The Instigator
Benjamin_Manus
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
That1User
Pro (for)
Winning
12 Points

This House Believes that the media should be censored when reporting matters of national security

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
That1User
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/14/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 737 times Debate No: 67021
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (0)
Votes (3)

 

Benjamin_Manus

Con

Definitions:
- "This House": The United States
- "Censored": The article(s) removed from the paper

The Bill of Rights gives us the Freedom of Press, even when reporting on matters of National Security. If we allow the media to be censored, it will turn into a slippery slope. What else will the government censor? Edwin Debs, a communist during the early-1900s was arrested for expressing his communist views. This was a grave misconduct of the law. Even though the public was exposed to radical communist views and could fall victim to propaganda, the government had no right to arrest Debs.
That1User

Pro

My opponent's resolution: The Media should not be censored when reporting matters of national security
My resolution: The Media should be censored when reporting matters of national security.

This round will comprise of two sections, rebuttal and new argument.
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances." -Amendment 1 of the United States Constitution.

Argument: The Bill of Rights gives us the Freedom of Press, even when reporting on matters of National Security.
Rebuttal: The First Amendment does give us the Freedom of the Press. It does not, however, specifically state that the First Amendment is valid when national security is at risk.
Even the Supreme Court, the government body that ultimately determines whether laws are unconstitutional or constitutional, supports national security over the freedom of the press. An example of this is the case of Near v. Minnesota:

"The objection has also been made that the principle as to immunity from previous restraint is stated too broadly, if every such restraint is deemed to be prohibited. That is undoubtedly true; the protection even as to previous restraint is not absolutely unlimited. But the limitation has been recognized only in exceptional cases. 'When a nation is at war many things that might be said in time of peace are such a hindrance to its effort that their utterance will not be endured so long as men fight and that no Court could regard them as protected by any constitutional right.' (Schenck v. United States). No one would question but that a government might prevent actual obstruction to its recruiting service or the publication of the sailing dates of transports or the number and location of troops."

Here the Supreme Court, who has the final say in what laws are constitutional or unconstitutional, states that Freedom of the Press does not apply during exceptional cases, such as during war or when national security is at stake. Therefore, media should be censored when reporting matters of national security.

Argument: If we allow the media to be censored, it will turn into a slippery slope. What else will the government censor?

Not necessarily. The government censorship of the media does not mean that there will be a definite slippery slope of the government censoring other things.

Argument: Edwin Debs, a communist during the early-1900s was arrested for expressing his communist views. This was a grave misconduct of the law. Even though the public was exposed to radical communist views and could fall victim to propaganda, the government had no right to arrest Debs.

Rebuttal: During the early 1900s (1917) the Russian (Bolshevik) Revolution occurred, where the Russian Royal Family was overthrown and the Bolsheviks (Communists) overthrew the Provisional Russian Government. The Bolshevik Revolution lead to the bloody Russian Civil War where the Red Communists and the White Movement fought each other. In the chaos, over 2.7 million people died.

This is what ignited the First Red Scare in the United States, the fear of anarchy. In fact, some Communists were anarchists and terrorized the United States, so it was necessary for the United States to censor Communist movements in an effort to ensure national security. Since Debs was a Communist and threatened national security, the United States federal government did have a right to arrest him.

"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America." -US Constitution Preamble

In the Preamble of the United States Constitution, it states that the purpose of establishing a federal government is to provide for the common defense, and in order to do that it is necessary for the government to censor the press if it threatens national security.

Therefore, as supported by the reasoning above, it can be concluded that the media should be censored when reporting on matters of national security in order to protect the nation and its citizens.
Debate Round No. 1
Benjamin_Manus

Con

Benjamin_Manus forfeited this round.
That1User

Pro

Unforunately my opponent has forfeited Round 2. Hopefully he will provide a rebuttal in round 3. I extend all arguments.
Debate Round No. 2
Benjamin_Manus

Con

Benjamin_Manus forfeited this round.
That1User

Pro

Unfortunately my opponent has forfeited both round 2 and round 3. I extend all of my previous arguments.
Debate Round No. 3
No comments have been posted on this debate.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Zarroette 2 years ago
Zarroette
Benjamin_ManusThat1UserTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro made reasonable counter-arguments that needed to be addressed, and they weren't, so Pro wins arguments. Conduct to Pro for Con's round forfeits.
Vote Placed by BLAHthedebator 2 years ago
BLAHthedebator
Benjamin_ManusThat1UserTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Ff
Vote Placed by lannan13 2 years ago
lannan13
Benjamin_ManusThat1UserTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeiture