As lovers of the Constitution know, the founders used the First Amendment to protect the freedom of the press along with freedoms of assembly and speech. They remain quite powerful.
At City Paper, editor Chris Potter takes a look at what happened this week when one local paper used those powers to . . . expose across its front page the bill-paying habits of a media spokesman for the Occupy Pittsburgh movement.
But why? Here's Chris:
Well, I think it's pretty clear: We're seeing a daily newspaper using its resources to bully people around, embarrassing them with personal information the paper can't even claim any public interest in -- simply for availing themselves of their First Amendment freedoms. Not the noblest use of a printing press I've ever seen.
The entire essay is worth reading, though I for one blame the protesters. Surely they knew they were signing up for this kind of public flagellation when they targeted -- among all the corporate properties spread around Pittsburgh -- one owned by Mellon.