"No experiment can be more interesting than that we are now trying, and which we trust will end in establishing the fact, that man may be governed by reason and truth. Our first object should therefore be, to leave open to him all the avenues to truth. The most effectual hitherto found, is the freedom of the press. It is, therefore, the first shut up by those who fear the investigation of their actions." --Thomas Jefferson to John Tyler, 1804.

VanderSloot, Romney and the big shield

By all means read this new article (high recommend) by Glenn Greenwald on Salon, about Idaho Falls businessman Frank VaderSloot‘s key fundraising role with the Mitt Romney campaign, and more importantly how he and his business (Melaleuca) have reacted to reports about them … and about other subjects they’d rather not see raised.

Greenwald: “Numerous journalists and bloggers in Idaho — who want to write critically about VanderSloot’s vast funding of right-wing political causes — are petrified even to mention his name for fear of these threats. As his work on the Romney campaign brings him national notoriety, he is now aiming these tactics beyond Idaho. To allow this scheme to continue — whereby billionaires can use their bottomless wealth to intimidate ordinary citizens and media outlets out of writing about them — is to permit the wealthiest in America to thuggishly shield themselves from legitimate criticism and scrutiny.”

There is, as this suggests, a larger lesson to be drawn from this article than just the local.

UPDATE VanderSloot has a response out. It cries out for some critiquing, but for now make of it what you will.

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