Famous Quotations / Quotes
Famous Quotes about Liberty
 

 
Famous quotes, quotations, sayings, phrases, idioms, proverbs, and axioms about Liberty and the Responsibility that comes with it. 
 


The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations

A classic since 1953 with over 20,000 quotes from over 3,000 authors.


Famous Last Words

Apt Observations, Pleas, Curses, Benedictions, Sour Notes, Bons Mots, and Insights from People on the Brink of Departure


Stretch Your Wings

Famous Black Quotations for the Young


American Quotations

An exhaustive collection of profound quotes from the founding fathers, presidents, statesmen, scientists, constitutions, court decisions


The Oxford Dictionary of Humorous Quotations


Last Words of Saints and Sinners

700 Final Quotes from the Famous, the Infamous, and the Inspiring Figures of History


America's God and Country: Encyclopedia of Quotations

Contains over 2,100 profound quotations from founding fathers, presidents, constitutions, court decisions and more


The Law

This 1850 classic is an absolute must read for anyone interested in law, justice, truth, or liberty. A most compelling and revolutionary look at The Law.


Bartlett's Familiar Quotations

A Collection of Passages, Phrases, and Proverbs Traced to Their Sources in Ancient and Modern Literature (17th Edition)


The Stupidest Things Ever Said by Politicians

Rise up, America -- and laugh out loud at the greatest gaffes that no spin doctor could possibly fix!


The 776 Even Stupider Things Ever Said

Another great collection of stupidity


Quotable Quotes

Wit and Wisdom for All Occasions from America's Most Popular Magazine


The Most Brilliant Thoughts of All Time

You don't have to be a genius to sound like one. Here's a collection of the most profound and provocative wit and wisdom in the English language in two lines or less.


2,715 One-Line Quotations for Speakers, Writers & Raconteurs

Invaluable sampler of witticisms, epigrams, sayings, bon mots, platitudes and insights chosen for their brevity and pithiness.


Phillips' Book of Great Thoughts Funny Sayings

A stupendous collection of quotes, quips, epigrams, witticisms, and humorous comments for personal enjoyment and ready reference.


Quick Quips and Quotes; 532 Things I Wish I Had Said

Quick Quips and Quotes is the Ultimate Collection of one liners.


Bartlett's Book of Anecdotes

The ultimate anthology of anecdotes, now revised with over 700 new entries.


Quotations for Public Speakers

A Historical, Literary, and Political Anthology


Liberty - The American Revolution

This compelling series traces the events leading up to the war and America's fight for freedom.


Founding Fathers

The story of how these disparate characters fomented rebellion in the colonies, formed the Continental Congress, fought the Revolutionary War, and wrote the Constitution


Libertarianism: A Primer

David Boaz, director of the Cato Institute, has written a simple introduction to Libertarianism inteneded to appeal to disgruntled Democrats and Republicans everywhere.


The Libertarian Reader

Classic and Contemporary Writings from Lao-Tzu to Milton Friedman


Thomas Paine: Collected Writings

All the classics: Common Sense / The Crisis / Rights of Man / The Age of Reason / Pamphlets, Articles, and Letters

