Friday, February 11, 2005
Freedom of Speech
The Constitutionalist says we must respect the right of an individual to speak his or her opinions. The Patriot says we do not have to listen to hate speech, nor do we have to support the person that throws American values on the garbage heap. Two cases come to mind: that of W. Churchill, and that of E. Jordan, both very much in the blogosphere of late.
I fail to see how refusing to allow or disinviting Churchill to speak at a public forum, especially at a university, violates his free speech. The right of choice must lie with the university, and if they do choose to allow Churchill to speak, they are culpable for the hate-mongering also.
Mr. Jordan, meanwhile, was exercising his brand of free speech at a private, off-the-record symposium in Switzerland to accuse our troops of deliberately killing 12 journalists in Iraq. No proof was offered, of course. Today, Jordan resigned from CNN as their News Chief, which was the right thing to do, in my opinion. Freedom of speech carries a responsibility: one must be responsible and accountable for one's words, and the higher up the ladder you are, the more your words count to your employees and in the public mind. One wonders who else in CNN is rabid enough to let fly at the US with hateful intent in public? In Europe? In the Middle East?