Republicans in the Senate have rushed through a bill aimed at curbing what they consider "reckless journalism in our time of crisis".
Aimed at journalists in particular it is called the "Bacon Oath" after America's spiritual father Sir Francis Bacon, in his time head of the Masonic Order in England and believed by many to have been none other than William Shakesepeare. All journalists and media people are expected to sign up to the mandatory oath which, according to its author Dick Cheney, is designed to safeguard the "moral integrity of the White House and the presidency". The Bacon Oath states.
"I solemnly swear to devote my talents and industry in support of the Constitution of the United States. I will not criticize in print, or in any other form of media, the President of the United States or any of his staff. Nor will I portray any of them in a defamatory light.
I will support wholeheartedly any legislature passed by Congress or Senate. I will never make my professional views known via media or internet on the foreign policy of the United States. I will refrain from writing or publishing anything that is deemed by the President, his staff or anyone else involved in the government of this country to be not in the public's interest. I will support freedom of speech and democracy. So help me God."
Political analyst Noam Chomsky commented. "Nice to see it in writing. Most of the media are signed up to it anyway."