After eight years of avoiding-the-press Constitution-shredding George W. Bush, silencing and insulting Helen Thomas, corralling protesters like swine far from W’s view, suspending Habeas Corpus, exposing CIA spy Valerie Plame, and more, now conservatives are claiming President-Elect Barack Obama  is suppressing free speech.

From an angry right-wing blogger:

First, there were the repeated references to FOX News during the campaign.  Then, three newspapers which endorsed John McCain for President – The Washington Times, The New York Post, and The Dallas Morning News – were booted off the campaign airplane because of overcrowding.  Today, President-Elect Barack Obama took a few questions after his statement on the economy at his first news conference since the election.  Noticeably, Obama took questions from the AP, Reuters, ABC, CBS, NBC, The New York Times, and both major Chicago papers, the Tribune and Sun-Times — but not FOX News.

Wha-a-a?  Obama neglect “Fair and Unbalanced” FOX?  Say it ain’t so, Joe!  The writer claims there “is legitimate reason for Christians and conservatives to be concerned about an intensified effort to suppress the possibility of dissenting speech.”

We have only experienced a paucity of Presidential press conferences in the past eight years.  President-Elect Obama already has one under his belt.

My favorite line is here:

Of course, FOX News is not conservatively biased.  It just seems that way to liberals because there is actually a free-flowing discussion of ideas, policies, and news-making events.

That really makes me smile.

This week I had a discussion with a teenager who was bemoaning what she called the “liberal press coverage” the night of the election.  How, she wondered, did the networks call states for Obama with 0% of the vote in?

I wondered the same thing for a while, until I remembered that the networks had massive ground operations doing exit polls in every state.  Their projections were their own, and they offered them at their own risk.

Liberal media?  That’s the conservative rally cry every time the media does it’s job.  That’s the cry of the conservatives when the media dares to ask questions.  “W” received so many free passes over the past eight years it’s not even funny.  The media dropped the ball time and time again.

Did FOX News report that Palin did not know Africa was a continent?  Yes, they did.  Perhaps the real problem isn’t the “liberal” media after all.  Perhaps the problem is the conservative/Republican agenda to suppress the First Amendment:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. (The United States Constitution)

I’m looking forward to a President standing before the media again – even far right FOX.  Frankly, it will be a delight to have a President who actually knows the language, and isn’t afraid to use it.

And it will be nice to watch as the Constitution, all of it, is restored.