Alito said the real issue is whether free speech rights “should be limited to certain preferred corporations, namely those media organizations.” And with the proliferation of the Internet and social media, the line is getting more blurry between individuals and media, he said.
Give Sam credit: No conservative has ever gone broke bashing the media, particularly in front of audiences like the Federalist Society. Nonetheless, I’ll try to help Sam out here.
My local newspaper or USA Today or the Huffington Post or whoever does not have a monopoly on free-speech rights. Nowhere in this dimension are free speeech rights “limited to certain preferred corporations, namely those media organizations.” Any corporation except for certain tax-exempt ones can create a website, buy or rent hosting, and endorse or attack any candidate it chooses, just as media organizations do. (And if the tax-exempt corporations decide they want to, then they should just give up their tax exemptions and go buck-wild. Yeah, Roman Catholic church, I’m looking at you.)
What Alito’s vote in the Citizens United case made it possible for corporations to do, and what “media organizations” as he defined them do NOT do, is to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on the creation and dissemination of advertising for or against candidates. (It also made it possible for corporations to try to tell their employees how to vote; fortunately, most Americans still don’t negotiate with terrorists.) That’s a pretty simple and very obvious distinction, not to mention a clear and present danger to continuing our form of representative government.
OK, I take it back. Maybe Alito isn’t stupid. Maybe he just thinks you and I are.