Re: John Yoo's Haircut
Gee, Glenn sure is a good person. Better yet, he's a political journalist, possibly the most important job there is, and he takes the responsibilities of that job more seriously than just about anyone else. Best of all, he doesn't remain neutral on the important questions of the day. He's pro-good, and anti-bad.
That said, he hasn't noticed that having a virtuous person or group controlling a large endeavor doesn't guarantee optimal management. Megan explained her position well to me, and I found it convincing, but when Glenn clearly didn't understand, she should have shifted to an economic / ecological explanation. ( Foreshadowing of a mixed metaphor.)
Since she didn't, I am obligated to do so. The 1st A doesn't specify that the press shall be Good. It says it shall be free. In a free press, some are most concerned with candidate bowling scores, others with weightier matters. The overall mix becomes an equilibrium between what readers want and what writers want. In the same way, a restaurant in a market economy may offer a dish just because someone wants to cook it, and some will try it out of curiosity, but few will be served if the customers don't like it, so over time the menu reflects both the customers' and the owners' tastes.
A state press, or Glenn's preference, a press primarily concerned with being Good, may begin with the best of intentions, but can ossify as times change, be hijacked by a narrow interest, or write material that almost no one reads. The same maladies afflict elements of a free press, but those who are dissatisfied can read something else or start their own paper or what have you. Papers flourish, then flounder, but blogs proliferate- for now. Media splintering and new technology makes the process more efficient, so that Glenn can write long pieces on his view of the Fourth and actually have them read, though only by those that want to.
Glenn never said how his favored press could operate in practice. Whenever Megan mentioned a practical limitation, Glenn talked morality. Like many intractable arguments, there could be no resolution, because they weren't talking about the same thing.