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1st Amendment Denied to Journalist

by on November 5, 2013

I thought this was a really important article for Ethics students to read.

Roger Shuler is an investigative journalist locked up and denied his first amendment rights. After covering a  story about an affair between Liberty Duke and Rob Riley, the courts ordered him remove previous stories and to not write about it any longer. Shuler refused to oblige.

On the night of October 23rd without any warrants or documentation, police showed up at Shulers house, beat and arrested him. Shuler has been detained since, and without bond, will be for an unknown amount of time.

Riley is the son of former two-term Alabama governor Bob Riley and a major republican political figure himself.  His affair with a lobbyist deals with abortion and extortion. These allegations  matter to the voters and supporters of political figures of Riley.

If I voted for someone based off of his pro-life stance, only to learn his mistress got an abortion, I would want to know that. I think that Riley is doing great work exposing these issues to his audience. It is unjust to not only to tell Shuler he cannot have free speech, but to beat him and to deny him bond is completely insane. This silencing of the first amendment by those in power is very unbelievable. This makes the not only the party involved look more guilty, but also casts an ugly light on the corruption politics and government.


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  1. arazsunshine permalink

    Wow I hadn’t heard about this at all.
    The fact that they arrested Shuler and treated him as if he did something much worse than expose a politician for having done something that could matter to future and current voters is really unbelievable. I totally agree with you that it is not ok to take away the voice of this journalist. Shuler is doing exactly what one of the major duties of journalism is, and that is to check those in power. If we take away this right, what does that mean for unchecked power in a so-called democracy?

  2. This story is worth of conversation not only about the rights of journalists and the first amendment, but also about what makes a journalist a journalist. Schuler runs his own blog and is not sponsored by any publication. Unfortunately or fortunately, depending on the veracity of his accusations, the fact that he is a blogger calls his credibility into question. Should we trust what he sayd and refer to him as a journalist even though he does not have editors or colleagues backing up his statements? This story deserves more attention so that we can figure out if Riley is actually having an affiar, if the arrest was lawful, and if Schuler’s statements were libel.

  3. It’s interesting to know that Schuler isn’t a journalist, however the 1st amendment applies to everyone. Regardless if he is a journalist, he is allowed under freedom of speech to publish the allegations in his blog. This is a frightening story. I’d like to know more about this.

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