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Samuel AdamsAnd that the said Constitution be never construed to authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the press,  or the rights of conscience; or to prevent the people of the United States, who are peaceable citizens, from keeping their own arms; or to raise standing armies, unless necessary for the defense of the United States, or of some one or more of them; or to prevent the people from petitioning, in a peaceable and orderly manner, the federal legislature, for a redress of grievances; or to subject the people to unreasonable searches and seizures of their persons, papers or possessions.
Spiro AgnewThe American people should be made aware of the trend toward monopolization of the great public information vehicles and the concentration of more and more power over public opinion in fewer and fewer hands.
Spiro AgnewEvery time I criticize what I consider to be excesses or faults in the news business, I am accused of repression, and the leaders of various media professional groups wave the First Amendment as they denounce me. That happens to be my amendment, too. It guarantees my free speech as it does their freedom of the press… There is room for all of us – and for our divergent views – under the First Amendment.
Roger AilesThe news is like a ship. If you take hands off the wheel, it pulls hard to the left.
Gary AllenWe believe the picture painters of the mass media are artfully creating landscapes for us which deliberately hide the real picture. In this book we will show you how to discover the "hidden picture" in the landscapes presented to us daily through newspapers, radio and television.
Henry AllenReporters today are far removed from America's founding values and are alarmed and contemptuous of gun owners as dangerous lower classes.
Joseph AllenThe burning of an author’s books, imprisonment for opinion’s sake, has always been the tribute that an ignorant age pays to the genius of its time.
American Library AssociationThe freedom to read is essential to our democracy. It is continuously under attack… These actions apparently arise from a view that our national tradition of free expression is no longer valid; that censorship and suppression are needed to avoid the subversion of politics and the corruption of morals.
American Library AssociationWe trust Americans to recognize propaganda and misinformation, and to make their own decisions about what they read and believe.
Fisher AmesWe are, heart and soul, friends to the freedom of the press. It is however, the prostituted companion of liberty, and somehow or other, we know not how, its efficient auxiliary. It follows the substance like its shade; but while a man walks erect, he may observe that his shadow is almost always in the dirt. It corrupts, it deceives, it inflames. It strips virtue of her honors, and lends to faction its wildfire and its poisoned arms, and in the end is its own enemy and the usurper's ally, It would be easy to enlarge on its evils. They are in England, they are here, they are everywhere. It is a precious pest, and a necessary mischief, and there would be no liberty without it.
xRecording Police and Public Officials
Hannah ArendtThe moment we no longer have a free press, anything can happen. What makes it possible for a totalitarian or any other dictatorship to rule is that people are not informed; how can you have an opinion if you are not informed? If everybody always lies to you, the consequence is not that you believe the lies, but rather that nobody believes anything any longer. This is because lies, by their very nature, have to be changed, and a lying government has constantly to rewrite its own history. On the receiving end you get not only one lie -- a lie which you could go on for the rest of your days -- but you get a great number of lies, depending on how the political wind blows. And a people that no longer can believe anything cannot make up its mind. It is deprived not only of its capacity to act but also of its capacity to think and to judge. And with such a people you can then do what you please.
Sir Francis BaconA forbidden writing is thought to be a certain spark of truth, that flies up in the face of them who seek to tread it out.
Carl Friedrich BahrdtThe freedom to share one’s insights and judgments verbally or in writing is, just like the freedom to think, a holy and inalienable right of humanity that, as a universal human right, is above all the rights of princes.
Sarah Evans BarkerTo permit every interest group, especially those who claim to be victimized by unfair expression, their own legislative exceptions to the First Amendment so long as they succeed in obtaining a majority of legislative votes in their favor demonstrates the potentially predatory nature of what defendants seek through this Ordinance.
Alan BarthCharacter assassination is at once easier and surer than physical assault; and it involves far less risk for the assassin. It leaves him free to commit the same deed over and over again, and may, indeed, win him the honors of a hero in the country of his victims.
Alan BarthThe notion that the church, the press, and the universities should serve the state is essentially a Communist notion. In a free society these institutions must be wholly free – which is to say that their function is to serve as checks upon the state.
Alan BarthThought that is silenced is always rebellious. Majorities, of course, are often mistaken. This is why the silencing of minorities is necessarily dangerous. Criticism and dissent are the indispensable antidote to major delusions.
Frederic BastiatIt must be admitted that the tendency of the human race toward liberty is largely thwarted, especially in France. This is greatly due to a fatal desire -- learned from the teachings of antiquity -- that our writers on public affairs have in common: They desire to set themselves above mankind in order to arrange, organize, and regulate it according to their fancy.
Frederic BastiatAnd what is this liberty, whose very name makes the heart beat faster and shakes the world? Is it not the union of all liberties -- liberty of conscience, of education, of association, of the press, of travel, of labor, of trade?
Harry C. BauerWhat's right with America is a willingness to discuss what's wrong with America.
Howard BealeSo, you listen to me. Listen to me! Television is not the truth. Television's a god-damned amusement park. Television is a circus, a carnival, a traveling troupe of acrobats, storytellers, dancers, singers, jugglers, sideshow freaks, lion tamers, and football players. We're in the boredom-killing business... We deal in illusions, man. None of it is true! But you people sit there day after day, night after night, all ages, colors, creeds. We're all you know. You're beginning to believe the illusions we're spinning here. You're beginning to think that the tube is reality and that your own lives are unreal. You do whatever the tube tells you. You dress like the tube, you eat like the tube, you raise your children like the tube. You even think like the tube. This is mass madness. You maniacs. In God's name, you people are the real thing. We are the illusion.
Pierre-Augustin BeaumarchaisAs long as I don't write about the government, religion, politics, and other institutions, I am free to print anything.
Pierre-Augustin BeaumarchaisProvided I do not write about the government, or about religion, or politics, or morals, or those in power, or public bodies, or the Opera, or the other state theatres, or about anybody who is active in anything, I can print whatever I want.
Saul BellowOpen discussion of many major public questions has for some time now been taboo. We can’t open our mouths without being denounced as racists, misogynists, supremacists, imperialists or fascists. As for the media, they stand ready to trash anyone so designated.
W. Lance BennettPerhaps the most obvious political effect of controlled news is the advantage it gives powerful people in getting their issues on the political agenda and defining those issues in ways likely to influence their resolution.
Sir William BerkeleyI thank God, we have not free schools nor printing; and I hope we shall not have these hundred years. For learning has brought disobedience, and heresy and sects into the world; and printing has divulged them and libels against the government. God keep us from both!
Mark BerleyPolitical correctness is really a subjective list put together by the few to rule the many -- a list of things one must think, say, or do. It affronts the right of the individual to establish his or her own beliefs.
