Should journalists go to jail for spreading Russia lies?

Should journalists go to jail for spreading Russia lies?
Rachel Maddow (Image: YouTube screen grab)

[Ed. – It sounds extreme, but it would be a way of holding all journalists’ feet to the fire.]

As a First Amendment maximalist, I am inclined to reply an automatic “no” to my own headline — should journalists go to jail for spreading Russia lies? But a penalty of some kind, indeed a serious one, should certainly be levied for misinforming the public on the most important subject of our day, which has happened repeatedly over the last few years concerning the Russia probe. And when these prevarications can be shown to have been deliberate, to have been done knowingly, difficult as that may be to prove, the line to sedition may have been crossed. …

Unfortunately, because reporting is an occupation with no official standards like law or medicine … and because, as A. J. Liebling wrote long ago, “Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one,” with media operations like CNN and NBC often encouraging those very lies, this is unlikely to happen.

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