The Corner

A Quick Clarification Regarding the News Of The World

A quick clarification. This is among the comments on a previous post:

It’s amazing that the UK never got freedom of the press. If a newspaper did the same things here, it would be protected, not shut down. Just like their constant use of prior restraint, the Brits remind us of how precious freedom of the press is, even when the vast majority are scum sucking leftist propaganda rags.

Mistake me not, I am as critical as anyone of the lack of an effective First Amendment equivalent in the UK; the upshot of which is not only the increasing tendency to prosecute people for saying unsavory things, and a hyper-liberal employment of injunctions which block the media from reporting on the rich and powerful, but a legal standard for libel that is so low as to be cause for self-censorship.

But this is not a free speech issue. The News of the World was shut down by its owners because its advertisers and readers had jumped ship. It was a business decision, based upon a judgement that the scandal had damaged the paper irreversibly. However cynical the move may have been — it is entirely possible that the Sun will just run a Sunday edition to replace the News of the World – it cannot be claimed that the British government has been involved, at least outside of its proper function in prosecuting the paper for allegedly breaking privacy laws and indulging in corruption.

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