During his nationally syndicated radio talk program, “The Mark Levin Show,” on Wednesday night, host, attorney, and constitutional scholar Mark Levin said the Supreme Court of the United States “changed the First Amendment” in 1964 with its decision in New York Times v. Sullivan, and that “we don’t have a free press today.”
“What the Supreme Court did in 1964 is it changed the First Amendment,” said Levin. “It changed the history behind the First Amendment, and it’s – it put its finger on the scale of justice, and it leaned very, very heavily toward media corporations.”
“We don’t have a free press today,” Levin added. “We are pretenders.”
Levin’s comments came after Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas said the 1964 Supreme Court case New York Times v. Sullivan should be revisited. New York Times v. Sullivan established the standards that must be met for a media statement to be considered libel, expanding legal protection for the media.
Below is a transcript of Levin’s remarks from his show on Wednesday.
“What the Supreme Court did in 1964 is it changed the First Amendment. It changed the history behind the First Amendment, and it’s – it put its finger on the scale of justice, and it leaned very, very heavily toward media corporations.
“Now, one might say, ‘Well, then, people would use all these lawsuits to try and put them out of business.’
“You know, that’s the effect that every business has to deal with. CNN is a massive corporation. It’s part of a massive conglomerate. MSNBC is part of a massive conglomerate. We’re talking about tens of billions of dollars, both. The New York Times is owned by the richest man on the face of the earth. The Washington Post is supported by one of the richest men on the face of the earth. [Editor’s note: the Washington Post is owned by Jeff Bezos, the richest man in the world, and The New York Times is owned by The New York Times Company, which is chaired by Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, Jr.].
“What I’m saying to you is, I don’t encourage fabricated or fallacious lawsuits of any sort, whether you’re suing ExxonMobil, Walmart, Microsoft, Apple, or a media conglomerate. But are we better off because of this decision in... [New York Times v. Sullivan]? You know, our great justice, Clarence Thomas, who understands American history – one of the few who does – John Roberts doesn’t. Kavanaugh doesn’t. He said maybe we ought to re-visit this... [New York Times] v. Sullivan, rather, this... [New York Times] v. Sullivan decision in 1964, and immediately, he’s attacked as doing Donald Trump’s dirty work. How’s he doing Donald Trump’s dirty work? Donald Trump will be out of office – one term, two terms – long after this has significance.
“But that’s what you can expect from the critics in the media. That’s what they do. They attack. We don’t have a free press today. We are pretenders. And you’ll notice, more and more talk show hosts are talking about this since I’ve been talking about this for years now, in great detail, going through the history, going through the specifics. More and more of them finally have the guts to speak out. It’s fun to watch. Many of our colleagues in talk radio supported comprehensive immigration reform until we took the point of the spear, here, and fought it like hell. Then they joined ranks. The silent coup – they were all hiding, until I spoke out about the silent coup, took the hits, but fought back. That’s free speech. That’s free speech.
“I don’t pretend to be part of the press. But the press does pretend to be part of the press. And the consequences of this, I think, have been very troubling. I don’t think we’re getting news. I don’t think we’re getting objectivity. We’re getting left-wing ideology.”