Berkeley's idea of 'free speech'

A local police chief sends an armed sergeant to a reporter's home at 12:45 a.m., insisting on changes to story that had been filed earlier that evening. Can you guess where this salty show of government intimidation took place, maybe Russia or Iran? The answer is the People's Republic of Berkeley, (California) home of the 1960's free speech movement. 

Conservative's have long known that liberals relish the use of police authority for their own personal agendas.

From Inside BayArea we read:

Minutes after reading a late-night news story online about him that he perceived to be inaccurate, Berkeley Police Chief Michael Meehan ordered a sergeant to a reporter's home insisting on changes, a move First Amendment experts said reeked of intimidation and attempted censorship.

Meehans's actions were "despicable, totally despicable," said Jim Ewert, general counsel of the California Newspaper Publisher's Association. "It's the most intimidating type of (censorship) possible because the person trying to exercise it carries a gun."

Bay Area News Group reporter Doug Oakley said he was shaken by the 12:45 a.m. Friday knock on the door of his Berkeley home. He said at first he and his wife thought something was drastically wrong or perhaps that a relative had died.

"Ordering a police officer to a journalist's home in the middle of the night to demand changes to a story is an attempt at 'censorship by intimidation,' said Peter Scheer. [Executive director of the First Amendment Coalition]  "It definitely crossed the line. It's a violation of the First Amendment, let's be perfectly clear." It "goes to such an extreme it's hard to imagine."

Even after Oakley made initial changes to the story Meehan early Friday continued to phone and email Oakley asking for additional changes. Oakley declined, saying he stood by his story.

Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates could not be reached for comment late Friday.

City Councilwoman Susan Wengraf .... called Meehan's actions "a little extreme."

"A little extreme?" Is everyone reading this laughing out loud?

Not surprisingly, Tom Bates is still the mayor of Berkeley. From the Loyola of Los Angeles Entertainment Law Review:

This is a story amazingly rich with irony, but, unfortunately, remarkably poor with appreciation of the First Amendment's protection of freedom of the press, and sadly indicative of a growing trend today. On November 4, 2002--one day prior to local elections in Berkeley, California-mayoral candidate Tom Bates stole approximately 1000 copies of the Daily Californian "from their kiosk on Sproul Plaza, birthplace of the Free Speech Movement."  The student newspaper, which is distributed free-of-charge, endorsed incumbent Shirley Dean in the mayoral race rather than Bates, "a Democrat who was one of the most liberal members of the [California] State Assembly for two decades." Although Bates would win the election by slightly more than 5000 votes, he was roundly criticized and chastised by other local press outlets for the paper pilfering incident. As the neighboring OaklandTribune opined, "[t]hat the mayor of a city proud to call itself the home of the free-speech movement would trample on those First Amendment rights is not only ironic but also embarrassing."

Since both incidents took place in Berkeley, we are reminded that liberals with authority are an invasive parasitic species. They dominate the pre-existing flora by wrapping their dark vines around healthy plants and proceed to feed off the available nutrients until the host withers and dies. Much like what has already happened in Sacramento and Washington D.C.


A local police chief sends an armed sergeant to a reporter's home at 12:45 a.m., insisting on changes to story that had been filed earlier that evening. Can you guess where this salty show of government intimidation took place, maybe Russia or Iran? The answer is the People's Republic of Berkeley, (California) home of the 1960's free speech movement. 

Conservative's have long known that liberals relish the use of police authority for their own personal agendas.

From Inside BayArea we read:

Minutes after reading a late-night news story online about him that he perceived to be inaccurate, Berkeley Police Chief Michael Meehan ordered a sergeant to a reporter's home insisting on changes, a move First Amendment experts said reeked of intimidation and attempted censorship.

Meehans's actions were "despicable, totally despicable," said Jim Ewert, general counsel of the California Newspaper Publisher's Association. "It's the most intimidating type of (censorship) possible because the person trying to exercise it carries a gun."

Bay Area News Group reporter Doug Oakley said he was shaken by the 12:45 a.m. Friday knock on the door of his Berkeley home. He said at first he and his wife thought something was drastically wrong or perhaps that a relative had died.

"Ordering a police officer to a journalist's home in the middle of the night to demand changes to a story is an attempt at 'censorship by intimidation,' said Peter Scheer. [Executive director of the First Amendment Coalition]  "It definitely crossed the line. It's a violation of the First Amendment, let's be perfectly clear." It "goes to such an extreme it's hard to imagine."

Even after Oakley made initial changes to the story Meehan early Friday continued to phone and email Oakley asking for additional changes. Oakley declined, saying he stood by his story.

Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates could not be reached for comment late Friday.

City Councilwoman Susan Wengraf .... called Meehan's actions "a little extreme."

"A little extreme?" Is everyone reading this laughing out loud?

Not surprisingly, Tom Bates is still the mayor of Berkeley. From the Loyola of Los Angeles Entertainment Law Review:

This is a story amazingly rich with irony, but, unfortunately, remarkably poor with appreciation of the First Amendment's protection of freedom of the press, and sadly indicative of a growing trend today. On November 4, 2002--one day prior to local elections in Berkeley, California-mayoral candidate Tom Bates stole approximately 1000 copies of the Daily Californian "from their kiosk on Sproul Plaza, birthplace of the Free Speech Movement."  The student newspaper, which is distributed free-of-charge, endorsed incumbent Shirley Dean in the mayoral race rather than Bates, "a Democrat who was one of the most liberal members of the [California] State Assembly for two decades." Although Bates would win the election by slightly more than 5000 votes, he was roundly criticized and chastised by other local press outlets for the paper pilfering incident. As the neighboring OaklandTribune opined, "[t]hat the mayor of a city proud to call itself the home of the free-speech movement would trample on those First Amendment rights is not only ironic but also embarrassing."

Since both incidents took place in Berkeley, we are reminded that liberals with authority are an invasive parasitic species. They dominate the pre-existing flora by wrapping their dark vines around healthy plants and proceed to feed off the available nutrients until the host withers and dies. Much like what has already happened in Sacramento and Washington D.C.


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