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Does It Get Anymore Dysfunctional Than This? By Robin Barnes

Headline: Lawyer pleads for judge to send Lindsay to Jail.  Rikki Klieman wants everyone:  “rich or poor, black, brown or white, including addicts, to be fearful of going to court and facing a judge.” She sees it as a sign of respect, civility, and shame. To deter those who would transgress the laws, she recommends “facing the might and power of the system.”  As if to make her point, she concludes that: “ People who are not celebrities have to obey the rules. That is how society functions.”   The real tragedy, that Klieman misses, is that were it not for the wholesale violation of Lohan’s constitutional rights to privacy, like every other late teen and early-adult girl having fun, she would have been left to deal with her issues in private and most likely with a great deal more success.  

If a lawyer wants to mount a soap box about shame and respect, examine the antics of the paparazzi and the publishers for whom they stalk about and assess the extent of the fear and shame they feel when facing the “might and power” of the system, represented by lawyers hiding behind the First Amendment.  Better yet, take a moment to clarify why, in the land of the free and home of the brave, with the First Amendment serving as a foundation for the world’s oldest living democracy, the press is even allowed to continue abusing its freedom, while celebrity radio personality Lisa Simeone was fired for her recent political protest.  In a phone call on Wednesday, managers at NPR claimed she violated their code that forbids journalists from participating in marches/rallies or signing petitions, lending their name or contributing money to causes or issues that NPR covers.  Simeone understands the spirit of the law better than some members of the bar:

 I find it puzzling that NPR objects to my exercising my rights as an American citizen — the right to free speech, the right to peaceable assembly — on my own time in my own life. I’m not an NPR employee. I’m a freelancer. NPR doesn’t pay me. I’m also not a news reporter. I don’t cover politics. I’ve never brought a whiff of my political activities into the work I’ve done for NPR World of Opera. What is NPR afraid I’ll do — insert a seditious comment into a synopsis of Madame Butterfly?