Bully pulpit

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SENATOR Grace Poe has asked during a congressional investigation on “fake news” whether it’s time for Presidential communications official Mocha Uson to shut down her blog.

The lawmaker’s premise was that the palace official may be having a difficult time separating her government from her private persona and that there may be a “conflict of interest” in her keeping a blog.

For me, a blog is just an avenue of expression and what makes a particular piece of blog an expression of one’s personal view or one that is government job-related has to do with the subject matter itself.

If people in government cannot blog, then we might as well force them not to have Facebook accounts which are, after all, just another platform used by people to ventilate their positions on issues that affect them.

If there’s “conflict of interest” whenever people in government speak out their mind, then this should also apply to lawmakers like Senator Poewho even enjoy parliamentary immunity from suit for their public pronouncements.

A blog is no different from a public statement made by a senator or a congressman. The big difference though is that one can be sued for online libel for a blog while lawmakers enjoy the privilege of not being held accountable in court for their pronouncements.

Is it any wonder then that many lawmakers use their offices as a bully pulpit with free media coverage?

 

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