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The Liberty of Cudgel: How to Fight Libel

As we have witnessed with the recent coverage by 60 minutes of Governor Ron Desantis, the media has the power to judge, sentence, and condemn to infamy, not only private individuals but public institutions with or without inquiry or hearing at its discretion. And much of the time they do it with limited credentials. At best, they have acquired a pleasing style as to grammar and its construction.

With modest accreditation this elite tribunal has the privilege of accusing and abusing all parts of the citizenry at their pleasure.

They hide behind their misconduct with a rare acquiescence to the Constitution. In all other regards, they find this document to be an outdated document that should be left at the curb when discussing thought/policy unfriendly to their agenda.

The Case for Cudgel

The basis of their authority is founded on the article in the Constitution which establishes the liberty of the press. 

If the liberty of the press is to unshackle and encourage the open discussion of public policies and political opinions, let’s put this right on steroids and have as much as you please; but if it means the liberty of affronting and defaming one another, I for my part, am willing to part with my share of it until we can get to a better understanding of this power and privilege.

The guardrails are not in place to protect the victims of the abuse that comes with the permissive/unchecked behavior that pervades much of today’s press and social media.

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There is no supreme council that is in place to judge the abilities, integrity and knowledge of the persons that have been granted this great trust. Any person with a pen, keyboard, printing press, cable news outlet can authorize themselves and their associates with the plenary possession and exercise of the rights guaranteed but not understood in the Constitution.

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The freedoms the press enjoys is further validated and encouraged by shallow thinking that is absent of religion and education founded on the principles of physics, the life sciences and basic math.

                On eagle’s wings immortal scandals fly, While virtuous actions are but born to die.

I have a proposal. Well, it’s actually not mine. It was first put forth by Franklin. A fellow who was familiar with both pen and quill and a printing press. The liberty of cudgelThe liberty to take someone who has unfairly and with impunity ransacked one’s reputation, out into the parking lot. If this proposal is deemed harmful to the public peace, I implore, along with Franklin that we as a  society debate and come to an explicit understanding of both the liberty of the press and the liberty of cudgel.


John Tammaro

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