Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Ehrlich Stares Straight Into the Sun

from The League: Reassembled

The battle between The Sun and Governor Ehrlich reached new heights today when the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments "over the governor's ban on administration officials speaking to two journalists.

"The Sun filed a lawsuit against the governor Dec. 3, 2004, after Ehrlich forbade state employees from speaking with columnist Michael Olesker and reporter David Nitkin, who was the State House bureau chief and has since been appointed the paper's Maryland political editor."

Lawyers for the paper argued that Ehrlich's ban discourages "speech by any citizen of Maryland who disagrees with the Governor, and it will leave the door open for any public official to punish any individual who says something the government does not like."

The governor's defense responded that "there is no constitutionally mandated right to provide information."

We at The League have a message to both parties: Your both wrong, but just be reasonable and this whole mess can be over with.

Hey Sun, the First Amendment prevents the government from interfering with the press, but it does not in anyway require the government to provide you with information. And the ban doesn't end free speech. You're still free to write about whatever you want, you just can't use the Ehrlich administration for quotes.

Hey Ehrlich, grow the hell up and let administration officials talk to these two reporters. We only have one comprehensive daily paper in this state (sorry Gazette), so you're doing Marylanders a great disservice by hurting the information available from the Sun. Besides, we've taken a look at your list of grievances of the journalists' "inaccuracies" and found that you are making something out of nothing. Just because you disagree with the paper's editorial positions doesn't mean you should attack the principles of open government.

(We should note that a Sun article provided the only extensive coverage of today's arguments.)

from The League: Reassembled

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