Mark BerleyPurveyors of political correctness will, in the final analysis, not even allow others their judgments... They celebrate “difference,” but they will not allow people truly to be different -- to think differently, and to say what they think.
Carl BernsteinI would not be fooled by the old myth that reporting is about objectivity. Deciding what is news is the most subjective of acts and it is probably the most important thing that we do.
John BerryIf your library is not ‘unsafe’, it probably isn’t doing its job.
Ernest BevinA newspaper has three things to do. One is to amuse, another is to entertain and the rest is to mislead.
Ed BiersmithWhat ISN'T in the news is often more important than what IS.
Jim BishopA good writer of history is a guy who is suspicious. Suspicion marks the real difference between the man who wants to write honest history and the one who’d rather write a good story.
Justice Hugo L. BlackWhat finally emerges from the ‘clear and present danger’ cases is a working principle that the substantive evil must be extremely serious and the degree of imminence extremely high before utterances can be punished…It must be taken as a command of the broadest scope that explicit language, read in the context of a liberty-loving society, will allow.
Justice Hugo L. BlackWithout deviation, without exception, without any ifs, buts, or whereases, freedom of speech means that you shall not do something to people either for the views they express, or the words they speak or write.
Justice Hugo L. BlackThe Press was protected so that it could bare the secrets of the government and inform the people. Only a free and unrestrained press can effectively expose deception in government. And paramount among the responsibilities of a free press is the duty to prevent any part of the government from deceiving the people.
Justice Hugo L. BlackAnonymous pamphlets, leaflets, brochures and even books have played an important role in the progress of mankind. Persecuted groups and sects from time to time throughout history have been able to criticize the oppressive practices and laws either anonymously or not at all... It is plain that anonymity has sometimes been assumed for the most constructive purposes.
Justice Hugo L. BlackAn unconditional right to say what one pleases about public affairs is what I consider to be the minimum guarantee of the First Amendment.
Judge Curtis BokIt will be asked whether one would care to have one's young daughter read these books. I suppose that by the time she is old enough to wish to read them she will have learned the biologic facts of life and the words that go with them. There is something seriously wrong at home if those facts have not been met and faced and sorted by then; it is not children so much as parents that should receive our concern about this. I should prefer that my own three daughters meet the facts of life and the literature of the world in my library than behind a neighbor's barn, for I can face the adversary there directly. If the young ladies are appalled by what they read, they can close the book at the bottom of page one; if they read further, they will learn what is in the world and in its people, and no parents who have been discerning with their children need fear the outcome. Nor can they hold it back, for life is a series of little battles and minor issues, and the burden of choice is on us all, every day, young and old
William E. BorahNo more fatuous chimera has ever infested the brain than that you can control opinions by law or direct belief by statute, and no more pernicious sentiment ever tormented the heart than the barbarous desire to do so. The field of inquiry should remain open, and the right of debate must be regarded as a sacred right.
William E. BorahWithout an unfettered press, without liberty of speech, all of the outward forms and structures of free institutions are a sham, a pretense -- the sheerest mockery. If the press is not free; if speech is not independent and untrammeled; if the mind is shackled or made impotent through fear, it makes no difference under what form of government you live, you are a subject and not a citizen.
Paul BourgetIdeas are to literature what light is to painting.
Justice Louis D. BrandeisThe constitutional right of free speech has been declared to be the same in peace and war. In peace, too, men may differ widely as to what loyalty to our country demands, and an intolerant majority, swayed by passion or by fear, may be prone in the future, as it has been in the past, to stamp as disloyal opinions with which it disagrees.
Justice William J. BrennanAll ideas having even the slightest redeeming social importance – unorthodox ideas, controversial ideas, even ideas hateful to the prevailing climate of opinion, have the full protection of the guarantees [of the First Amendment].
Justice William J. BrennanIf there is a bedrock principle of the First Amendment, it is that the government may not prohibit the expression of an idea simply because society finds the idea itself offensive or disagreeable.
Mika BrezinskiAnd it could be that while unemployment and the economy worsens, [President Trump] could have undermined the messaging so much that he can actually control what people think. And that, that is our job.
Harry BrowneThe press is hostile to the idea of liberty.  Most people in the press are for big government.  Most people think that the solution to anything, whether it's health care problems, education, whatever it is -- it's got to be more government.
William Cullen BryantThe right to discuss freely and openly, by speech, by the pen, by the press, all political questions, and to examine the animadvert upon all political institutions is a right so clear and certain, so interwoven with our other liberties, so necessary, in fact, to their existence, that without it we must fall into despotism and anarchy.
James BuchananI like the noise of democracy.
BuddhaWords have the power to both destroy and heal. When words are both true and kind, they can change our world.
Edmund BurkeThere are three estates in Parliament but in the Reporters' Gallery yonder there sits a Fourth Estate more important far than they all. It is not a figure of speech or witty saying, it is a literal fact, very momentous to us in these times.
George W. BushLet us never tolerate outrageous conspiracy theories concerning the attacks of September the 11th; malicious lies that attempt to shift the blame away from the terrorists, themselves, away from the guilty.
Samuel ButlerThe most important service rendered by the press and the magazines is that of educating people to approach printed matter with distrust.
Oscar CallawayIn March, 1915, the J.P. Morgan interests, the steel, shipbuilding, and powder interest, and their subsidiary organizations, got together 12 men high up in the newspaper world and employed them to select the most influential newspapers in the United States and sufficient number of them to control generally the policy of the daily press. … They found it was only necessary to purchase the control of 25 of the greatest papers. An agreement was reached; the policy of the papers was bought, to be paid for by the month; an editor was furnished for each paper to properly supervise and edit information regarding the questions of preparedness, militarism, financial policies, and other things of national and international nature considered vital to the interests of the purchasers.
Albert CamusFreedom of the press is perhaps the freedom that has suffered the most from the gradual degradation of the idea of liberty.
Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications CommissionThe regulation prohibiting abusive comment that tends or is likely to expose a person or a group to hatred or contempt is necessary not only to avoid harm to the persons targeted, but also to ensure that Canadian values are respected for all Canadians. The broadcast of remarks that could expose individuals or groups to hatred or contempt can attract individuals to its cause and in the process create serious discord between various groups in Canadian society to the detriment of all of Canadian society. This harm undermines the cultural, political and social fabric of Canada which the Canadian broadcasting system is expressly meant to safeguard, enrich and strengthen. It also undermines the multicultural and multiracial nature of Canadian society, which the programming of the Canadian broadcasting system should reflect. Protection from the harms of abusive comment is for the benefit of all Canadians.
Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications CommissionAfter listening to the recordings containing the remarks made by on-air personalities on 10 and 27 September and 8 October and reading the stenographic notes, the Commission identified several remarks about the complainant related to her physical attributes, and sexual attributes in particular. There are multiple references to the size of her breasts; [translation] 'her incredible set of boobs' ... The Commission considers that the remarks made about Ms. Chiasson were abusive and tended to expose her, and women in general, to contempt on the basis of sex, in contravention of section 3(b) of the Regulations. Further, the remarks do not meet the objectives of the broadcasting policy for Canada set out in the Act. The remarks did not meet the objective of high standard of programming required by section 3(1)(g) of the Act.
Thomas CarlyleEvery human being has a right to hear what other wise human beings have spoken to him. It is one of the Rights of Men; a very cruel injustice if you deny it to a man.
David CarrI was taught when I was a young reporter that it's news when we say it is. I think that's still true -- it's news when 'we' say it is. It's just who 'we' is has changed. Members of the public, people with modems, people with cell phones are now producers, editors. They can push and push and push on a story until it ends up being acknowledged by everyone.
Jonathan D. CasperThe freedom to express varying and often opposing ideas is essential to a variety of conceptions of democracy. If democracy is viewed as essentially a process – a way in which collective decisions for a society are made – free expression is crucial to the openness of the process and to such characteristics as elections, representation of interests, and the like.
CatoWhoever would overthrow the Liberty of a Nation, must begin by subduing Freedom of Speech... Without Freedom of Thought, there can be no such Thing as Wisdom; and no such Thing as publick Liberty, without Freedom of Speech...
Zechariah Chafee, Jr.Freedom from something is not enough. It should also be freedom for something. Freedom is not safety but opportunity. Freedom ought to be a means to enable the press to serve the proper functions of communication in a free society.
Edmund B. ChaffeeThe majority of us are for free speech when it deals with subjects concerning which we have no intense feelings.
Gilbert Keith ChestertonJournalism only tells us what men are doing; it is fiction that tells us what they are thinking, and still more what they are feeling. If a new scientific theory finds the soul of a man in his dreams, at least it ought not to leave out his day-dreams. And all fiction is only a diary of day-dreams instead of days. And this profound preoccupation of men's minds with certain things always eventually has an effect even on the external expression of the age.
Gilbert Keith ChestertonBut those dealing in the actual manufacture of mind are dealing in a very explosive material. The material is not merely the clay of which man is master, but the truths or semblances of truth which have a certain mastery over man. The material is explosive because it must be taken seriously. The men writing books really are throwing bombs.
Gilbert Keith ChestertonIt is the beginning of all true criticism of our time to realize that it has really nothing to say, at the very moment when it has invented so tremendous a trumpet for saying it.
Gilbert Keith ChestertonJournalism is popular, but it is popular mainly as fiction.
Life is one world, and life seen in the newspapers is another.
Gilbert Keith ChestertonNothing is so remote from us as the thing which is not old enough to be history and not new enough to be news.
Gilbert Keith ChestertonForms of expression always appear turgid to those who do not share the emotions they represent.
Sir Winston ChurchillYou see these dictators on their pedestals, surrounded by the bayonets of their soldiers and the truncheons of their police. Yet in their hearts there is unspoken – unspeakable! – fear. They are afraid of words and thoughts! Words spoken abroad, thoughts stirring at home, all the more powerful because they are forbidden. These terrify them. A little mouse – a little tiny mouse! – of thought appears in the room, and even the mightiest potentates are thrown into panic.
Sir Winston ChurchillEverybody is in favor of free speech. Hardly a day passes without its being extolled, but some people’s idea of it is that they are free to say what they like, but if anyone says anything back, that is an outrage.
Quintus Tullius CiceroAvoid any specific discussion of public policy at public meetings.
Justice Tom C. ClarkFrom the standpoint of freedom of speech and the press, it is enough to point out that the state has no legitimate interest in protecting any or all religions from views distasteful to them... It is not the business of government to suppress real or imagined attacks upon a particular religious doctrine.
Bill ClintonYou know the one thing that's wrong with this country? Everyone gets a chance to have their fair say.
Samuel Taylor ColeridgeA people are free in proportion as they form their own opinions.
Henry Steele CommagerThe justification and the purpose of freedom of speech is not to indulge those who want to speak their minds. It is to prevent error and discover truth. There may be other ways of detecting error and discovering truth than that of free discussion, but so far we have not found them.
Joseph ConradOf all the inanimate objects, of all men’s creations, books are the nearest to us, for they contain our very thoughts, our ambitions, our indignations, our illusions, our fidelity to truth, and our persistent leaning toward error.
Joseph CostelloHe [a U.S. Senator] knows he's got to buy time on my radio station, so he's going to lend me an ear. We're keeping them alive back home and that's why the newspaper and radio and TV people are more effective lobbyists.
Walter CronkiteIt is a seldom proffered argument as to the advantages of a free press that it has a major function in keeping the government itself informed as to what the government is doing.
Clarence S. DarrowThere is no such crime as a crime of thought; there are only crimes of action.
Alexis de TocquevilleIn order to enjoy the inestimable benefits that the liberty of the press ensures, it is necessary to submit to the inevitable evils it creates…
Alexis de TocquevilleI am far from denying that newspapers in democratic countries lead citizens to do very ill-considered things in common; but without newspapers there would be hardly any common action at all. So they mend many more ills than they cause.
Alexis de TocquevilleThey certainly are not great writers, but they speak their country's language and they make themselves heard.
Alexis de TocquevilleThere is hardly a congressman prepared to go home until he has at least one speech printed and sent to his constituents, and he won't let anybody interrupt his harangue until he has made all his useful suggestions about the 24 states of the Union, and especially the district he represents.
Milovan Djilas[Tyranny is] to compel men not to think as they do, to compel men to express thoughts that are not their own.
John DobbinsThe notion of editorial independence from ownership only dates back to the 1930s. Prior to that time the media was openly biased and that includes the Press that the founding fathers dealt with. Some of the founders like Hamilton and Franklin had actually ran media outlets that were very biased. You used to have things like Newspapers that openly proclaimed they were a Democratic or Republican or Whig or a Federalist newspaper right on the banner. The concept of an independent and allegedly neutral press was and still is mainly pushed by people from the left who do NOT want anything remotely neutral, but who instead want to make sure those "evil" business interests don't have a means of getting their side aired without it being filtered by their idea of what a neutral press consists of.
Justice William O. DouglasIt is our attitude toward free thought and free expression that will determine our fate. There must be no limit on the range of temperate discussion, no limits on thought. No subject must be taboo. No censor must preside at our assemblies.
Justice William O. DouglasThe dominant purpose of the First Amendment was to prohibit the widespread practice of government suppression of embarrassing information.
Frederick DouglassLiberty is meaningless where the right to utter one’s thoughts and opinions has ceased to exist. That, of all rights, is the dread of tyrants. It is the right which they first of all strike down.
Robert P. DoyleWhen books are challenged, restricted, removed, or banned, an atmosphere of suppression exists…. The fear of the consequences of censorship is as damaging as, or perhaps more damaging than, the actual censorship attempt. After all, when a published work is banned, it can usually be found elsewhere. Unexpressed ideas, unpublished works, unpurchased books are lost forever.
