UNESCO has proclaimed may 3 World Press Freedom Day. In the American consciousness this is not likely to rank with Mother's Day, Secretaries' Day, Pharmacists' Day, or even Kiss-Your-Mate Day, but it deserves some attention at a time when America is more dissatisfied than ever with its own media.

The exercise brings to mind a 17th century English pamphleteer named John Twyn, who published a defense of revolution. Condemned for treason, he was hanged, cut down while still alive, emasculated, disemboweled, quartered and, presumably to make absolutely sure, beheaded. A great many Americans today feel that this is just about the...

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