The media has failed its First Amendment prerogative of protected free speech. The Founding Fathers well understood the need for an informed citizenry for a healthy democracy and made free speech the 1st Amendment. However, America has become divided and the courts, including the Supreme Court, have adopted a policy that biased, personal agenda speech is OK because America has many channels for opposing speech. For example, FOX News and MSNBC.
But the media has silenced the opposing views of HOA members themselves.
The Supreme Court (New York Times Co. v. Sullivan (1964), with respect to newspaper articles, held:
“In the case of the newspaper that published inaccurate information, that form of speech would not be protected by the First Amendment if the newspaper published falsehoods knowingly and purposefully. . . . The Supreme Court ruled that the newspaper was constitutionally protected in this instance, despite the false allegations, since the newspaper did not knowingly and recklessly publish the inaccuracies.”
In response to a call for a media contact committee by HRLNG (FB) I wrote today:
“This has been a long-neglected point of power for advocates, realizing that the media is part of what I’ve designated as, “the unspoken alliance of NO HOA negative stories.” Ask yourself, recalling all the TV anchors telling you that they ask hard questions, they get to the facts, etc. yet nothing bad about HOAs that amount to substantial issues. Yes, they talk about this incident and that incident, but substantive issues go ignored. This must be the substance of your approach! Example: NAR and all state chapters claim they are here for you the home buyer and you can trust your Realtor (This term is the NAR members only). BUT HOA??? What’s that??
“The Homes Association Handbook, the 1964 “bible” for HOA-Land was supported by that version of NAR. AARP had some articles but no lobbying for its age 50+, members. Why not? This committee must not be afraid to ask these hard questions. What do you have to lose? They did very little for HOA reforms. CHALLENGE THEM and ask hard questions in pursuit of the truth!”