The EconomistThis article will probably be photocopied and passed around the offices of exactly the same organizations that queue up to denounce copyright theft.
Albert EinsteinThe ruling class has the schools and press under its thumb. This enables it to sway the emotions of the masses.
Thomas I. EmersonThe Right of all members of society to form their own beliefs and communicate them freely to others must be regarded as an essential principle of a democratically organized society.
Thomas I. EmersonSuppression of expression conceals the real problems confronting a society and diverts public attention from the critical issues. It is likely to result in neglect of the grievances which are the actual basis of the unrest, and this prevent their correction.
Thomas I. EmersonEvery man – in the development of his own personality – has the right to form his own beliefs and opinions. Hence, suppression of belief, opinion and expression is an affront to the dignity of man, a negation of man’s essential nature.
Johann Gottlieb FichteYou thus have no rights at all over our freedom of thought, you princes; no jurisdiction over that which is true or false; no right to determine the objects of our inquiry or to set limits to it; no right to hinder us from communicating the results, whether they be true or false, to whomever or however we wish.
Larry FlyntIf the human body's obscene, complain to the manufacturer, not me.
Jay FoxEvery attempt to gag the free expression of thought is an unsocial act against society. That is why judges and juries who try to enforce such laws make themselves ridiculous.
Benjamin FranklinIf by the liberty of the press were understood merely the liberty
of discussing the propriety of public measures and political
opinions, let us have as much of it as you please: But if it means
the liberty of affronting, calumniating and defaming one another,
I, for my part, own myself willing to part with my share of it,
whenever our legislators shall please so to alter the law and
shall chearfully consent to exchange my liberty of abusing others
for the privilege of not being abused myself.
Benjamin FranklinPrinters are educated in the Belief, that when Men differ in Opinion, both sides ought equally to have the Advantage of being heard by the Public; and that when Truth and Error have fair Play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter: Hence [printers] cheerfully serve all contending Writers that pay them well, without regarding on which side they are of the Question in Dispute.
Frederick the GreatI begin by taking.
I shall find scholars later
to demonstrate my perfect right.
Fred W. FriendlyNo mighty king, no ambitious emperor, no pope, or prophet ever dreamt of such an awesome pulpit, so potent a magic wand [television].
John Kenneth GalbraithUnder the privilege of the First Amendment many, many ridiculous things are said.
Anne Louise Germaine de StaelSearch for the truth is the noblest occupation of man; its publication is a duty.
Jo GodwinA truly great library contains something in it to offend everyone.
Mike GodwinThe First Amendment was designed to protect offensive speech, because nobody ever tries to ban the other kind.
Johann Wolfgang von GoetheThe main thing is to have a soul that loves the truth and harbours it where he finds it. And another thing: truth requires constant repetition, because error is being preached about us all the time, and not only by isolated individuals but by the masses. In the newspapers and encyclopedias, in schools and universities, everywhere error rides high and basks in the consciousness of having the majority on its side.
Richard GoldsteinTo subject an artist’s work to a litmus test of political probity – and to punish institutions that will not carry out the mandate of the state – is to traffic in the thought control that gave us Stalinism and Nazism…
Katharine GrahamTruth and news are not the same thing.
A. Whitney GriswoldBooks won’t stay banned. They won’t burn. Ideas won’t go to jail. In the long run of history, the censor and the inquisitor have always lost. The only sure weapon against bad ideas is better ideas. The source of better ideas is wisdom.
Frank HagueYou never hear about constitutional rights, free speech, and the free press. Every time I hear those words I say to myself, “That man is a Red, that man is a communist.” You never hear a real American talk like that.
Alexander HamiltonIt is the advertiser who provides the paper for the subscriber. It is not to be disputed, that the publisher of a newspaper in this country, without a very exhaustive advertising support, would receive less reward for his labor than the humblest mechanic.
Amira HassOur job [journalism] is to monitor the centres of power.
Vaclav HavelIf a single writer in a country is in chains, then there are some links of that chain that binds us all.
Hearst newspapers nationwideMarihuana influences Negroes to look at white people in the eye,
step on white men's shadows and look at a white woman twice.
William Randolph HearstWe hold that no person or set of persons can properly establish a standard of expression for others.
Chris HedgesWe now live in a nation where doctors destroy health, lawyers destroy justice, universities destroy knowledge, governments destroy freedom, the press destroys information, religion destroys morals, and our banks destroy the economy.
Robert A. HeinleinLimiting the freedom of news ‘just a little bit’ is in the same category within the classic example ‘a little bit pregnant.’
Claude-Adrien HelvetiusTo limit the press is to insult a nation; to prohibit reading of certain books is to declare the inhabitants to be either fools or knaves.
Adolf HitlerIn relation to the political decontamination of our public life, the government will embark upon a systematic campaign to restore the nation’s moral and material health. The whole educational system, theater, film, literature, the press and broadcasting – all these will be used as a means to this end.
William E. HockingWhere men cannot freely convey their thoughts to one another, no other liberty is secure.
Thomas HolcroftTo prevent inquiry is among the worst of evils.
Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.I think that we should be eternally vigilant against attempts to check the expression of opinions that we loathe and believe to be fraught with death, unless they so imminently threaten immediate interference with the lawful and pressing purposes of the law that an immediate check is required to save the country... Only the emergency that makes it immediately dangerous to leave the correction of evil counsels to time warrants making any exception to the sweeping command, 'Congress shall make no law... abridging the freedom of speech.'
Sidney HookTo silence criticism is to silence freedom.
Houston ChronicleWe do nothing controversial.
We're not in the investigative business.
Our only concern is giving editorial support for our ad projects.
Edgar Watson HoweThe liberty of the press is most generally approved when it takes liberties with the other fellow, and leaves us alone.
Edgar Watson HoweThe freedom of the press is one of the great bulwarks of liberty, and can never be restrained but by despotic government.
Edgar Watson HoweI express many absurd opinions. But I am not the first man to do it; American freedom consists largely in talking nonsense.
Justice Charles Evans HughesThe liberty of the press is not confined to newspapers and periodicals. It necessarily embraces pamphlets and leaflets. These indeed have been historic weapons in the defense of liberty, as the pamphlets of Thomas Paine and others in our history abundantly attest.
Hubert H. HumphreyThe right to be heard does not automatically include the right to be taken seriously.
Aldous HuxleyA really efficient totalitarian state would be one in which the all-powerful executive of political bosses and their army of managers control a population of slaves who do not have to be coerced, because they love their servitude. To make them love it is the task assigned, in present-day totalitarian states, to ministries of propaganda, newspaper editors and schoolteachers.... The greatest triumphs of propaganda have been accomplished, not by doing something, but by refraining from doing. Great is truth, but still greater, from a practical point of view, is silence about truth.
