create a situation where your methods can’t be questioned. And if anything is Unamerican…that’s it.

I don’t really know how to end this, but when you hear these things what goes through your mind? Are you as concerned as I am? Do you think this is just bluster without backup? Talk to me people, because I’m a bit freaked out here.

Politics Treason, The Press and Waking Up