Most discussion of censorship in recent times has dealt with efforts to limit or halt the use of pornographic material after it has been produced.
More serious in a democracy is the selection and control of political information and ideas before they are even spoken or published.
Who determines what persons shall speak and write, since not everyone can speak or write? Who selects what is to be recorded and transmitted to others, since not everything can be recorded?
There is danger in the concentrated control of television and radio stations; danger, too, in government efforts to regulate broadcasting. There is danger in concentrated ownership of newspapers and some danger in the development of nationally syndicated columnists. There is danger in standardized education and in the concentration of selection by book publishers and reviewers.
All these problems require serious attention. Some of them can be alleviated by private initiative. For example, the journalism reviews now published by some reporters provide standards by which to judge the press.
The problem of government control over information seems more dangerous and more difficult to counter. In the name of national security, the government justifies the withholding of almost any item of information and, beyond that, even the making of false statements.
The problem of government control was intensified during the Eisenhower administration, in part because many of its appointees were drawn from big business and from the military. The procedures of those institutions are not democratic, nor are they ordinarily conducted with the safeguards of the Constitution. Neither of them has anything comparable to the "balance of powers" concept.
Consequently, the Eisenhower administration took on many aspects of a corporate-military structure. The President and his Cabinet