Aldous HuxleyOnly a large-scale popular movement toward decentralization and self-help can arrest the present tendency toward statism... A really efficient totalitarian state would be one in which the all-powerful executive of political bosses and their army of managers control a population of slaves who do not have to be coerced, because they love their servitude. To make them love it is the task assigned, in present-day totalitarian states, to ministries of propaganda, newspaper editors and schoolteachers.
Justice Robert H. JacksonThe price of freedom of religion, or of speech, or of the press, is that we must put up with, and even pay for, a good deal of rubbish.
Thomas JeffersonI have often thought that nothing would do more extensive good at small expense than the establishment of a small circulating library in every county, to consist of a few well-chosen books, to be lent to the people of the country under regulations as would secure their safe return in due time.
Thomas JeffersonThe man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers.
Thomas JeffersonI will add, that the man who never looks into a newspaper is better informed than he who reads them; inasmuch as he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. He who reads nothing will still learn the great facts, and the details are all false.
Thomas JeffersonI agree with you that it is the duty of every good citizen to use all the opportunities, which occur to him, for preserving documents relating to the history of our country.
Thomas JeffersonI cannot live without books.
Thomas JeffersonI will now tell you what I do not like. First, the omission of a bill of rights, providing clearly, and without the aid of sophism, for freedom of religion, freedom of the press, protection against standing armies, restriction of monopolies, the eternal and unremitting force of the habeas corpus laws, and trials by jury in all matters of fact triable by the laws of the land, and not by the laws of nations. ... Let me add that a bill of rights is what the people are entitled to against every government on earth, general or particular; and what no just government should refuse, or rest on inference.
Thomas JeffersonNothing can now be believed which is seen in a newspaper. Truth itself becomes suspicious by being put into that polluted vehicle.
Thomas JeffersonThe constitutions of most of our states (and of the United States) assert that all power is inherent in the people; that they may exercise it by themselves; that it is their right and duty to be at all times armed; that they are entitled to freedom of person, freedom of religion, freedom of property and freedom of the press.
Thomas JeffersonWith respect to the new Government, nine or ten States will probably have accepted by the end of this month. The others may oppose it. Virginia, I think, will be of this number. Besides other objections of less moment, she [Virginia] will insist on annexing a bill of rights to the new Constitution, i.e. a bill wherein the Government shall declare that, 1. Religion shall be free; 2. Printing presses free; 3. Trials by jury preserved in all cases; 4. No monopolies in commerce; 5. No standing army. Upon receiving this bill of rights, she will probably depart from her other objections; and this bill is so much to the interest of all the States, that I presume they will offer it, and thus our Constitution be amended, and our Union closed by the end of the present year.
Thomas Jefferson...truth is great and will prevail if left to herself; that she is the proper and sufficient antagonist to error, and has nothing to fear from the conflict unless by human interposition disarmed of her natural weapons, free argument and debate, errors ceasing to be dangerous when it is permitted freely to contradict them.
Thomas JeffersonTo your request of my opinion of the manner in which a newspaper should be conducted, so as to be most useful, I should answer, "by restraining it to true facts & sound principles only." Yet I fear such a paper would find few subscribers. It is a melancholy truth, that a suppression of the press could not more compleatly deprive the nation of it's benefits, than is done by it's abandoned prostitution to falsehood.
Thomas JeffersonNothing can now be believed which is seen in a newspaper. Truth itself becomes suspicious by being put into that polluted vehicle. The real extent of this state of misinformation is known only to those who are in situations to confront facts within their knowledge with the lies of the day. I really look with commiseration over the great body of my fellow citizens, who, reading newspapers, live & die in the belief, that they have known something of what has been passing in the world in their time; whereas the accounts they have read in newspapers are just as true a history of any other period of the world as of the present, except that the real names of the day are affixed to their fables.
Thomas JeffersonOur liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost.
Zaid Jilani[I]t’s an unfortunate reality in many of the journalistic environments we exist today. We can’t criticize certain people, or dig into certain stories, or follow our noses on the trail of corruption if it means upsetting our publishers, sponsors, and donors.
Zaid JilaniThinkProgress national security bloggers were called into a meeting with CAP senior staff and basically berated for opposing the Afghan war and creating daylight between us and Obama. It confused me a lot because on the one hand, CAP was advertising to donors that it opposed the Afghan war -- in our “Progressive Party,” the annual fundraising party we do with both Big Name Progressive Donors and corporate lobbyists (in the same room!) we even advertised that we wanted to end the war in Afghanistan.
But what that meeting with CAP senior staff showed me was that they viewed being closer to Obama and aligning with his policy as more important than demonstrating progressive principle, if that meant breaking with Obama.
Paul JohnsonEvery good historian is almost by definition a revisionist. He looks at the accepted view of a particular historic episode or period with a very critical eye.
JuniusThe Liberty of the press is the Palladium of all the civil, political and religious rights of an Englishman.
Franz KafkaI think we ought to read only the kind of books that wound and stab us.
David KahnThe multiple human needs and desires that demand privacy among two or more people in the midst of social life must inevitably lead to cryptology wherever men thrive and wherever they write.
George F. KennanPopular revolt against a ruthless, experienced modern dictatorship, which enjoys a monopoly over weapons and communications, ... is simply not a possibility in the modern age.
Omar KhayyamThe moving finger writes; and having writ moves on. Nor all your piety nor wit shall lure it back to cancel half a line, nor all your tears wash out a word of it.
Jamaica KincaidExpress everything you like. No word can hurt you. None. No idea can hurt you. Not being able to express an idea or word will hurt you more. Like a bullet.
Erwin KnollEverything you read in the press is absolutely true.
Except the rare event of which you have personal knowledge.
Ernie KovacsThere's a standard formula for success in the entertainment medium, and that is: "Beat it to death if it succeeds."
Paul KurtzFree inquiry entails recognition of civil liberties as integral to its pursuit, that is, a free press, freedom of communication, the right to organize opposition parties and to join voluntary associations, and freedom to cultivate and publish the fruits of scientific, philosophical, artistic, literary, moral and religious freedom.
Robert E. Lee[W]e made a great mistake in the beginning of our struggle, and I fear, in spite of all we can do, it will prove to be a fatal mistake. We appointed all our worst generals to command our armies, and all our best generals to edit the newspapers.
Antonie van Leeuwenhoek[M]y work, which I've done for a long time,
was not pursued in order to gain the praise I now enjoy,
but chiefly from a craving after knowledge,
which I notice resides in me more than in most other men.
And therewithal, whenever I found out anything remarkable,
I have thought it my duty to put down my discovery on paper,
so that all ingenious people might be informed thereof.
Vladimir Ilyich LeninThe bourgeoisie is many times stronger than we. To give it the weapon of freedom of the press is to ease the enemy’s cause, to help the class enemy. We do not desire to end in suicide, so we will not do this.
Pope Leo XIIIThe liberty of thinking and publishing whatsoever each one likes, without any hindrances, is not in itself an advantage over which society can wisely rejoice. On the contrary, it is the fountainhead and origin of many evils.
Max LernerThe Seven Deadly Sins of the Press:

