"I offer nothing more than simple facts, plain arguments, and common sense ..." Thomas Paine, 1776, pamphleteer
HAYS, Kan. - Thomas Paine was a pamphleteer over 230 years ago. Though he's thought of as one of America's earliest, and perhaps its most famous journalist, if he were alive today, it's fairly unlikely that he'd be working as a glam television anchor, covering car chases on the L.A. freeway or following the sagas of divorcing celebrities. Tom Paine probably wouldn't aspire to political punditry either. It's doubtful that he'd end up an argumentative or abrasive talking head on some cable news channel.
No. The man who is the original embodiment of the the 1st Amendment would strive for something much greater.
If Tom Paine were to be among us now, it's likely that he would aspire to be one of us. He'd probably be writing furiously and freely at a free press on the Internet, just like this one. And, just as we hope to, he'd be speaking of issues that he believed to have the most relevance to his fellow citizens.
Citizen-powered websites, like this one, are bringing about a real revival of pamphleteering, and a renewed understanding of freedom of the press.