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Court Ruling on Noriega Tapes

December 01, 1990

Don't be alarmed by that constant whizzing sound you may have been hearing lately. It's just another one of our First Amendment rights going by the boards. The latest casualty was the Supreme Court ruling upholding the gag order barring CNN from broadcasting the Noriega tapes.

(On Nov. 28, after reviewing the seven tapes, U.S. District Judge William Hoeveler ruled that CNN could broadcast the Noriega tapes.)

The decision serves as a dangerous precedent as it shatters every preconceived notion of a truly democratic system of checks and balances in which the press has the right to inform citizens of alleged government power abuses as well as other improprieties.

With art, music, entertainment and now the press being threatened by the conservative view of right and wrong, the very definitions and premises of liberty and freedom have become increasingly blurred. What gives conservatives the right to decide which is the one governmentally binding morality for all? What is morality and who defines it?

BRIAN HARRIS

Fullerton

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