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Steve Shiffrin

Thanks for commenting. I agree that the agreement of liberals and those identified as conservatives nurtures an image of balance, objectivity, and nonpartisanship. In the case of free speech, the media is also prepared to applaud virtually any vindication of free speech rights (campaign finance atttracts less media uniformity in my view because the media does not think money is speech). Thanks also for the tip on the novel.

Frank Pasquale

Absolutely right. There is a certain political genius to First Amendment fundamentalism: by alternately offending social conservatives and economic progressives, the court assiduously cultivates its reputation for balance, objectivity, and nonpartisanship. Of course, such a maneuver is typical of the most curdled and cynical politics. It's the same spirit that motivates the mainstream media to applaud virtually any "bipartisan" initiative, however destructive (war) or cruel (benefit cuts for the poorest). One of the more ingenious turns of Gary Shteyngart's Supersad True Love Story (a novel that imagines exactly what happens to childhood under the assault of a constant barrage of salacious images) was to portray a totalitarian America under the tutelage of one, united, "Bipartisan Party."

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