It is a free press – a press that is more than free – a press which is licensed to say any infamous thing it chooses about a private or a public man, or advocate any outrageous doctrine it pleases. It is tied in no way. The public opinion which should hold it in bounds it has itself degraded to its own level. There are laws to protect the freedom of the press’s speech, but none that are worth anything to protect the people from the press.
Source:License of the Press speech (In a talk before the Monday Evening Club of Hartford, in March 31, 1873)