In my essay at this blog entitled, Congress and the Media Have Placed America at Risk of Being Attacked from Within, I argued how the Congress and our media have failed to adequately protect the integrity of the 2008 presidential election and consequently to protect our nation and Constitution by putting us at risk of being attacked from within.
I explained that given conflicting evidence about where Obama was born, many in the public have wanted to make sure that Obama was born in Hawaii and constitutionally eligible for the Office of President.
I also explained that Obama has asserted privacy rights to block any efforts by the public to view his Hawaii birth records and other background documents.
I explained that the media has failed us miserably in not asserting its powers to confirm whether or not Obama was born in Hawaii.
I also explained how in the past, the media has not hesitated to assert its rights to uncover the truth on matters it deemed important and I asked why has it not done the same when it comes to confirming where Obama was born.
Well, here is another example of the media getting in the fight when it wants to uncover information that it believes is important to the public.
With the general election two weeks away, six major television networks are asking a federal judge to enjoin New Jersey from enforcing a broad ban on exit polling and other expressive activity within 100 feet of polling places.
The plaintiffs, ABC, the Associated Press, CNN, CBS, Fox News and NBC, in American Broadcasting Companies Inc. et al. v. Wells , 2:09-cv-5275, are asking U.S. District Judge Peter Sheridan for a temporary restraining order and a permanent injunction, arguing that restrictions on exit polling activities have been struck down on First Amendment grounds in the 12 federal courts that have heard similar challenges.
The suit, filed on October 16, 2009, in Newark, New Jersey, seeks to block a September 30, 2009, New Jersey Supreme Court ruling that surprised the litigants on both sides. The American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey had appealed the attorney general's denial of a request to hand out voters' rights cards at the polls. But none of the parties sought to ban exit polling within 100 feet, which the state has permitted since 1988.
The media plaintiffs say the ban serves no legitimate government interest that would justify infringement of their First Amendment rights. While conceding that courts have recognized the states' interest in prohibiting activities that interfere with the electoral process, they argue in their brief that there is no evidence that polling voters who have cast their ballots borders on intimidation or fraud.
The plaintiffs also maintain that prohibiting exit polling within 100 feet is not a narrowly tailored approach. The state defendants "already have all the authority they need to address any potential disruption at the polls. Applying a blanket restriction to plaintiffs' non-disruptive exit polling activities, however, is unnecessary and unconstitutionally overbroad," their brief said.
The plaintiffs also argue they will suffer irreparable harm if injunctive relief is not granted. They cite the potential loss of valuable voter information in the election.
As we can see, the media will not hesitate to take on the big boys when it comes to fighting for what it perceives to be its First Amendment rights. But when it comes to Obama, who blocked all efforts by the public to learn about who he really is by wanting to review his birth, education, work, and travel documents, why did the media believe that Obama’s privacy rights should trump its First Amendment rights to express itself by satisfying its journalistic obligations to provide critical information of national security importance to our political institutions and the voting public? If the media could not make a successful First Amendment claim, why did it not even file any Freedom of Information Actions with all public entities possessing any of Obama’s records and arguing that any right to privacy should fail given the critical national security interest it sought to protect?
Needles to say, the President of the United States, in both his civil and military capacities, has immense powers over not only our nation but over the world. Again I ask, why has and why does the media take on these other legal fights, not affecting national security, but did not do anything of real substance to uncover the real evidence needed to assist our political institutions and the American public to find out who Obama really is?
Does not the media see the potential “irreparable harm” to our nation should Obama not be eligible to hold the Office of President? Why does the media mock and suppress the efforts of those who want our courts to confirm whether Obama is constitutionally eligible to be President, like not reporting on a pending case against Obama until the Court dismisses it on some threshold or procedural ground and not the merits and then telling the world that the case was frivolous? Is the media afraid of what may be uncovered?
The only "evidence" of his being born in Hawaii that Obama released to the public was a computer-imaged Certification of Live Birth posted on his web site and not a paper long-form, hospital-generated Birth Certificate. Now there are so many alleged and questionable birth certificates of Obama’s birth floating around the internet which show him to have been born in Kenya. Who knows how many more will come in the future. Clearly, such activity is a distraction for our nation and only takes away from the respect that the Office of President so much deserves. It is time for the media to step up to the plate and assist our nation to bring the issue of Obama’s place of birth to a close.
Mario Apuzzo, Esq.
185 Gatzmer Avenue
Jamesburg, New Jersey 08831
October 20, 2009