"... the loudmouthed and obnoxious Chris Matthews"
Although many people think the Associated Press is just a mouth piece for liberal government politics, it is in fact independently owned. So I'm not sure how its social networking policies violate the First Amendment:
The AP's social-networking policy comes as the media at large begins adopting Facebook and Twitter guidelines during a time of explosive growth in online social media. The News Media Guild, representing about 1,000 AP journalists, says the AP's policy is perhaps the most restrictive the union has seen.
"I am unaware of anything else like that," Tony Winton, the guild's president, said in a telephone interview. "Parts of the policy seem to be snuffing out peoples' First Amendment rights of expression by a company that wraps itself in the First Amendment."
In case you forgot, here's what the First Amendment says:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
It's unclear to me what part of Congress, or any branch of the government, is setting AP free speech policy. After all, if blogging is more important than your job, you should work somewhere else.
The AP's rules are hardly surprising for anyone working in the private sector (note: I work for the public entity). Most of the people I know have to be careful about what they discuss on Facebook and their blogs. I'm fortunate in that I do have some legally guaranteed rights of expression, but I still try to avoid work related topics.
Yes, I'm being pedantic. But it's important to remember what our rights really are.