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Sorry, I don't have the answer, but I do have some info. I have not been able to verify it, but I thought H.L. Menken said, "If you want freedom of the press, then go out and buy one." Maybe not, but see below.

Menken was famous for saying, "There is no underestimating the intelligence of the American public," but the 'buy one' quote may come from elsewhere, with William Randolph Hearst also a candidate.

It is similar to "Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one," which has also been attributed to Menken, but comes form A. J. Liebling, "Do you belong in journalism?", The New Yorker, 14 May 1960. As for Hearst, his character is better captured by the statement, "You can crush a man with journalism."

All of has led many to question freedom of the press. Churchill was reported to have said, "As to freedom of the press, why should any man be allowed to buy a printing press and disseminate pernicious opinions calculated to embarrass the government?" (Piers Brendon, Winston Churchill: A Biography, Harper & Row, New York,1984, p. 105.) It seems, however, that this was originally said by Lenin, to whom the same quote is attributed by Menken, of all people. Lenin prefaced it by first saying, "Why should freedom of speech and freedom of the press be allowed? Why should a government which is doing what it believes to be right allow itself to be criticized? It would not allow opposition by lethal weapons. Ideas are much more fatal things than guns." (Lenin, Speech in Moscow, 1920, collected in H. L. Mencken, A New Dictionary of Quotations on Historical Principles from Ancient and Modern Sources Selected, New York, A. A. Knopf, 1942.)

By the way, Lenin was not finished:

We do not believe in 'absolutes.' We laugh at 'pure democracy.' [As for t]he 'freedom of the press' slogan . . . No country in the world has done as much to liberate the masses from the influence of priests and landowners as [Soviet Russia] has done, and is doing. We have been performing this function of 'freedom of the press' better than anyone else in the world.

All over the world, wherever there are capitalists, freedom of the press means freedom to buy up newspapers, to buy writers, to bribe, buy and fake "public opinion" for the benefit of the bourgeoisie. This is a fact. No one will ever be able to refute it.(Vladimir Lenin, "A Letter To G. Myasnikov," Lenin's Collected Works,1st English Edition, Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1965, Volume 32, pp. 504-505.)

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Q: Who said If you want freedom of the press buy one?
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Why do you have freedom of press?

That is a good question. And what is 'freedom of the press' anyway. The reason a government should affirm freedom of the press is to enable the free flow of ideas. In a democracy the authority to govern comes from the people. The people need to be able to freely access information and put information out for others to consume. Freedom of the press means freedom in all aspects of society, government, culture, art, science everywhere. A government that is under the authority of the people cannot suppress ideas in any area of human endeavor. It has been observed that freedom of the press belongs to who ever owns the press. But anyone, in a free society can buy a press or the use of a press because there is always someone who would sell you access to a press. In the age of the Internet everyone with a computer and an Internet hook-up can become an instant publisher. A government that is afraid of criticism does not have much confidence in their own policies. And maybe with enough criticism they will change their policies. A government that wants to silence the press is a government that wants to do things the way it wants and not necessarily the way the people want.


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