Hypocrisies of a Nation
Reading the origins of Defamation was an “eye-opener” for me. It touched on multiple issues of law, that were influenced by opinion, religion, or some other bias influencer. I don’t want to lose my thought process, but as this is a journal, I feel I should dictate my thoughts on it before I continue with my assignment. History shows the origins of most of our laws are influenced by some sort of religious background rather than the more objective approach of ethics. If our Constitution holds a clause that should uphold the Separation of Church and State, then why are so many courts and laws influenced by religion? “Some critics of the courts' interpretations of the principle of separation of church and state have argued for the protections of some aspects of religion in government practices. Believing the United States to be a Christian nation, founded on Judeo-Christian religious beliefs, these critics argue that the federal government is only prohibited from establishing a religion at the national level and from interfering with the establishment of religion in the states, but not required to stamp out any hint of religious reference in governmental actions,” (Bailey, 2018).
Thanks to one of our historically famous US President’s, Barack Obama, we saw a change in the laws surrounding Libel in August of 2010. When he signed legislation known as the “SPEECH ACT,” that protected writers from Britain’s libel laws, (Moore & Murray, 2012). Was this “Legislation” put into place to help his presidency and slander his opposition? No matter the reasoning behind it, it opened the doors for writers such as me to write about topics like this simply because it’s a topic that could be controversial.
Prior to this Legislation, we saw people such as Courtney Love, widow of the late Kurt Cobain being sued for what appears to be multiple accounts of Libel due to posts on her social media accounts that allegedly defamed a fashion designer named Dawn Simorangkir. What this looks like is your standard, “I want to be famous” plan that begins by riding the coat-tails of someone popular that you have access to. We can see this every day in Pop Culture where a musician wants to break into Film, so he/she marries into it long enough o to build a following. In this case, it was the more derogatory approach of utilizing law to get one’s name in the news and therefore getting some free press/publicity. Before reading this issue in our class content, I had never heard of the designer before.
I feel that due to social media and the many lawsuits we have seen over the years, more Americans have learned about these laws and practices. Before, people were ignorant of these laws. We have so many laws that unless it becomes popular or regularly practiced by multiple professions such as Media Law and Ethics, most of us are not aware they exist until we find ourselves with a Court Subpoena. I feel this is what has caused the influence behind the topic becoming so popular and why it influenced former US President, Barack Obama to address it. History is a powerful teacher and influencer. The intelligent learn from the mistakes of our ancestors and adopt “Best Practices” and sometimes laws that reflect what they learned, in order to benefit us as a nation or at least a society. Many ethical codes of conduct are formulated by these influencers of history.
Bailey, E. (2018). Separation of church and state. Retrieved from Shapiro Library: https://eds-a-ebscohost-com.ezproxy.snhu.edu/eds/detail/detail?vid=1&sid=fadf2493-7549-49aa-aa52-16314f6d42aa%40sdc-v-sessmgr03&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWRzLWxpdmUmc2NvcGU9c2l0ZQ%3d%3d#AN=89158129&db=ers
Moore, R. L., & Murray, M. D. (2012). Media Law and Ethics. New York: Routledge.