When war is declared, Truth is the first casualty.
— Arthur Ponsonby (1871-1946), British diplomat, writer
Americans have always had an ambivalent attitude toward intelligence. When they feel threatened, they want a lot of it, and when they don’t, they regard the whole thing as somewhat immoral.
— Vernon A. Walters, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations
Let no man think that we can deny civil liberty to others and retain it for ourselves …. When zealous agents of the Government arrest suspected “radicals” without warrant, hold them without prompt trial, deny them access to counsel and admission of bail, we have shorn the Bill of Rights of its sanctity as a shield to every American citizen.
— Robert M. Lafollete (1855-1925), American political and reform leader
The function of the press is very high. It is almost holy. To misstate or suppress the news is a breach of trust.
— Louis D. Brandeis (1856-1941), U.S. Supreme Court Justice
“Some historian should really look at all of the proposals that have been put forth throughout the history of our country for possible constitutional amendments. Maybe at some point in time there was one that was sillier than this one, but I don’t know of one.”
— Former Sen. John Danforth (R-MO), in a speech on efforts to ban gay marriage
Those who are convinced they have a monopoly on The Truth always feel that they are only saving the world when they slaughter the heretics.
— Arthur M. Schlensinger Jr. (1917- ), American educator, historian
The function of the press is to explore and investigate events, inform the people what is going on, and to expose the harmful as well as the good influences at work. There is no higher function performed under our constitutional regime …. A reporter is no better than his source of information. Unless he has a privilege to withold the identity of his source, he will be the victim of governmental intrigue or aggression. If he can be summoned to testify in secret before a grand jury, his sources will dry up and the attempted exposure, the effort to enlighten the public, will be ended.
The intrusion of government into this doman is symptomatic of the disease of this society. As the years pass, the power of government becomes more and more pervasive. It is power to suffocate both people and causes. Those in power, whatever their politics, want only to perpetuate it. Now that the forces of the law and the tradition that has protected the press are broken down, the people are the victims. The First Amendment, as I read it, was designed precisely to prevent that tragedy.