- Concentrated Power of the Big Press.
- Passing of competition and the coming of monopoly.
- Governmental control of the press.
- Timidity, especially in the face of group and corporate pressures.
- Big Business mentality.
- Clannishness among the newspaper publishers that has prevented them from criticizing each other.
- Social blindness.
Doris LessingPolitical correctness is the natural continuum from the party line. What we are seeing once again is a self-appointed group of vigilantes imposing their views on others.
C. S. LewisThe question about progress has become the question whether we can discover any way of submitting to the worldwide paternalism of a technocracy without losing all personal privacy and independence. Is there any possibility of getting the super Welfare State's honey and avoiding the sting?
Joseph LewisThe burning of an author’s books, imprisonment for opinion’s sake, has always been the tribute that an ignorant age pays to the genius of its time.
Sinclair LewisEvery compulsion is put upon writers to become safe, polite, obedient, and sterile. In protest, I declined election to the National Institute of Arts and Letters some years ago, and now I must decline the Pulitzer Prize.
A. J. LieblingPeople everywhere confuse, What they read in newspapers with news.
A. J. LieblingFreedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one.
Judge Kermit Victor LipezThe First Amendment issue here is, as the parties frame it, fairly narrow: is there a constitutionally protected right to videotape police carrying out their duties in public? Basic First Amendment principles, along with case law from this and other circuits, answer that question unambiguously in the affirmative.
Walter LippmannWhile the right to talk may be the beginning of freedom, the necessity of listening is what makes that right important.
Walter LippmannA free press is not a privilege but an organic necessity in a great society.
Rosa LuxemburgWithout general elections, without unrestrained freedom of press and assembly, without a free struggle of opinion, life dies out in every public institution…in which only the bureaucracy remains as the active element.
Timothy LynchCivil libertarians must often remind government officials (and others) that if the First Amendment only protected the expression of popular and agreeable ideas, it would be totally unnecessary since those ideas would never be threatened by our democratic form of government. Our society's commitment to free speech is tested when we encounter the expression of ideas that are disagreeable -- or even offensive.
General Douglas MacArthurOne cannot wage war under present conditions without the support of public opinion, which is tremendously molded by the press and other forms of propaganda.
James MadisonMay it not be asked of every intelligent friend to the liberties of his country, whether the power exercised in such an act as this ought not to produce great and universal alarm? Whether a rigid execution of such an act, in time past, would not have repressed that information and communication among the people which is indispensable to the just exercise of their electoral rights? And whether such an act, if made perpetual, and enforced with rigor, would not, in time to come, either destroy our free system of government, or prepare a convulsion that might prove equally fatal to it?
James MadisonThe right of freely examining public characters and measures, and of free communication among the people thereon … has ever been justly deemed the only effectual guardian of every other right.
James MadisonA government resting on the minority is an aristocracy, not a republic, and could not be safe with a numerical and physical force against it, without a standing army, an enslaved press and a disarmed populace.
James MadisonThe people shall not be deprived or abridged of their right to speak, or to publish their sentiments; and the freedom of the press, as one of the great bulwarks of liberty, shall be inviolable.
Thomas MannIt is impossible for ideas to compete in the marketplace if no forum for their presentation is provided or available.
Justice Thurgood MarshallIf the First Amendment means anything,
it means that a state has no business telling a man, sitting alone in his own house,
what books he may read or what films he may watch.
Our whole constitutional heritage rebels at the thought
of giving government the power to control men's minds.
George MasonThe freedom of the press is one of the great bulwarks of liberty, and can never be restrained but by despotic governments.
Massachusetts Declaration of RightsThe liberty of the press is essential to the security of freedom in a state; it ought not, therefore, to be restricted in this commonwealth.
Robert McChesneyThe notion that journalism can regularly produce a product that violates the fundamental interests of media owners and advertisers … is absurd.
G. D. McDanielIf, as it appears, the experiment that was called 'America' is at an end ... then perhaps a fitting epitaph would be ... 'here lies America the greatest nation that might have been had it not been for the Edomite bankers who first stole their money, used their stolen money to buy their politicians and press and lastly deprived them of their constitutional freedom by the most evil device yet created --- The Federal Reserve Banking System.'
Gail W. McGeeI’m going to introduce a resolution to have the postmaster general stop reading dirty books and deliver the mail.
William McGowanIn May 1998, [Los Angeles Times publisher Mark] Willis told the Wall Street Journal that he wanted to make the Times more appealing to women and minorities by producing stories that were “more emotional, more personal and less analytic.”
Herman MelvilleIf some books are deemed most baneful and their sale forbid, how, then, with deadlier facts, not dreams of doting men? Those whom books will hurt will not be proof against events. Events, not books should be forbid.
H. L. MenckenWhat chiefly distinguishes the daily press is its incurable fear of ideas, its constant effort to evade the discussion of fundamentals
by translating all issues into a few elemental fears, its incessant reduction of all reflection to mere emotion.
Jules MicheletThe historian’s first duties are sacrilege and the mocking of false gods. They are his indispensable instruments for establishing the truth.
Paul MillerAnd let us remind readers regularly, in editorials, in our promotional advertising, in speeches to civic groups and others, that advertising helps people to live better and saves them money. This fact needs constant selling.
John MiltonFor books are not absolutely dead things, but do contain a potency of life in them; they do preserve as in a vial the purest efficacy and extraction of that living intellect that bred them.
Charles Langbridge MorganA book is the only place in which you can examine a fragile thought without breaking it, or explore an explosive idea without fear it will go off in your face... one of the few havens remaining where a man's mind can get both provocation and privacy.
Jim MorrisonWhoever controls the media, controls the mind.
Toni MorrisonAccess to knowledge is the superb, the supreme act of truly great civilizations. Of all the institutions that purport to do this, free libraries stand virtually alone in accomplishing this.
Gaetano MoscaWe owe to democracy, at least in part, the regime of discussion with which we live; we owe it to the principal modern liberties: those of thought, press and association. And the regime of free discussion is the only one which permits the ruling class to renew itself… which eliminates that class quasi-automatically when it no longer corresponds to the interests of the country.
Bill MoyersIf you think there is freedom of the press in the United States, I tell you there is no freedom of the press... They come out with the cheap shot. The press should be ashamed of itself. They should come to both sides of the issue and hear both sides and let the American people make up their minds.
Daniel Patrick MoynihanWhen a person goes to a country and finds their newspapers filled with nothing but good news, he can bet there are good men in jail.
Commission On Freedom Of The PressThe modern press itself is a new phenomenon. Its typical unit is the great agency of mass communication. These agencies can facilitate thought and discussion. They can stifle it…. They can play up or down the news and its significance, foster and feed emotions, create complacent fictions and blind spots, misuse the great words and uphold empty slogans.
Commission On Freedom Of The PressProtection against government is now not enough to guarantee that a man who has something to say shall have a chance to say it. The owners and managers of the press determine which person, which facts, which version of the facts, and which ideas shall reach the public.
J. Robert OppenheimerAs long as men are free to ask what they must, free to say what they think, free to think what they will, freedom can never be lost and science can never regress.
George OrwellIf liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.
George OrwellIf large numbers of people believe in freedom of speech, there will be freedom of speech even if the law forbids it. But if public opinion is sluggish, inconvenient minorities will be persecuted, even if laws exist to protect them.
George OrwellLoss of liberty is inimical to all forms of literature... The fact is that certain themes cannot be celebrated in words, and tyranny is one of them. No one ever wrote a good book in praise of the Inquisition.
Katherine PattersonAll of us can think of a book... that we hope none of our children or any other children have taken off the shelf. But if I have the right to remove that book from the shelf -- that book I abhor -- then you also have exactly the same right and so does everyone else. And then we have no books left on the shelf for any of us.
Charles PinckneyThe legislature of the United States shall pass no law on the subject of religion nor touching or abridging the liberty of the press.
Pope Pius XHenceforth it will be the task of this Sacred Congregation not only to examine carefully the books denounced to it, to prohibit them if necessary, and to grant permission for reading forbidden books, but also to supervise, ex officio, books that are being published, and to pass sentence on such as deserve to be prohibited.
Judge Richard Allen PosnerPolice may have no right to privacy in carrying out official duties in public. But the civilians they interact with do.
Judge Richard Allen PosnerIf you permit the audio recordings, they'll be a lot more eavesdropping. ... There's going to be a lot of this snooping around by reporters and bloggers. ... Yes, it's a bad thing. There is such a thing as privacy.
Joseph PulitzerOur republic and its press will rise and fall together.
Ernest RenanTo be able to think freely, a man must be certain that no consequence will follow whatever he writes.
David RiesmanThe media, far from being a conspiracy to dull the political sense of the people, could be viewed as a conspiracy to disguise the extent of political indifference.
Franklin D. RooseveltWe all know that books will burn -- yet we have the greater knowledge that books cannot be killed by fire. People die, but books never die. No man and no force can abolish memory...
Franklin D. RooseveltThe only sure bulwark of continuing liberty is a government strong enough to protect the interests of the people, and a people strong enough and well enough informed to maintain its sovereign control over the government.
Bertrand RussellIt is clear that thought is not free if the profession of certain opinions make it impossible to earn a living.
Willy RussellI pray that no child of mine would ever descend into such a place as a library. They are indeed most dangerous places and unfortunate is she or he who is lured into such a hellhole of enjoyment, stimulus, facts, passion and fun.
Judge Wiley B. RutledgeIt was not by accident or coincidence that the rights to freedom in speech and press were coupled in a single guaranty with the rights of the people peaceably to assemble and to petition for redress of grievances. All these, though not identical, are inseparable. They are cognate rights, and therefore are united in the first Article’s assurance.
Andrei SakharovProfound insights arise only in debate, with a possibility of counterargument, only when there is a possibility of expressing not only correct ideas but also dubious ideas.
Richard SalantIf newsmen do not tell the truth as they see it because it might make waves,
or if their bosses decide something should or should not be broadcast
because of Washington or Main Street consequences,
we have dishonored ourselves and we have lost the First Amendment by default.
Bernie SandersOne of our best-kept secrets is the degree to which a handful of huge corporations control the flow of information in the United States. Whether it is television, radio, newspapers, magazines, books or the Internet, a few giant conglomerates are determining what we see, hear and read. And the situation is likely to become much worse as a result of radical deregulation efforts by the Bush administration and some horrendous court decisions. Television is the means by which most Americans get their “news.” Without exception, every major network is owned by a huge conglomerate that has enormous conflicts of interest. … The bottom line is that fewer and fewer huge conglomerates are controlling virtually everything that the ordinary American sees, hears and reads. This is an issue that Congress can no longer ignore.
Greg Sargent... political reporters love to write about politics as if they are merely disinterested observers of political events and the public's perceptions of them, when in fact they play a very key role in shaping those events and perceptions.
Greg Sargent... political reporters love to write about politics as if they are merely disinterested observers of political events and the public's perceptions of them, when in fact they play a very key role in shaping those events and perceptions.
C. P. ScottThe newspaper is of necessity something of a monopoly, and its first duty is to shun the temptations of monopoly. Its primary office is the gathering of news. At the peril of its soul it must see that the supply is not tainted. Neither in what it gives, nor in what it does not give, nor in the mode of presentation, must the unclouded face of truth suffer wrong. Comment is free but facts are sacred.
Eric SevareidThe bigger the information media, the less courage and information they allow. Bigness means weakness.
Richard Brinsley SheridanGive them a corrupt House of Lords, give them a venal House of Commons, give they a tyrannical Prince, give them a truckling court, and let me have but an unfettered press. I will defy them to encroach a hair’s breadth upon the liberties of England.
William Tecumseh ShermanI hate newspapermen. They come into camp and pick up their camp rumors and print them as facts. I regard them as spies, which, in truth, they are. If I killed them all there would be news from Hell before breakfast.
John SilberThe reduction of political discourse to sound bites is one of the worst things that’s happened in American political life.
William J. SmallAs Hitler showed us, a press suppressed does not make a recovery. As Lenin indicated, a press controlled does not revert to a critic’s role. As history reminds us, free speech surrendered is rarely recovered.
Craig R. SmithThe idea that political speech had to be protected at any cost dates to Colonial days, during which the press and the public were not allowed to express themselves freely on matters of public concern. The King and his government often used restrictive measures, such as licensing of printing presses and the doctrine of seditious libel, to silence unfavorable public comment.
Alexander SolzhenitsynWoe to that nation whose literature is cut short by the intrusion of force. This is not merely interference with freedom of the press but the sealing up of a nation’s heart, the excision of its memory.
Alexander SolzhenitsynHastiness and superficiality
are the psychic diseases
of the twentieth century,
and more than anywhere else
this disease is reflected in the press.
Thomas SowellFreedom has cost too much blood and agony to be relinquished at the cheap price of rhetoric.
Gerry SpenceThe Internet…has become the voice of the people in the first genuine experiment in democracy yet conducted in America. It stands ready to serve every facet, every faction.
Baruch SpinozaLaws which prescribe what everyone must believe, and forbid men to say or write anything against this or that opinion, are often passed to gratify, or rather to appease the anger of those who cannot abide independent minds.
Josef StalinThe press must grow day in and day out — it is our Party's sharpest and most powerful weapon.
Justice John Paul StevensJust as the right to speak and the right to refrain from speaking are complementary components of a broader concept of individual freedom, so also the individual’s freedom to choose his own creed is the counterpart of his right to refrain from accepting the creed established by the majority.
Adlai E. Stevenson IINewspaper editors separate the wheat from the chaff -- and print the chaff.
Justice Potter StewartThe right to enjoy property without unlawful deprivation, no less that the right to speak out or the right to travel is, in truth, a “personal” right.
Justice Potter Stewart[A] function of free speech under our system of government is to invite dispute. It may indeed best serve it’s high purpose when it indices a condition of unrest, creates dissatisfaction with things as they are, or even stirs people to anger. Speech is often provocative and challenging. It may strike at prejudices and preconceptions and have profound unsettling effects as it presses for understanding.
Justice Potter StewartCensorship reflects a society's lack of confidence in itself. It is a hallmark of an authoritarian regime.
Harriet Beecher StowePrivate opinion is weak, but public opinion is almost omnipotent.
Arthur Hays SulzbergerFreedom of the press, or, to be more precise, the benefit of freedom of the press, belongs to everyone – to the citizen as well as the publisher… The crux is not the publisher’s ‘freedom to print’; it is, rather, the citizen’s ‘right to know.’
George SutherlandA free press stands as one of the great interpreters between the government and the people. To allow it to be fettered is to fetter ourselves.
George SutherlandDo the people of this land…desire to preserve those [liberties] protected by the First Amendment… If so, let them withstand all beginnings of encroachment. For the saddest epitaph which can be carved in memory of a vanquished liberty is that it was lost because its possessors failed to stretch for a saving hand while yet there was time.
John SwintonThere is no such thing ... in America as an independent press.
Herbert B. SwopeThe first duty of a newspaper is to be accurate. If it is accurate, it follows that it is fair.
Judge Diane Schwerm SykesThe Illinois eavesdropping statute restricts a medium of expression commonly used for the preservation and communication of information and ideas, thus triggering First Amendment scrutiny. Illinois has criminalized the nonconsensual recording of most any oral communication, including recordings of public officials doing the public’s business in public and regardless of whether the recording is open or surreptitious. Defending the broad sweep of this statute, the State’s Attorney relies on the government’s interest in protecting conversational privacy, but that interest is not implicated when police officers are performing their duties in public places and engaging in public communications audible to persons who witness the events. Even under the more lenient intermediate standard of scrutiny applicable to content-neutral burdens on speech, this application of the statute very likely flunks. The Illinois eavesdropping statute restricts far more speech than necessary to protect legitimate privacy interests; as applied to the facts alleged here, it likely violates the First Amendment’s free-speech and free-press guarantees.
Harry S. TrumanWhen even one American -- who has done nothing wrong -- is forced by fear to shut his mind and close his mouth, then all Americans are in peril.
Mark TwainCensorship is telling a man he can't have a steak just because a baby can't chew it.
UnknownA library is an arsenal of liberty.
Laura K. Van OnymousThe media can now wistfully reflect on their glory days of the 1970's when the majority of people actually bought into their bullshit.
Gore VidalThe corporate grip on opinion in the United States is one of the wonders of the Western world. No First World country has ever managed to eliminate so entirely from its media all objectivity -- much less dissent.
VoltaireWe have a natural right to make use of our pens as of our tongue, at our peril, risk and hazard.
VoltaireHistory is fables agreed upon.
VoltaireI detest what you write, but I would give my life to make it possible for you to continue to write.
Ludwig von MisesThose who call themselves "liberals" today are asking for policies which are precisely the opposite of those policies which the liberals of the nineteenth century advocated in their liberal programs. The so-called liberals of today have the very popular idea that freedom of speech, of thought of the press, freedom of religion, freedom from imprisonment without trial -- that all these freedoms can be preserved in the absence of what is called economic freedom. They do not realize that, in a system where there is no market, where the government directs everything, all those other freedoms are illusory, even if they are made into laws and written up in constitutions.
Rebecca WestThere is a point, and it is reached more easily than is supposed, where interference with freedom of the arts and literature becomes an attack on the life of society.
William Allen WhiteYou say that freedom of utterance is not for time of stress, and I reply with the sad truth that only in time of stress is freedom of utterance in danger… Only when free utterance is suppressed is it needed, and when it is needed it is most vital to justice.
Tom WickerIf the true freedom of the press is to decide for itself what to publish and when to publish it, the true responsibility of the press must be to assert and defend that freedom… What the press in America needs is less inhibition, not more restraint.
Oscar WildeThe form of government that is most suitable to the artist is no government at all. ... One might point out how the Renaissance was great, because it sought to solve no social problem, and busied itself not about such things, but suffered the individual to develop freely, beautifully, and naturally, and so had great and individual artists, and great, individual men. One might point out how Louis XIV, by creating the modern state, destroyed the individualism of the artist ...
Virginia WoolfTo admit authorities, however heavily furred and gowned, into our libraries and let them tell us how to read, what to read, what value to place upon what we read, is to destroy the spirit of freedom which is the breath of those sanctuaries.
Virginia WoolfIf we don’t believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don’t believe in it at all.
Frances WrightPersecution for opinion is the master vice of society.
Yale UniversityAcademic freedom means the right, long accepted in the academic world, to study, discuss, and write about facts and ideas without restrictions, other than those imposed by conscience and morality.
Frank ZappaRock journalism is people who can't write interviewing people who can't talk for people who can't read.
Frank ZappaRock music was never written for or performed for conservative tastes.
Frank ZappaIf lyrics make people do things,
how come we don't love each other?
Edward ZehrI wouldn't call it fascism exactly, but a political system nominally controlled by an irresponsible, dumbed down electorate who are manipulated by dishonest, cynical, controlled mass media that dispense the propaganda of a corrupt political establishment can hardly be described as democracy either.
John Peter ZengerNo nation, ancient or modern, ever lost the liberty of speaking freely, writing, or publishing their sentiments, but forthwith lost their liberty in general and became slaves.
John Peter ZengerThe loss of liberty in general would soon follow the suppression of the liberty of the press; for it is an essential branch of liberty, so perhaps it is the best preservative of the whole.
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