Is free speech on shakier grounds
October 2, 2001 3:54 PM   Subscribe

Is free speech on shakier grounds after the Tragedy? Or is the Texas City Sun just a backwaters, hick rag for Godfearing obsolescents?
posted by swift (7 comments total)
My landlord insisted that I take my NO WAR sign out of my window. Something about a "no signs and placards" rule, which conveniently doesn't prevent the hanging of flags from windows. Just NO WAR signs.
posted by arielmeadow at 4:05 PM on October 2, 2001

Funny how when something like this happens to Ann Coulter, the Leftys can't agree fast enough.

That said, this kind of stuff is absolutely wrong. Morally, ethically, and probably legally. I hope the Texas City Sun gets a well-deserved kick in the slats for this.
posted by mrmanley at 4:12 PM on October 2, 2001

First, this link really belongs in this thread.

Second, this lefty believes that newspapers and magazines should serve their subscribers rather than some artificially mandated idea of 'free speech'. If their subscribers don't want to read it, they shouldn't have any moral, ethical or legal duty to publish it.

Third, does any one but me see the irony about complaining about this writer's censorship while linking to an article written by him 1 day after he was fired? These people can't even competently censor this guy.
posted by boaz at 4:43 PM on October 2, 2001

Ann Coulter made bigoted remarks in print, and then trashed her employer in public for not letting her do it again - all before someone refused to print her *syndicated column*. She's also a well-known figure who will keep getting work, no question. The Texas City writer, on the other hand, was an obscure figure who criticized the highest public figure in the land. He works at a small newspaper, and may or may not get work in the future, even if he says he'll be fine. At the same time, the very point of newspapers is not only to bring the news and make money, but to be a watchdog of government and a forum for debate about issues involving self-governance in a democracy. (Go read Jefferson is you think this a lefty point of view.) Please compare one type of fruit with the same type, thanks. If the editor had complaints about the writer the past, or had warned the writer ahead of time about Bush remarks, the firing would be understandable. If otherwise, even if not violating the writer's 1st Amendment rights (true), the editor's an unethical asshole who doesn't deserve to stay in business, or deserve the respect of anyone in his profession.
posted by raysmj at 5:05 PM on October 2, 2001

I've often found it surprising how the process works... in order to be protected and affirmed, liberty and freedom must be struck down. Seriously, just ask Ari Fleischer.

Then again the man does work for the President who, while a candidate, was quoted as saying "there ought to be limits to freedom". Never mind of course the fact that if there are limits it's no longer freedom, merely allowance.
posted by clevershark at 9:12 PM on October 2, 2001

Not to defend George, but the 'fact' that 'if there are limits it's no longer freedom' is utter crap. Go read Locke, and then maybe some Rawls, and we'll come back and discuss it.
posted by louie at 9:49 PM on October 2, 2001

The Texas City Sun is just a backwaters, hick rag for Godfearing obsolescents.
The real danger does not , however, lie in such publications. The real danger is with corporate behemoths such as Rupert Murdoch, Clear Channel and others who would collusively determine what the masses should or should not be exposed to. And who or what would determine that? Just whatever is in the best interests of Ferengi profits. Or Ari Fleischer.
posted by nofundy at 6:52 AM on October 3, 2001

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